Bathrooms for older people should be ample in size and planned for safety, Many of the elderly need assistance in the bathroom, so the room should be large enough to permit one person to help another. For a person in a wheelchair, the bathroom should be large enough that he can maneuver the chair, and the doorway must be 3 ft wide.
The location of the bathroom in relation to the bedroom, as well as other rooms of the house, must be given special consideration. If possible, one should be able to get into the bath room without having to go around furniture or through other rooms.
A minimum area of 35 to 40 sq ft is acceptable but, because of the possibility that crutches or wheelchairs may need to be accommodated, 50 to 60 sq ft is often recommended,
Bathrooms without windows are acceptable and have some advantages for the older personVentilation is easily controlled by a switch. In a bathroom with an outside wall and window, avoid—if possible placing the bathtub under the window, because it is difficult to open the window and to clean and curtain it. But if that is the only possible location, then select a crank-type window.
A lavatory installed at a height of 33 in. is more comfortable to use than one installed at the customary 31-in. height. For a person in a wheelchair, however. the314n, height is betler. Lavatories should be well-supported, to hold a person's weight.
The shower and tub faucets should be placed so that a person can reach them easily both before and after stepping into the tub. Showers should have mixing controls, preferably thermostatic, and it would be well to have a testing spout where the mixture of hot and cold water could be tested for showers end tub baths. Design shower stalls without curbs, using a sliding door or other firmly installed and safe closure, and a seat, either built-in or removable, is desirable for both tub and shower. The lub should have a low side and flat, non-slip bottom.
The toilet should be placed next to the tub (if a lub is used) so it can be used as a seat when fill ing the tub or simply for resting, and qrab bars should be provided at the toilet and tub or shower.
All grab bars and hand holds should be of noncorrosive material, % to 1 in, in diameter, and mounted to withstand a pull of at least 500 lb.
Towel racks and rods should also be strong and securely mounted because older people sometimes use them as grab bars to steady themselves. Glass towel rods should not be used.
Medicine cabinets should be extra large and preferably recessed. Projecting accessories should be avoided whenever possible. It should be possible to unlock the door from the outside in an emergency.
Figures 6 and 7 are suggested arrangements for bathrooms with tubs and shower stalls.The
Fig, 6 Bathrooms with tubs.
star indicates where space has been provided tor a helper.
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