Is Your Bathroom Ready To Accommodate A Physical Recovery? – Showerbuddy

Is Your Bathroom Ready To Accommodate A Physical Recovery?

Is Your Bathroom Ready To Accommodate A Physical Recovery?

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The early stages of a serious injury are usually spent in a hospital or similar care facility where the equipment and staff available are designed to provide the best possible care. But when that individual is moving home to start the road towards physical recovery, it’s important to make sure the bathroom is ready to accommodate.
In this article we look at some of the key features of a bathroom that’s ready to host daily activities for someone with significantly reduced movement.

Open space for carer support

While a carer can work within modest sized bathrooms, there does need to be some clear space for the mobility impaired person, the carer and any assistive equipment that may be needed. Clear space may be increased by removing non-essential items off the ground such as scales, free standing towel racks and clothing hampers.


Dimly lit bathrooms can be a real hazard, especially if the mobility impaired individual has reduced motion of the neck and head or affected eyesight. By replacing dim lighting with modern bulbs with complete room coverage, bathing and toileting can be carried out with a greater degree of accuracy. Any change of lighting wiring or sockets should be done by a qualified electrician.

A way to move into the shower or onto toilet

How will the injured user get onto the toilet or across the edge of the bathtub or shower unit? This will need to be assessed by a qualified occupational therapist. The equipment for these transfers varies. While we’d suggest a full shower mobility system, it may be that the solution of a hoist or lift is opted for. Any solution should remove strain off the individual and their carer, and allow for safe, slip-free weight shifting onto the toilet and into the shower or bathtub.

Safe bathing area

Is the bathing area safe? Safety means full, uninterrupted 360 space around the user in their bathing position, free of any hazards from above or below. The shower or bathtub should have bottles, dishes and toys removed that could interrupt the transfer or bathing of the individual requiring mobility assistance.


A safe bathing area is also one that prevents accidental tap knocks and dangerously hot temperatures. If required, you may wish to have the maximum temperature adjusted to a safe level by a plumber.

Slip hazard removal

The bathroom is one of the most common areas of the houses where slips happen – no matter the current level of mobility. It can be from errant basin or shower water that’s splashed onto tiles or lino. Or a bath mat that’s not gripping to the floor can also create trips and slips causing the risk of reinjury. Remove slip hazards and keep the floor dry at all times. If there are bath mats and clothing on the floor, ensure that the new normal is a clear bathroom.


Anti-slip mats may be recommended by the occupational therapist. These can be placed in the shower or the bathroom floor itself to add traction to footing.

Choosing the best bathroom for physical rehabilitation

If you’re dealing with a home that has multiple bathrooms, a home assessment from a qualified health professional will help to decide which of these is best catered for a physical rehab outpatient. Things that may be considered include:
  • The size of the bathroom.
  • The compatibility of the shower/tub with assistive equipment.
  • The proximity to the bedroom or living areas for quick toilet access.
  • The quality of the fixtures for daily use with a carer (e.g. a functional, removable shower head).

Criteria is going to depend on the home, the OT’s assessment and of course the specific needs of the individual going through physical rehabilitation. Always speak to your health providers, doctors and therapists for more information.

Further reading on the topic

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, you can find useful information via the following resources:

The information in this article is intended as general information only and is not a replacement for official health guidance by your local medical providers. Please always consult an occupational therapist and/or local healthcare for more specific guidance.