Heating Important When Dealing with Disabled Persons
Mike Barnes of Jud Construction in Muncie, Ind. knows that heating is one of the most important issues when dealing with an elderly or disabled person’s bathroom. Persons with lower body damage are especially sensitive to cold temperatures in their lower extremities. Typically when you have a caretaker situation, they will pre-heat the bathroom for the disabled person.
According to Barnes, many consumers are taking advantage of the American Disabilities Act under the Medicaid waiver, where home owners can receive up to $15,000 to remodel their home. While this is a substantial amount of money, it only covers the essential changes making things like relocating walls cost prohibitive. Because of this the need for cost-effective solutions are of the utmost importance.
Of course the first step, once a client’s needs are assessed, is figure out how to work with their existing heating and cooling system. One of the most common tasks performed is to move registers, ducting and vents to create more room for wheelchairs. Sometimes temperature issues can be solved through the relocation of forced heat vents. However additional heating options are often necessary.
Space — in particular floor space — is of the utmost premium in these remodeling situations since expanding the bathroom is usually not an option. In some instances existing bathroom heaters need to be removed. Electric baseboard heaters are a common casualty due to taking up too much floor space when the bathroom entry way is widened.
Barnes suggests two solutions to the heat and space problem that are particularly strong. The first is to install floor heating underneath the tile or flooring. This is an ideal solution. Not only does it save valuable space, but the radiant heat from the floor is particularly helpful to those who are extra sensitive to the cold in their lower extremities. If this is not an option for financial or other reasons, a recessed wall-mounted electric heater can provide enough heat for the client.
Sadly most bathrooms were never designed to provide the proper access and comfort to disabled persons. But creative ideas and careful planning can make for solutions that will make both the client and remodeler more than satisfied.
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