Bathroom remodeling for ALS: What you need to know to cover the essentials
After a diagnosis of ALS, you’re in shock. It’s completely understandable, as everyone is. But, a second shock will come as you and your family begin to consider the weight of caregiving in a home that was not built for someone who has accessibility needs.
Bathroom remodeling for ALS
Bathroom remodeling for ALS can be broken down into a few essentials. Every one is focused on accessibility, maneuvering in the bathroom, and safety for both the person with ALS and their family (or caregivers).
At DeVol Design.Build.Remodel, LLC, we are the region’s most experienced remodeling company that works with ALS patients and their families to create a personalized plan that addresses their specific needs and challenges in the bathroom.
What type of bathroom remodeling is best for people with ALS?
Bathroom remodeling for people with ALS should prioritize accessibility, safety, and ease of use. Important modifications could include installing accessible showers and tubs that allow for easy entry and exit, grab bars, raised toilets or wider doorways. Here are some essential features that should be included in the remodel:
1. Roll-in shower
ALS patients may have difficulty lifting their legs over the edge of a traditional bathtub or shower. Installing a roll-in shower with no threshold can provide easier access and reduce the risk of falls.
2. Grab bars
Adding grab bars to the shower are and in the rights spots in the bathroom can provide extra support and stability for those with weakening muscles.
3. Non-slip flooring
To prevent slips and falls, it’s important to use non-slip flooring in the bathroom. We recommend textured tiles or a coating applied to the floor. There are other options, but not as safe.
4. Handheld showerhead
A handheld showerhead can make it easier for someone with ALS to wash themselves while sitting down. It also provides more control and flexibility for directing water where it’s needed. Later, it will be very helpful for caregivers.
5. Roll-under sink
A roll-under sink can accommodate different users and make it easier for someone with ALS to wash their hands or brush their teeth while sitting down.
6. Raised toilets
Having a toilet that is higher will be a real help to someone who has to have assistance transferring to the toilet from a wheelchair. Combined with grab bars, this makes is so much more safe.
7. Wider doorways
Widening doorways in the bathroom make it easier to get a walker, wheelchair or powerchair into the bathroom.
8. Larger open space in bathroom
Enlarging the open space in the bathroom makes it so a walker, wheelchair or other assistance can be used and can accommodate a caregiver. Essentially, it is about being able to maneuver (turning radius) inside the bathroom space.
9. Easy-to-reach cabinets and storage
It’s important to make sure that cabinets and storage are easy to reach and use for everyone. ALS patients and caregivers, alike.
10. Touchless faucets
Touchless faucets and toilets can be helpful for ALS patients who may have difficulty with fine motor skills and coordination.
A bidet can make toileting so much easier for everyone. It is good personal care for anyone, but especially for patients and caregivers.
Together, these accessibility features in a bathroom will help you and your family be more safe and make the bathroom space easier to use.
How can a bathroom remodeling project improve the safety and comfort of someone with ALS?
A bathroom remodeling project can greatly improve the safety and comfort of someone with ALS. This is accomplished by:
- Increasing personal safety (for the person and caregivers)
- Making the facilities easier to use for everyone
- Introducing solutions for common problems that people experience
It should be noted that not all remodeling companies have the experience of working with ALS patients or even accessible remodeling. At DeVol Design.Build.Remodel, LLC we’ve built a reputation for accessible remodeling, specifically for families affected by ALS.
Do your homework.
What are the benefits of a bathroom remodel for someone with ALS?
A bathroom remodel can provide numerous benefits for someone with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
One of the primary benefits is increased accessibility and safety. ALS patients often experience muscle weakness, which can make it difficult to use a traditional bathroom. A remodel can include the installation of accessibility features to provide support and assistance while using the bathroom.
Additionally, a bathroom remodel can improve the overall quality of life for someone with ALS. With a more functional and accessible bathroom, patients can maintain their independence and privacy, reducing the need for assistance from caregivers.
The remodel can also create a more pleasant and comfortable environment, which can positively impact the patient’s mental and emotional well-being.
Are there any potential risks associated with bathroom remodels for people with ALS?
Yes, there can be potential risks associated with bathroom remodels for people with ALS. As mentioned earlier, ALS affects the motor neurons responsible for muscle movement. This can result in muscle weakness, difficulty with mobility, and reduced coordination
This can make certain bathroom features and fixtures hazardous.
For example, if a bathroom remodel does not take into account the challenges faced by ALS patients, it can lead to a higher risk of falls, slips, and other accidents. Additionally, installing bathroom features that require excessive bending, reaching, or stretching can put extra strain on the muscles of an ALS patient, making it difficult for them to use the bathroom safely and comfortably.
To minimize this, only hire a contractor who is very experienced in remodeling for ALS patients! This cannot be stressed enough.
If a remodel is not done by someone experienced, then the risk to the person, their family and caregivers increases. Don’t do it.
How do you ensure that the bathroom remodel is tailored to the specific needs of someone with ALS?
At DeVol Design.Build.Remodel, LLC we accomplish this in two ways:
- We pool our experience and knowledge of working with ALS patients, and
- We interview the family (not just the patient) to ensure any solutions we propose meet their needs.
Everything we do for ALS patients is based on research, knowledge and experience. It is as custom as it can be made for everyone’s safety and comfort.
Bathroom remodels are expensive
Renovations & modifications for ALS is expensive, as is any kind of home remodeling. In the case of accessibility renovations for someone with a debilitating disease, it can be daunting. However, there are a few ways that folks typically pay for this remodeling:
- Private pay
- A grant
- Medicaid or other public funds
- The Veteran’s Association
There are resources and people available for families. Speak with trusted professionals, the ALS Association and other families to discover how you can create the right space for your family member with ALS.
ALS Association of Central & Southern Ohio Chapter
If you haven’t contacted the ALS Association of Central & Southern Ohio Chapter, you should do that now.
1170 Old Henderson Rd, Ste 221, Columbus, OH, United States, 43220
DeVol Design.Build.Remodel, LLC is a partner with the ALS Association of Central & Southern Ohio Chapter. We help many families every year with their home remodeling for ALS needs. We also work very closely with the ALS Association to ensure these families have the information and assistance they need, as well as raise funds to fund ALS research.