#1 PROBLEM: Glass shower doors can be hazardous because they limit the access space in and out of the tub or shower. Often they are used for stability, which with a strong pull or push may pop out of their track, shatter, or become a heavy load on top of a person who has fallen.
#SOLUTION: Replace with lighter, shatter-proof, Plexiglas doors on a sturdy track system or remove completely and use a shower curtain or folding plastic doors. Create a shower room with an open space for the shower and graded floor for drainage.
#2 PROBLEM: Faucets and doorknobs are difficult to turn, and water temperature is hard to control. Light switches are difficult to see and use.
SOLUTION: Install levered handles, single mix controls, and a water temperature control device to prevent scalding and to maintain constant water temperature. Water Heaters may be turned down to 115 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding throughout the house. Automatically controlled faucets may be useful for a person with limited upper body strength and movement. Install lighted toggle switches with color contrasting covers at heights to meet the needs of your customer.
#3 PROBLEM: It’s difficult to get up and down from the toilet: sometimes I lose my balance.
SOLUTION: An 18″ high toilet enables a person in a wheelchair to transfer easily or a normal to tall person to get up and down easily. An elevated toilet seat or commode can be placed over the existing toilet (most are 15″ high). Toilet support rails or grab bars can be easily installed to assist with support when transferring or sitting. Proper bathroom layout to maximize ease in transferring and safety is crucial and should be implemented when building a new bathroom or major modification. A bidet can be installed easily to a standard or high-rise toilet to assist in hygiene. Most have a warm water wash and air dry control.
#4 PROBLEM: Dizziness or weakness when standing in the shower or difficulty getting up and down in the tub or toilet. Lack of adequate support to maintain balance and stability.
SOLUTION: A tub seat or retractable shower chair can provide crucial stability, while using a hand held shower for thorough cleaning. A transfer bench can assist in transfers when extra support is needed. Attractive grab bars may be installed next to sink, tub and toilet at heights and orientation according to the specific needs of the individual. Attractive showers and bathtub units can be installed which are designed to maximize independence.
#5 PROBLEM: The bathroom floors are slippery.
SOLUTION: A padded linoleum floor or matt finished tiles can be a safer assist. If using bathroom rugs-they should be low tight piled glued to the floor. All bathroom rugs should be secure to the floor and removed when not in use. Be careful of curled edges.