How Can I Make My Bedroom More Accessible?
Author: Nicholas Sutedja Date Posted:4 December 2023
Your bedroom is a private haven where you can rest and sometimes spend some quality time alone. With this in mind, it’s important to design a bedroom that’s exceptionally accessible so so that you can maintain your independence and eliminate the risks of getting in and out of bed at night.
This article shares five tips for making your bedroom safer, more comfortable and accessible so that you can get some quality rest and relaxation.
#1. Expand the doorway
The doorway to your bedroom should be clear of obstructions, and there should be a continuous path of travel through the door. Realistically, the doorway should be 850mm wide (or more) when the door is open to accommodate a wheelchair if you’re using one.
We recommend designing the doorway slightly wider if you use a manual wheelchair — you’ll need space for your hands to continue moving the wheels as you travel without bumping them on the doorframe.
While on the subject of doors, opt for lever handles for ease of use and ensure they are between 990mm and 1100mm off the floor. Alternatively, consider self-opening and closing doors — but ensure there’s enough time to get where you need to be safely!
#2. Consider furniture placement
As per Australian Standards, a wheelchair needs at least 2070mm to complete a full 180° turn, so it’s important to consider where the furniture will be placed, like the bed, dressers and nightstands.
Opt for wall-mounted lighting over floor lamps and in-built wardrobes over dressers to maximise floor space, and always keep the floor clear of clutter, like clothing and accessories, to eliminate hazards and roadblocks.
#3. Opt for a lower, adjustable bed
To make getting in and out of bed easier, we recommend opting for a lower bed — 17 to 23 inches tall is a good guideline for wheelchair users, although there is a range of beds on the market that can go lower.
Alternatively, you might choose an adjustable bed that can be lowered when it comes time to get in or out of bed. Some beds, like the iCare Premium Care Bed, even have intuitive lifting functions to relieve pressure on your back and lift you to a seated position before getting out of bed.
Falling out of bed can also cause serious injuries, especially for older Australians with REM problems, a mix of medications, vertigo, dementia, incontinence or vision problems. In this case, we recommend investing in bed sensors and fall mats so family and support workers can respond quickly.
#4. Consider a bedside commode for easy toileting at night
Getting out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the toilet can be a real struggle for those who struggle with mobility and unsafe for those with incontinence. Rather than making the trip to the bathroom, toileting can be much faster and safer with a bedside commode, like the Active Mobility commode pictured above.
This particular model is inconspicuous and simple to use, perfect for accessible bedrooms!
#5. Install light switches and electrical outlets at reachable heights
Light switches should be installed at a reasonable height, so you can easily reach them, even when seated. As well as a light switch next to the bedroom door, we recommend installing an additional switch next to your bed, so you don’t have to get in and out of bed to turn the lights on or off in the middle of the night.
The same can be said for electrical outlets and ceiling fan switches.
Smart technology is a clever alternative if you love your tech. You can turn lights, fans and televisions on or off using your smartphone or voice — this can also come in handy, so you can call for help if and when needed.
Find all the bedroom furniture and accessories you need for a comfortable, accessible bedroom design
At Active Mobility, we stock a wide range of bedroom products like beds, mattresses, bed rails and commodes, all designed to make your bedroom more comfortable and accessible. Browse through our collection and shop online for fast, affordable shipping throughout Australia! We even have Afterpay so you can shop now and pay later.