If you have a disability, it can be difficult and confusing when searching for a shower to suit your needs. There are many different choices and features to decide between. At Age Care Bathrooms we have constructed this helpful guide to navigate you through the features and equipment you will need for your disabled shower.
When it comes to disabled showers there are many different types of showers you can have to accommodate your level of mobility. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which type would be best for you:
- The size of your current shower/bathroom
- What type of disability you have and what equipment/features you will need
- Your size and weight
- Style choice
- Who else will be using the shower
These factors are important when designing your disabled shower, but it’s worth remembering that Age Care Bathrooms have installed thousands of disabled bathrooms over the years and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to designing and installing disabled showers.
What is a Low Level Shower?
A low level shower (also known as a walk in shower) is suited to those who have limited mobility but are able to take a small step into the shower. Low level shower trays are up to 40mm high in height. They are great for small properties with not much space.
What is a Level Access Shower?
A level access shower (also known as a wetroom) is a shower where there is no tray/lip at all to step over. This means there are absolutely no limitations in term of accessibility. These are great for wheelchair users!
By having an over-bath shower it can make a huge difference, also it can be very cost effective and still allow other household users to shower in the same way as before. It involves installing the shower controls just above the tabs and makes it easier for you to reach them whilst sitting. There will be some plumbing involved and we would also recommend using a board or seat that fits across your bath. Also getting some grab rails are advised to help you in and out of the bath. We would only recommend using this type of shower if you are comfortable with climbing over the bath.
How Do You Shower With a Shower Chair?
Having a shower in the morning is great for getting you energized and ready for the day. Using a shower chair is safe and comfortable, here are a few things to consider when using a shower chair safety:
- Make sure that the shower chair is set firmly and does not wobble
- Make sure you have all you need to clean yourself in reach
- Make sure you either put a towel down or some anti slip flooring down
- Make sure not to make too many sudden movements
- If the shower is for your or a person with a disability then make sure to take them through the process and then give them their own privacy unless they need it
- Make sure your weight is distributed properly, avoid sitting on the edge.
Shower cubicles are designed to be more accessible than climbing in and out of a bath. When it comes to picking which type would be more suited to your needs, then you have a few options. There is the corner cubicles which fit in the corner of your bath, ideal for minimum space. Full cubicles can be placed anywhere in your bathroom, they have three sides and a cubicle door. Age Care Bathrooms always recommend that you add grab rails in any of your cubicle showers. One again, our amazing team can help you pick the equipment and fittings that suit your needs. This may be adding seats, shower controls, anti slip flooring and many more.
This can be ideal for small bathrooms, they include as the names suggest a toilet and a shower combined. You can sit on the toilet to shower and some units can include a wash basin.
Shower trays come in all different shapes and sizes, they can be used for level access showers, stepped access, ramped access and for wet rooms.
When choosing your shower unit you have many options to fit your needs. You have Thermostatic mixer shower which will pre heat water from your boiler or hot water tank. They automatically compensate if the pressure changes. They also make sure you don’t get scalded if someone else in the house turns the cold water on. Also you can have Instant or electric showers, these are great for reducing fluctuation in water temperature and keep your showers at the right temperature. Last we have a few different types of Shower unit controls, these are great for you to set your shower up to your needs. If you have sight loss you may wish to shortlist shower units that have achieved ‘RNIB approved’ endorsement. These showers are designed with those with sight loss specifically.
Getting In and Out of a Bath or Shower
If getting in and out of the shower is not always be easy, then it’s time to change that. We supply many different features and fitting to help you with getting in and out of your shower/bath. Here are some of the features that we can offer you.
Grab rails are offered to customers to help stabilize them and provide them with extra grip around the shower/bathroom. These can placed around the walls of the bathroom.
Horizontal rails are great for both walk in showers and baths, they are great for pushing up from when you have been sitting down and provide great support when it comes to sitting down.
Vertical rails can be placed in suitable locations in the bathroom to provide extra support. Having them located next to a shower seat can be very helpful so that it will help prevent you slipping off the seat.
Shower boards are designed to fit over the top of your bath to act as a seat so you can shower using your tradition set up. These do not work with shower screens due to the amount of space they take up.
Swivel bath seat fits over the bath and can swivel into the bath, these seats are great and have fantastic back support and armrest. These seats are set in a fixed position and do not lower into the bath.
Shower Stools, Seats and Chairs
Having somewhere to sit in your shower can make a big difference, not everyone will be able to support their own body or may be uncomfortable to do so. Here we have a range of different was to sit in the shower. It is worth saying that you should always check to see if your shower tray or bath is capable of having a seat sat on it with the added weight of a person. You can discuss this with Age Care Bathrooms to see what tray/bath is most suited to you. Here are some of the different seats you can use:
- Shower stools come with non slip feet and sometimes with back support and adjustable legs. They can be made out of different materials mostly plastic and come with either three or four legs.
- Wall mounted seats come in two different categories, either static or hinged. Some come with back support and armrests, but you must enquire to see if there are any weight restrictions.
- Shower chairs come in all shapes and sizes and can come either static or mobile. All shower seats will come with a rubber cups on the legs to prevent any slipping. You can have a shower chair with armrests and a padded seating. Make sure to talk to our team about what shower chair you would like.
- Shower chair with castor bases are ideal for mobility within and showers and cubicles. These are designed to have metal frames and have plastic seat, they are generally smaller so take up less space.
- Self-propelled wheeled shower chairs are designed so you can propel yourself independently into a shower or cubicle. This chair can be operated by yourself or someone else pushing the chair and it can travel across most surfaces in your home.
Equipment For Use Whilst Showering
It’s not only the shower that can make a difference to your use, it’s also the equipment you use too. Here are a list of different equipment that can help you and your specific needs:
- Shower head holders tend to be set in fixed positions in your existing showers, you can have adjustable shower head holders to set the shower head to a height that suits your needs.
- Shower screen and enclosures can be portable or fixed and are great for wet rooms and walk in showers. They come in a range of different configurations and help keep carers dry.
- Long handled bathing aids are great to help you wash yourself without having to reach and stretch which may cause discomfort.
- Leg lifters help you move your legs, when seated on a chair or swivel chair over the rim of the bath. You use a reinforced strap with a loop and one end, then you physically lift your leg into the bath.
- Showers steps help you with getting in and out of the bath with that little added height adjustment. They are not recommended for those who struggle with their balance, also we recommend using these on an anti slip flooring to prevent any slips or falls.
- Anti-slip products are great to provide you with that extra security when using your shower. We have many different styles of anti-slip strips and we also supply different bath mats.
Most doctors advise that the ideal shower temperature should be 41 degrees celsius. The best way to look at it is, if you see your skin getting red or flushed then the temperature is probably too high. You can get specific temperature gauges installed so you can find the optimum temperature.
Remember that Age Care Bathrooms have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and will be happy to discuss the many different options for you. So why not give Age Care Bathrooms a call to explore your options today? Call 0800 999 8994