When designing a space, long-term use should always be a consideration. The end result should be a space that is highly functional now but also meets potential future needs as well. In the bathroom, this is even more essential. It is important to ensure the bathroom will meet both current and potential future needs of all family members! While we don’t like to think about the negative, the reality is that aging, accidents and unforseen illnesses can cause temporary or even permanent changes to accessibility needs and these can require expensive renovations if they are not considered in advance! Here are a few important questions to as k yourself:
IS THE ENTRY into the bathroom wide enough to accommodate a walker, wheelchair or equipment like a lift if needed?
DOES THE DOOR swing outward? This is important for enabling access in case someone falls. IS THERE A COUNTER that someone can sit at to do hair or brush teeth, either in a chair or wheelchair?
ARE CONTROLS for lighting, fan, and shower located at accessible heights?
IS THE FLOORING non-slip and easy to walk on in both dry and wet conditions?
IS THERE ENOUGH ROOM in the bathroom for a caregiver to assist if needed?
These considerations will have little to no impact on the look and feel of the bathroom but can have a massive impact on the functionality of the bathroom over the coming years.