Types of Senior Friendly Showers
A walk in shower is made to have a 3-5 inch tall lip so that those with reduced balance, seniors, those with mobility challenges, pets, and children can enter it without the dangers of stepping high up over the side of a bathtub.
A roll in shower has no lip. It is seamless with the bathroom floor and is easily accessible by wheelchair or walker.
Walk in showers can be converted into a roll in – but its important take into consideration the surrounding elements.
• Is there enough room for a wheelchair or walker to be completely maneuverable?
• Is there room for an assistant if needed?
• Are there any fall hazards?
• Are the fixtures easily reachable?
Different Types of Walk In Showers
1) Recessed Walk In Shower
This shower is installed in an alcove, with walls on three sides.
2) Corner Walk In Shower
This type is installed in the corner, with walls on two sides and an enclosure on the other two.
The open side of your shower can be enclosed with a curtain or a door that is sliding or swinging. People may prefer no door for the easiest access. If you’re interested in the no-door option – please check with your contractor to ensure the flooring beyond the shower is waterproof. Take all precautions as wet flooring can be dangerous.
Some choose to remodel their entire bathroom when deciding to install a walk in shower. Many walk in showers can easily take the place of the existing bathtub space. Together we work with you to determine the best shower for your needs and budget.
Safety Features to Consider for Walk In Showers
Consider safety features as the utmost priority when planning for walk-in showers. Plan for the present and anticipate future needs by incorporating seating, grab bars, easy-to-use faucets, and non-slip flooring, especially for seniors aging in place or individuals facing decreased mobility.
1) Scald Guard
Include an automatic scald guard to adjust water temperature when it becomes too hot. This safety feature is crucial for seniors and children using the shower.
2) Grab Bars
Enhance stability by installing grab bars on the sides of the shower. We are Certified Aging in Place specialists and can help when deciding on the placement of safety bars. Ideally, grab bars are installed into studs when the shower tile is being installed. Using suction cup style grab bars is not recommended if the elderly live alone, as they can easily pull away, can be difficult to maintain in position, and to put back into place if they fail.
Integrate seating options for those who cannot stand for extended periods. Ensure that safety bars are accessible from a seated position Seating can take the form of a built-in bench seat, or a space saving fold down seat. You can install a walk in shower without a seat and opt to add a shower chair later. Shower chairs with swivel seats are convenient and helpful.
4) Non-slip strips (vs bath mat)
Opt for adhesive skid-resistant strips instead of bath mats to prevent slipping hazards. They can be used inside and outside of the shower if the floor tends to become wet or slippery. Another option outside of the shower would be to have cork or textured rubber flooring laid which would provide a softer surface if your loved one is prone to falls.
5) Shower lighting
Install bright and energy-efficient lighting in the shower to address visibility issues, especially when glasses are not worn.
6) Shower faucets
Choose faucets with levers instead of knobs, particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis who find knobs difficult and painful to use.
7) Shower Heads
Select a height-adjustable shower head that can be easily used hands-free, whether sitting or standing. Avoid hard-to-grasp handles and over-the-head “rain” shower heads, as they may pose challenges for individuals with mobility issues. Consider models with a hand-held option, ensuring the handle has a non-slip feature. Additionally, opt for a lower pressure flow to provide a more enjoyable experience, as high-pressure shower heads can be painful on tender skin.
Flooring Masters Professional Remodelers has been making spaces better for over 30 years. We are Certified Aging Place Specialists and will help transform your shower and bathroom into a safer place for your loved ones. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project. Contact us today for a free estimate.