The bathroom is one of the most critical spaces in your home, and it’s easy to overlook the accessibility angle of your bathroom. Perhaps you are living with a disability yourself and want to make sure that your bathroom space is something that is accessible and easy for you to use. Or it could be that you have a family member, or regular visitor, who needs the extra assistance. You want to create a welcoming, accessible space for them, particularly in the bathroom.
The best thing about bathroom renovations for those with restricted mobility is that they need not be complicated, nor expensive. There are many small, simple bathroom renovations that can be completed and partially or completely paid for under the NDIS – or National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is run by the Australian Government and offers funding for individuals with permanent disabilities to make reasonable modifications to their living spaces. With the NDIS, Australians can be eligible for up to $30,000 in reimbursements for costs to modify their homes to suit their disability needs. $30,000 is a lot of money to make some minor changes to one’s bathroom that can make a huge difference in one’s life.
Here are some small changes you can make to your bathroom space that will make the world of difference.
These bars are often installed inside bathtubs or showers. Hand rails make it much easier for persons with restricted mobility to hold onto things like walls and countertops as they manoeuvre around in the space. Depending on the type, hand rails can range from $30.00-$100, with the typical hand rail costing roughly $50.00.
One of the oft-missed items when considering modifications for those with disabilities is the taps in the bathroom. Particularly those in the showers. If you or someone you know may struggle with turning taps, consider installing a lever in the shower to turn the water on and off, combine the on/off with changing the temperature to kill two birds with one proverbial stone.
Another option for you to consider while we’re on the subject of showers is the presence of a shower chair or bench. This will allow those who have lower-limb issues not to have to stand for long periods of time. You can combine this with an adjustable, free-floating shower head to ensure that nobody has to reach up to adjust a fixed showerhead.
One of the challenges facing individuals who use a wheelchair (either part-time or full-time) is the location of many sinks and toilets. Sometimes, they’ll find that sinks are too high and toilet seats are too low or too high, making it very difficult for the individual to get themselves from their wheelchair to the toilet seat.
One fix for this is to lower or raise your toilet itself when you have it installed, to ensure that it is going to work with most wheelchair heights. Similarly, your sink can be affixed to the wall at a certain height to ensure that it is going to work with most wheelchairs.
No matter what challenges you or your loved ones or guests face in their lives, your bathroom should not be one of them. The NDIA and NDIS are there to help you and your family and friends live as full a life as possible in any space, and work hand-in-hand with healthcare professionals to ensure that your needs are met, no matter where you are. Check with your local provider or the team at Crystal Bathrooms to see what modification entitlements are available to you.