Bathroom Remodel

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BlsdMama

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I am over the top anxious. I'll preface that with the fact that I overthink EVERY thing. Friends, who are contractors, are remodeling our bathroom. I trust them implicitly. I just don't trust myself to know or recognize what I need. I've been "behind" in planning all along because I don't love dwelling on the inevitable future. Can ya'all give me thoughts?

I have a *very* slow progression so I'll use this bathroom for a while. DH says, "Let's just take the space from the main bath and give it to the Master." Currently our master bath is little and the little works FOR me. I can still get into the bathroom, get myself to the potty, and I have a grip bar that is directly in front of me that I use to pull myself to my feet. (My legs are mostly affected right now, but the right arm is beginning to really go. I'm left handed.) I fear robbing the main and because i have the grip to my left, not being able to get up. Rationally, I realize this time is coming, but I'm resistant to hurrying it along.

The plumber comes today to make his plans. Wanna take a look at this and say, "Hey, looks great," or "Consider this..."


masterbath.JPG


Zero entry - everything tile. Toilet is regular with the addition of the Swash 1000 bidet seat and a plug in for it behind. The sink is ADA accessible with cabinets to the side instead of under. Shower head will be a slider - no doors on the shower obviously.

Do I want a toilevator? My understanding is toilet + toilevator + Swash is that it will be too tall for the eventual shower/toilet chair? Feeling anxious. It's our biggest (and most expensive) undertaking so far and I am worried about making mistakes or not thinking it through enough. Thanks all!
 

MToole

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I think the best thing to do is figure out what your routine will be through the various stages of progression.
My arms went 1st. When our bathroom was done I did not need grab bars because I could not use them.
I'm guessing that is a roll in shower basin.
With my legs, I was still able to walk for a little bit after I lost the ability to get up from a toilet or low chair
sounds like your plan is to use a shower chair for showering and toileting.
Our bathroom is small so we went with a ceiling lift.
 

jonico

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Hi there,

I can't get my mind around your specific challenges and the diagrams you posted. I will just encourage you to check out the post 'adapting a bathroom' in the 'tips, tricks, and gadgets' sub-forum, for some great insight. We did a bathroom remodel very similar to Jrzrygrl's post, which was the second one. It worked extremely well for all we encountered during our ALS journey.

Wishing you all the best! Jon
 

BlsdMama

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Thanks all for the input. Spent some time looking through old posts - very helpful.

Fold down grab bars - I'm definitely putting one to the side of the toilet. Is two fold up bars preferable to one fold up and one fixed? Thoughts? Currently legs are most affected but I can use the grab bar in front of me (the not yet remodeled and smaller bathroom) to pull myself forward and up. However, arms are slightly impacted currently and, with the remodel, there will be no grab bar in front of me within reach.

Also, I don't understand the purpose of the grab bar behind the toilet?
 

bassy77

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I think the plan looks good. We built a house for my mom last year. She was still living on her own until she moved into this new house and immediately needed help (she probably needed help previously, but we (kids) weren't around to tell her to get help. At any rate, she moved in back in July. WE had a very similar bathroom layout. Just swapping the toilet and sink.

A couple things we did that were very helpful.
1. The sink has wide sides, so she is able to keep a lot on it and within arms reach.
commercial link removed
2. We added a hand shower on a bar with its own valve along the long wall of the shower, so she can sit in the chair and use the handshower for everything as well as control the water on her own. Definitely worth the extra cost.
3. It looks like you have enough turning radius, but note that the typical 5' dia. is really minimum espicially with a powerchair. They take up a lot of space, but looks like you've maxed it out which is good.

We splurged for the Toto bidet seat. She used it for about 2 mos and then a had a fall. She broke a toe and that was the end of her walking. She and her helpers have found it easier to just transfer to the commode chair now rather than transferring to the toilet. Soon they'll be transferring her via a lift and maybe at that point it will make sense to use the toilet again, but not sure.

Good luck
 

[email protected]

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Grab bar behind toilet might theoretically be useful for a male who's still standing to pee (as I was till a year or so ago), tho I think it would be too far away to be useful--I recall using bars on the side and fold down bar to steady myself. When they built our bathroom to VA specs they installed bars everywhere they could, I assume a recommendation of the VA overseers. I've never regretted having them.

Ed
 

richdees23

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good morning. i understand the anxiety you're feeling and as far as overthinking everything...that's a positive in this situation!
i'm in the middle of a remodel now (check out 'adapting a bathroom') and this forum is a huge help. i'm discovering the more
issues you resolve, the more likely you are to find new ones. haha. i'm a visual person so searching for pics of remodeled bathrooms online helped me alot, i.e. pinterest. a big challenge is predicting the how your habits and actions will change in the future. it seems you and i are basically following a similar path (legs and arms-first and slow). i'm setting up mine to accomodate me and the freedom i still have now (grab bars, tall toilet w/bidet), but keeping in mind i'll be in a chair requiring help in the future (wall mount sink, roll in shower). measure everything...and measure it again. doorways, wheelchairs, toilets. there are diagrams and references here and online that can guide you.
good luck!
oh, have fun with it. get yourself something you normally wouldn't (heatlamp in the shower, mirror w/radio) or choose a color palette or tile you fell in love with, not the beige one.
good luck!
8D
 

Ed340hp

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Fold down grab bars, on both sides of the toilet at an equal height (what I have), are better than mixed with a short wall bar on one side, unless the wall bar extends further in front of the toilet to assist the transfer, and for sitting down sideways (what I could use sometimes). Make the wall bars as long as the wall allows (extend the wall bar next to the toilet back to near the wall behind the toilet). Turning to transfer shifts your weight center, front to back and side to side, and the extra few inches of grab bar may not be needed today but it comes in real handy when your body freezes up and the extra wide support positions provide assurance.

ADA hotel bar height is 35 inches, a compromise to fit the average person. You can set the bar height to match what works best for you, and for your height and arm/hip length and height. Test chairs with arms to find the arm/bar height that is most comfortable for you to stand and sit, and to stand and lock your knees with a comfortable bend at the waist, while keeping palm support on the arm/bar without locking your elbows. The bar height is the same with, or wthout, a toilevator. Plan for the bidet seat (I have the Toto C100 with the attached fixed control panel). A toilevator can be added or removed as needed (do what works best for you).

You should be able to gain entry width with a pocket door that slides into the small guest bath wall. Install the widest entry door possible, using up the wall space next to the sink for the door. The sink needs counter area on one or both sides, because you may not be able to reach a towel on a rack or shelf as weakness progresses.

Full length wall bars in the shower, and if the shower is a roll-in with a curtain (no door) extend the window wall bar outside the shower. Wall bars are not just for you, they are used by the caregiver for their support while they help you transfer. You can also tie or strap a shower chair to a wall bar to make the chair more stable (making the difference between a confident transfer and a no-go transfer).

Two shower valves and heads are better, one fixed above and one wand style shower head. if the budget allows, but you can get by with one wand style shower head. As hand strength weakens you will not be able to hold a wand, but the caregiver needs the wand style to rinse down the shower stall, bars and floor to float away soap before drying everything to prevent either one of you from slipping when transferring off the shower seat.

I trust this may help you and your contractor.
 
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