Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting Just What I Asked For...

You know that age old saying about be careful what you ask for...because you just might get it. I have been talking about building an accessible bathroom for Ben for a few years. Finally, it looks like it will happen. And now I am saying, ugh! It is a lot of work to make decisions that will have an impact now and for the future.

Currently, we have a 6'x8' bathroom with little to no room to maneuver. As Ben has grown taller and heavier, it has become increasingly hard for me to lift him onto his special toilet seat and get him in and out of the bathtub safely. We knew something would have to change, but we were unsure how it would. Then, our state implemented a program that provides services and support for individuals like Ben. I heard that we would be eligible for financial assistance to modify a bathroom, but I truly did not believe it would ever happen. Alas, it has!

In the past two weeks, I have met with two state-approved contractors. I gave them the big picture - my vision for a bathroom and then they asked the detailed questions that I was sorely unprepared to answer. In addition to the bathroom, we are adding an outside entrance with a ramp that will go out to the street.  Tub or walk-in shower? Sink for wheelchairs? Low or high camode? Aluminum ramp or wooden one? What should the slope specification be? Wooden, metal or fiberglass door?

Unfortunately, Ryan is up to his eyeballs in junior year electrical engineering courses and his help in this is minimal. Since he is the one with over 20 years construction experience, I am feeling overwhelmed and under educated. I know I will be an expert on accessible bathrooms after this is over, and it will be valuable knowledge I can share with others. Right now, it just makes my brain hurt.

If you have gone through an accessible bathroom modification and willing to share your information, websites, photos, please send them my way. I will certainly share what I learn along the way.

Here are some sites I found:

Accessible Bathroom Sinks

Wood Ramp Design

Walk-In Tubs

There are also numerous YouTube Videos about accessible bathrooms.

ADA Regulations - This is a super document created by a company that sells bathroom equipment. Most everything is outlined for sinks, toilets and tubs or showers.

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