AD | My Dream Accessible Bathroom

 AD | I was recently commissioned by Mobility Plus to give my thoughts on accessible bathroom design. They specialise in the installation of bathrooms that combine practicality and style for customers with mobility needs.

An image of an accessible bathroom. There is a large walk in shower with a fold down seat and grab handles. A toilet is also visible.

If I could only renovate one room of my home to make it more accessible, without a doubt it would be the bathroom. Accessible bathroom design might not sound like the most exciting topic to most, but like many disabled people, I dream of what my ideal accessible bathroom might look like. Currently, I use daily living aids and tools like a bath board to aid with showering and a toilet surround to help me get on and off the toilet. These aren't the most pretty looking things, like many disability aids they look like they've come straight out of a hospital. Sure, they get the job done, but my dream accessible bathroom would have accessibility features that blend right in.

For a long time I'd always imagined a wet room with only a shower, but my girlfriend loves baths and I would absolutely love to be able to get in and out a bath again. I've not had the strength and ability to have a bath since my spinal fusion surgery when I was 16, so to be able to buy a bath bomb again and lay back and relax would be amazing! A walk-in bath with support handles and non-slip surfaces would be perfect to suit both my needs and my girlfriends. I'd always thought that when we move in together we'd have to compromise, but now she doesn't need to give up her baths, and I can finally experience them again too!

An image of an accessible bathroom. There is a toilet and a large bath that is a walk-in bath, with a small door for access and grab handles.

Alongside this, having a walk-in shower with a permanent seat in it, and plenty of storage, would just complete my dream! Having to keep moving a shower seat or bath board in and out of the bathroom when it's not in use can be a real pain, and that's without even considering the need to store such items when you're not using them. So, having a built in or fold down seat, would mean anyone could use the shower at any time, without needing to consider these bulky extra items. For me, having an accessible bathroom not only means it's the best design for me, but that it's also a design that allows everyone else to use it with ease. 

So often as a disabled person I must sacrifice style for function, but I know that when me and my girlfriend move out together, that's not a sacrifice I want to make anymore. Accessibility can look good! I think mobility and daily living aids looking very medical often puts people off accessing the tools that will help them. I know for me I've fought against such aids that could help me because of that reason, so knowing that there are stylish options out there makes me more likely to invest in the everyday things that make my life easier. 

Whether you love a bath or a shower, need help with using the toilet or generally struggle with your mobility, there really are options out there for everyone. I can't wait for the day where all of my accessibility needs will be solved with permanent solutions in my home, rather than relying on medical looking temporary aids! 

What would your dream accessible bathroom look like?

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