Designing a Bathroom for Handicapped Family and Residents

ADA Bathroom

Everything you may want to consider when designing the easiest to use the bathroom:

Living with a disability, whether it is brought on by age or not can make even everyday happenings difficult. Using the bathroom in your own home should be as easy as possible, no matter the disability. Here are a few things you may want to consider when designing an easy to use the bathroom.

Non-slip Everywhere

Non-slip mats are incredibly useful for making the bathroom a safe place to be, especially for the elderly. Having a nasty fall can be even more damaging and traumatic for someone whos already frailer. 

Non-slip mats should be placed in several places in the bathroom, mostly places where water is likely to end up: In the shower, just outside the shower, in front of the sink and in front of the toilet. 

By keeping mats in these places you can drastically minimize the chance of falling in a bathroom for handicapped people.

Showers, not Baths

It may be an expensive change, but making sure you have a shower, not baths, can make use of the bathroom so much easier for someone who may otherwise struggle to get in and out of the tub. Bath and shower combos are just as bad. 

Showers with minimal to step in makes getting in and out of the shower so much easier for someone handicapped, it also means they would be more likely to get in and out on their own without the need for assistance from someone else. 

The shower should also be seated, with handles, for maximum ease of use. They may perhaps still need help getting in and out of the shower, but at least this way they would be able to wash by themselves. 


There should be handles spread strategically throughout the bathroom for ease of use. The best places are typically where there would not normally be something else to hold onto. 

For example, the sink would not need handles because the counter can be held on to. But inside the shower, outside the shower and next to the toilet are good places to put them. 

Bathroom Appliance Heights

This can depend on the person who will be using the bathroom. If they are wheelchair-bound, a lower sink and toilet may make things easier for them. 

However, if it’s for a frail elderly person a higher sink and toilet might make things easier as its less of a way down for them and easier to pull themselves up only a short way using the handrail.

Pull Alarms

Pull alarms are super important for someone who will be left unattended and is a bit of fall risk. The best places are just outside the shower and next to the toilet, as these are the two most likely places for a fall to occur.