Bathrooms can pose significant challenges to people with mobility issues. One of the most common problems these individuals experience is difficulty getting in and out of the bathtub. To make bathrooms accessible for everyone, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) encourages buildings to be fitted with ADA-compliant tubs.
Installing an ADA-compliant tub could be a significant step in your long-term care facility. If you are looking for more details about these bathing systems, this article will try to answer your questions. But first, let’s get into the meaning and features of ADA-compliant structures.
What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, government services, public accommodations, and telecommunications in the U.S. It is commonly known for requiring organizations to build reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals.
Buildings and public places should include special facilities, such as wheelchair ramps, handicapped parking spaces, and accessible bathrooms. Currently, many facilities are making alterations to their interior designs to meet ADA requirements, including bathtubs and showers.
Features of ADA Compliant Buildings
With about 61 million Americans living with disabilities, it is crucial to be considerate when designing a new facility or renovating an old one. Here are some features to include in any ADA-compliant building:
Accessible Doorways, Entrances, and Hallways
Every building that is open to members of the public should be completely accessible, no matter how small. Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide, with a 5-foot minimum clear opening. They should also have a power door opener to make it easy for those with disabilities to enter and exit.
The safety of those using a staircase should be a primary concern. Stair treads prevent tripping or falling and ensure easier movement from one step to another. The ADA provides the right width and traction requirements for stair treads in buildings.
Handrails and Guards
Handrails are a safety feature found on most stairways in both commercial and residential buildings. Stair guards provide a physical barrier between high places, like rooftops or balconies, and lower levels, like ground-level patios. These two features protect those with limited mobility from falling downstairs.
What is an ADA-Compliant Tub?
An ADA-compliant tub meets or exceeds standards set by Section 4.20 of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines. This part outlines features that make a bathtub safe and easy to use for older adults and people with disabilities. If you’re planning to remodel the bathrooms of your long-term care facility, it’s worth consulting an expert who knows how to install ADA-compliant structures.
The Structure of an ADA Compliant Walk-In Tub
A tub that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has the following features:
An ADA-compliant bath offers enough room for a person with limited mobility to enter and exit easily. Clear floor space should be at least 30 inches wide, and 60 inches long for tubs with seats.
An ideal lavatory should allow someone with a disability to sit in it comfortably. Tub seats should be strong and have stable handholds on each side for effortless climbing.
Grab Bars or Rails
The ADA recommends that you fit tubs in a long-term care facility with grab bars and rails to enhance balance among bathroom users. These structures also simplify getting in and out of a bathtub. ADA guidelines provide regulations on how you should install grab bars and rails.
Whether you plan to install a handheld or fixed shower head, the ADA recommends that you make the hose at least 60 inches long. Your shower units should also be strategically installed away from grab bars and rails.
If you plan to put enclosures in tubs, they should not affect controls, shower units, or faucets. They should also not make it hard for someone to move from a wheelchair to the bathtub seat.
What Happens When Someone Needs Assistance Bathing?
ADA-compliant tubs are important to ensure the safety of disabled users when they are bathing alone. But what happens when someone cannot wash properly due to illness or disability, even with a standard ADA-compliant tub?
Bathing systems that are meant to have the help of a caregiver are the solution for facilities that offer long-term care. With safety, infection control, and transfer features built-in, Apollo Bath bathing systems are a solution when a regular ADA-compliant tub is not enough.
What Makes Apollo Bath Bathing Systems Safe?
As one of the leading manufacturers of bathing systems, Apollo Bath offers user-friendly and safe equipment for both bathers and caregivers. Our systems comply with all local and state building regulations. Some state-of-the-art features that our baths provide include:
Our bathtubs offer caregivers a seamless experience while attending to bathers. Essence™ Spa features easy-to-access controls that allow bathers to regulate tub conditions without straining their backs. These temperature controls also help prevent dangerous scalding and effortlessly maintain a comfortable water temperature for bathers.
For any long-term care facility, infection control is a priority. Apollo Bath bathing systems take care of the risk of spreading impurities through the germicidal ultraviolet light water purification system. This FDA-recognized technique can help control the spread of UTIs and respiratory infections by 50 and 35 percent, respectively.
Non-Lift Transfer Systems
Among the biggest dangers bathers with disabilities face is the risk of falling. Apollo Bath’s Advantage™ soaking tub offers a low step-over height that allows senior adults and people with limited mobility to move in and out of the lavatory safely. This, combined with the Level Glide™ Transfer System, reduces the chances of injuries for both users and caregivers.
Get the Latest in ADA Compliant Bathroom Design
Finding a tub that is ADA-compliant while also serving your aesthetic preference can be tricky. The Apollo Bath line of systems reveals a clean, sophisticated style with beveled edges and curved bases that make it contemporary and functional.
As leaders in the industry, we complete extensive independent testing on all our products before offering them to you. Our tubs are safe and ideal for bathing with built-in infection control in long-term care facilities. Contact us today if you have more questions about our line of products and to talk with a sales professional about installing an Apollo Bath bathing system today.