Christie is a 21-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who uses a walker to ambulate due to minimal strength in her lower extremities. She lives with her parents in the family home where she grew up. As she became an adult, she and her parents knew she was fully capable of greater independence, but the structural environment limited her ability and increased her reliance on her parents.
Christie's bathroom wasn't functional, so she found herself bathing in her parent’s master bathroom, which required the adding and removing of large pieces of equipment every time she showered. The makeshift solution required re-staging daily and imposed on the privacy of her parent’s bathroom, and Christie still required caregiver assistance to climb over the curb at the shower entrance.
The goal of the Pink Lady remodel was to create a bathroom that seamlessly integrated features to promote access, safety, dignity, ease of maintenance, and beauty. The family wanted to avoid the institutional-looking environment often found in public bathroom facilities. Our interior design drew inspiration from Christie’s love of zebras, the color pink, and “all things girl” and seamlessly combined them with accessibility-sensitive installations.
Each access solution was considered from the perspectives of design, occupational therapy, construction and real estate value. In collaboration with Christie and her parents, Accessibility Design conducted an extensive needs assessment to gain a better understanding of Christie's abilities and the symptoms associated with cerebral palsy. This assessment helped us anticipate needs that go beyond safety, function and aesthetics.
In the end, Christie was provided with a beautiful space integrated with all the practical features needed to use it safely, independently and with dignity.
Results of the project
By enhancing Christie’s life through home access, the end result helped her gain the dignity she did not have prior to the remodel. The final result dramatically increased her independence without compromising safety, and it reduced her parents' stress and worry. Because Christie's private bathroom meets her needs, the family now enjoys the privacy needed by adults who live together.
"A Milestone has been made…accessible bathrooms CAN be beautiful! You’ve cracked the playing field wide open, “Pink Lady." Not only are you intensely functional and filled with access features, you are attractive enough to be judged on your beauty…and take home the prize."