Considerations when Designing the Functional Bathroom

Considerations when Designing the Functional Bathroom

Independence in the bathroom can have a major influence on quality of life for the disabled. Bathrooms can be difficult to navigate, with fixtures too high or too low, floors that can get wet and slippery, and limited space for maneuvering.

At Patient Safety USA we are proud to be distributors of Pressalit Care bathroom solutions which can help you design an optimized bathroom experience for your patients and caretakers. Pressalit brings state-of-the art approaches to bathroom design. In determining the ultimate bathroom design, it is essential to consider the space available, the space requirements of the users, and the layout that will best serve the intended use.

Pressalit Care’s bathroom systems are designed to maximize flexibility, allowing for adjustments in products and accessories used over time. Our rail systems allow for both horizontal and vertical adjustment of products within the bathroom. This can allow the room to be adjusted either for use by different patients with varied needs or for use by the same patient with changing abilities over time.

Considerations for the Patient User

When designing an optimized bathroom experience, we start with the needs of the user. Items to consider are:

  • What is the age and size of the patient?
  • Does the user need to be sitting, standing or lying down?
  • What, if any, mobility aids (wheelchair, walker, cane, etc.) does the user need? How big are they?
  • Is the user’s impaired mobility the result of an accident, illness, or age?
  • Is the user’s mobility stable or expected to improve or deteriorate over time?
  • How self-reliant is the user, particularly in relation to toileting, using the wash basin, and bathing?
  • Is the user fully rehabilitated?
  • Is the user right or left-handed?
  • How can the flexibility of the products best improve the user’s independence?

Considerations for the caretaker

In addition to the user, we must also take into consideration as much as possible the safety, maneuverability and comfort of the care taker(s). Items to think about are:

  • How many caretakers will need to be in the room at a time?
  • Is there adequate space for both user and caretaker?
  • Are there rules or legislations to be considered in determining the space and working conditions for the caretaker?
  • What mobility aids and transfer methods will be used by the caretaker with the patient?
  • What patterns of movement will need to take place in each area of the room?
  • Is the caretaker right or left-handed?
  • How can the flexibility of the products best be used to improve the working conditions for the caretaker?

Space and structural considerations

In designing the best possible bathroom, there are often items that can’t be changed, such as the size or shape of the bathroom space. Other considerations about the room itself that should be factored into the design planning process are:

  • Is the room being designed for use by one patient or multiple patients?
  • Is the building a private home, institution, hotel or other type of property?
  • Is space required for portable mobility aids, a ceiling or mobile lift, etc.?
  • Is it necessary for a caretaker to assist with transfers in the room or is the user independent?
  • Does the space in the room adhere to legal regulations for bathrooms for people with mobility impairments?
  • What are the special and constructional constraints such as size, shape, pipes, pillars, etc.?
  • How are the bathroom and bedroom set up in relation to one another, can you maximize ease of mobility between them?
  • Is the bathroom set up with respect for the patient and caretaker’s dignity and integrity?

All of these varied user, caretaker, and structural questions should be answered at the start of any mobility enhanced bathroom project.

Patient Safety has a depth of expertise and knowledge and a strong partnership with Pressalit Care and can help you outfit your home or health care facility with bathrooms to better serve your patients or residents. Reach out to us today for additional information.

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