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Bathroom Modifications: Occupational Therapy Services For a Better Quality of Life

27 March 2024 | General

kitchen home modifications

Creating an accessible bathroom is more than just a renovation – it’s a transformation that will provide independence and a better quality of life for those with mobility or access concerns. . Occupational therapy services play a pivotal role in guiding these modifications to ensure a seamless blend of functionality and comfort. Knowing what your long-term needs are and how these can be met with bathroom modifications is the key to independent, accessible living.

Bathroom Entrances: A Barrier-Free Beginning

Your entry point sets the tone for an accessible bathroom. Occupational therapy services emphasise the importance of a step-free entry, as this not only accommodates wheelchairs but also eases navigation for individuals with limited mobility. Consider installing a ramp or a gently sloping entrance to ensure smooth access.

It’s also essential to ensure there is sufficient space for wheelchair and commode users to manoeuvre comfortably around swing doors, both on approach and within the bathroom space. Sliding doors offer an excellent space-saving alternative, making them ideal for smaller areas or where swing doors may be impractical. In addition, lever handles are an effective, user-friendly option for individuals with limited hand strength or dexterity, and can be installed on various door types.

Flooring Accessibility Considerations

Bathrooms can be the most slippery and potentially hazardous spaces in the home. For this very reason, occupational therapists underscore the significance of slip-resistant flooring(typically >R10 and above). Opt for materials like non-slip tiles or vinyl to provide stability underfoot, whilst smooth, even surfaces facilitate manoeuvrability for those using walkers or wheelchairs. This small but crucial detail enhances overall safety and ease of movement within the space.

Improving Your Bathing Experience

Your shower area demands special attention when creating accessible bathroom modifications in your home. Occupational therapy services emphasise the installation of roll-in showers with grab bars for support, as well as curbless shower design to promote accessibility and minimise tripping hazards. Incorporating a handheld showerhead alongside adjustable seats, lever handle taps, reachable clothes hanging devices and accessible soap holders all work to improve your bathroom experience.

Creating a Comfortable and Accessible Toilet

Occupational therapists will often stress the importance of an elevated toilet seat or commode accessible toilet for individuals with mobility concerns. This simple modification promotes independence and provides a more comfortable experience. Additionally, strategically placed grab rails offer stability and support to facilitate safe transfers on and off the toilet. These thoughtful adjustments make a significant difference in daily routines.

User-Friendly Hand Basins

When it comes to hand basins, occupational therapy services recommendations include installing a wall-mounted sink or semi recessed vanities  to allow for easy wheelchair access. Standard vanity sinks should usually be avoided as their size and shape make it difficult for wheelchair users to comfortably access them. The best approach is to set your sink at the appropriate height for your unique accessibility requirements. Leverage the expertise of occupational therapists to find the optimal placement, height and design that will provide convenience without compromising aesthetics.

Bathroom Modifications For Occupational Therapy Success

At Evolve Therapy, our occupational therapists specialise in personalised solutions for bathroom modifications. Occupational therapy services include comprehensive assessments, tailored solutions, expert project management and ongoing support throughout the process. Our bathroom modifications are assessed thoroughly and applications are supported by experienced Occupational Therapists of whom have extensive experience with NDIS funding. This assists to reduce the timeframe from start to finish for your modification and enables you and your family to feel informed and supported throughout the process.

Contact us to schedule a consultation and we will support you in creating a bathroom that provides independence and a better quality of life.

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