Do most assisted living communities offer bathrooms that are handicap accessible?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Assisted living communities are required to be in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act, which means that public-access bathrooms must be built according to ADA accessibility specifications, and that includes wheelchair accessible.

    Residents' bathrooms at assisted living communities are likewise designed to be handicap-accessible as well as to minimize the possibility of falls that occurs in greater frequency among the over-65 demographic. The bathrooms in private residences often are equipped with many of the following features: easy-access showers; hand-held shower heads; grab bars; raised toilets; lowered countertops, shelves, and mirrors; 24-hour nightlights; slip-resistant floors; padded corners and edges; and emergency alarm systems that allow residents to call for help in the event of an accident.

    Safety features also are provided in bathrooms that are shared by assisted living residents of single-occupancy and multiple-occupancy rooms. State regulations specify the maximum number of individuals who may share a bathroom at an assisted living community (usually from six to eight residents), and regulations also indicate how close the bathroom must be to the residents' rooms (i.e., one bathroom on each floor for each gender). Shared bathrooms are typically equipped with many of the features enumerated above for private residence bathrooms, including emergency alarm systems in case the resident needs assistance.