When accessibility isn’t immediately required in a home, liveability – or better yet, adaptability –should be the ambition. Reinforced walls and large open spaces can make all the difference when it comes time to renovate for universal access.
When it comes to bathrooms, accessible and adaptable bathroom design might be easier to achieve than you imagine: it can start as simply as opting for lever taps and larger light switches.
Lever taps are much easier to operate for those with low or deteriorating strength in their hands and arms, and rocker light switches are much more user-friendly when they are large, visible, and accessible from 900–1100mm up from the finished floor.
Another simple way to maximise accessibility in an ordinary bathroom is to opt for a hobless shower – a selection many homeowners already lean toward for the sleek appearance.
Having a continuing flat surface between the bathroom space and the shower ensures a safe entry for those with mobility constraints, vision impairment or young children. It also allows effortless movement of wheelchairs, frames or shower seats in and out of the shower.
When designing an adaptable or liveable home, space should be a high priority from the beginning. Turning circles for wheelchairs vary in size but the minimum space recommended in Australia is 1550mm in front of bathroom basins or beside them.
To maximise accessibility, there are plenty of options already available in the Australian market.