Mobility can become more difficult as we age or become infirm. One area of the house that can present a formidable obstacle is our bathroom; from entering the door to bathing and brushing our teeth, activities we normally take for granted can become laborious chores. We asked Derek Rogers, Owner of Rosie on the House Certified Partner Aqua Therapy Tubs to lead us through the steps necessary to achieve an accessible bathroom.
Derek says the initial step is to identify activities that challenge you. Identifying these activities puts you in a good position to select a professional to guide you through the process. Mobility struggles are very personal by their nature.
Find Someone Who Will Listen To Your Needs!
A professional who will listen to you is key to achieving a bathroom that is customized to your specific needs. They should ask many questions to help determine the best solutions for you. Everyone has different circumstances to consider.
The conversation should begin with asking about you!
Questions like, what are your:
- Pain points | which motions cause you difficulty?
- Struggles | which tasks do you struggle with?
- Mobility challenges | do you need a wheelchair or walker? Do you have balance issues?
What Are Your Preferences
Likely, you will have preferences of what you want in your bathroom.
A trained aging-in-place professional will be able to tell you the pros and cons of your preferences and help you find the right products for a solution.
For instance, someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis can’t physically tolerate bath jets that are too strong. A good choice would be a jetted tub with adjustable air and water jets.
Another example is someone who uses a wheelchair. If a shower is preferred, entrance is a challenge, and a curbless entry would be a good solution. Tub bathing has its own set of challenges and may require mechanical lift.
Looking forward to future needs and preferences is also part of the process. An appropriate solution can be applied when the right questions are asked.
Connecting with a company that emphasizes design is a must. Someone professing a “one size fits all” product when addressing mobility issues will likely miss the mark. After listening to the client, Derek reminds us that choosing the fixtures and equipment needed to customize a solution is critical.
If you are using a wheelchair or a walker or are concerned about falling, accessibility is important to you. Statistically, the most common location of accidents in the home is your bathroom. So, this is an appropriate concern!
If you prefer a shower, Derek tells us that zero-entry showers are very popular. A walker and a wheelchair can be used in a zero-entry shower, as there is no curb or other barrier to the shower floor. If an attendant is needed to assist, then the floor area of the shower will be larger.
A walk-in tub has many benefits. With a barrier-free sidewall design, the bather can conveniently open the U-shaped aluminum door and slide into the bathtub. Strategically positioned air and hydro jets allow for relaxation.
These are a common bathroom aid to help in fall prevention. A designer will discuss your preferences. Based on what will work best for you, bars are installed horizontally, vertically, or angled. There are lots of choices in grab bars; they come in many styles and finishes. Your bathroom can be beautiful and safer with the right placement!
Vanity and sink
The design of your vanity and sink are important as well. Your needs determine the height and depth of the vanity area. A wheelchair user needs an entirely different configuration than someone with a walker. The right choices will make sink access easy!
Your mobility constraints also determine the toilet height and location. Grab bar configuration and floor space surrounding the toilet needs to be correctly set for your specific needs. Many hands-free options in toilets are available that make independence and cleanliness easier.
Design standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to commercial and other public spaces but not to your home. Because of that, you can customize your bathroom to fit your specific needs.
Construction should always be by a licensed, bonded, and insured General Contractor, such as Aqua Therapy Tubs. Derek reminds us that electricians and plumbers also need to be licensed.
We asked Derek about the zero-entry solution for showers and how they solve the water drainage problem.
- For concrete floors, the concrete is removed. The concrete is re-poured to accommodate the floor slope to the drain.
- For wood frame or post-tensioned slab floors, a slope needs to be added. Sloping can be accomplished by using preformed shower pans, removing the subfloor in frame applications, or ramping the floor tile over a wide area to create positive water flow to a drain.
Help For Veterans
Construction costs are always a concern, specifically when a fixed income plays into the equation. If you are a disabled veteran, the VA has a HISA (Home Improvement and Structural Alterations) grant that will pay up to $6,800 toward the cost of constructing the accommodations necessary around your home, including the bathroom. Aqua Therapy Tubs developed a unique system that allows them to apply for this grant on your behalf virtually. Derek developed this during the COVID lockdown as a method of no physical contact application, allowing the construction to move forward and protect the client simultaneously.
If you are looking to modify a bathroom for accessibility changes in your home, Aqua Therapy Tubs is the right place! They provide a wide range of products for bathtubs and showers for residential spaces. Choose from
- Walk In Tubs
- Hydrotherapy Personal Spas
- Low Threshold and Zero Barrier Showers
Featuring grab bars, non-slip surfaces, handheld sprayers, and other customizations, these units make for a beautiful and efficient additions to your home. Each product line includes a range of features to meet your needs.
CONTENT PARTNER | Aqua Therapy Tubs
Owner of Aqua Therapy Tubs, Derek Rogers, has focused on helping people with mobility issues in their bathrooms for over a decade. His interest and passion began when he helped his WWII Veteran Grandfather bathe and noted how he could make the process easier with some improvements. His desire to make things easier for his grandfather became his passion and the foundation for his business.
Mobility can become more difficult as we age. A formidable obstacle in the home is our bathroom where most accidents happen from slipping and falling. Derek Rogers, Owner of Rosie on the House Certified Aqua Therapy Tubs, discusses the necessary steps to achieve an accessible bathroom. Plus how he got started in his business and his passion for helping Military Veterans.
- Aqua Therapy Tubs