Kate’s future-proofed bathroom ‘is a joy’
Kate wanted a bathroom that would adapt with her as her condition progressed, but wouldn’t feel like a hospital.
Kate's new future-proofed bathroom
Who lives here?
Kate who is best known for her work as a disability rights activist. Kate was diagnosed with Still’s disease, one type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 15 years, and despite the various joint replacements she has had over the past three decades, the nature of her condition means that she does not expect to walk into old age.
What was wrong with the old bathroom?
In her old home even the most basic of movements – such as sitting down and getting up from low seats – were accompanied by excessive joint pain. As Kate says, “most homes are not designed for folks who need a bit of height”.
What does it look like now?
Kate's new bathroom with wall-mounted toilet and hand basin with integrated hand grips.
Kate's new shower area with bi-folding shower doors, fold up shower seat and L-shaped shower riser/grab rail.
What changes did you make?
Kate wanted to create a space that was accessible, but wouldn’t turn her house into a clinical, hospital-like environment, and she has certainly achieved it.
“My toilet is set at a higher height than the average person’s, meaning it’s much less painful to sit down and get up from,” Kate explains.
The new accessible features around the home are not always immediately obvious. For example, the non-slip tiles are a refreshing alternative to the vinyl flooring found in many other accessible adaptations.
Fixtures such as the bi-folding shower doors and contemporary basin would be welcome in anyone’s bathroom, but both have been designed with future-proofing in mind. The bi-folding doors can be folded back to the wall, which will provide Kate with enough space to comfortably use a wheelchair in the future. The basin is wheelchair accessible and the taps are easy to use for people with poor dexterity. The towel rails double-up as hand grips for greater support when needed.
What difference has it made?
The impact of the changes has been outstanding, Kate enthuses:
“Being able to use my bathroom quickly and easily as well as safely is a joy. The thought that has been put into my access requirements means that I can continue to live my busy lifestyle in the city and not worry so much about needing the help of others. Future-proofing takes away the fear of tomorrow. It means I can nest and snuggle and enjoy every day without the niggling feeling that I’m not getting the best from life.”