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Wheelchair Accessible Showers – What Are My Options?
A refreshing bath or shower is something most people take for granted; however, for those with a disability or mobility issue, having a safe and enjoyable bathing experience isn’t quite easy. A common challenge particularly faced by wheelchair users is to enter a relatively cramped bathroom multiple times a week to take a shower; not to mention the struggle to get into a bathtub and having to stand at a stretch for several minutes.
Fortunately, there is a wide range of wheelchair accessible showers that you can consider for your ageing parent or loved one with limited mobility. Some of the options you may have are:
When looking to upgrade your bathroom to ensure an easier, safer, and more comfortable bathing experience for a wheelchair user in your family, a curbless shower can be a great choice. It is a walk-in or roll-in shower with a low lip along with graded flooring, which is slightly sloped for draining water without getting it spilling out of the shower space. Wheelchair users may need several square cubic feet of area to successfully navigate in a curbless shower. Transferring first to a comfortable rolling shower chair or a water-resistant bathing chair with wheels can simplify the usage of the curbless shower.
Shower cubicle with a seat
When it comes to choices in wheelchair accessible showers, you can also go for a shower cubicle with shower seats placed on the floor beneath the shower. A pull-down shower seat installed on to the wall may also work well as an alternative. In order to prevent the bathroom from flooding and avoid a slippery surface, you can opt for a shower curtain or fixed screen. Besides, decide if you are okay with the cubicle having a step to get in. If so, see if it will also be manageable in the future. For more comfort and convenience, fixtures like grab rails can be installed as well.
A shower over a bath
A shower over a bath is a popular design choice in wheelchair accessible showers, especially for smaller bathrooms. Featuring a small glass door on the side which opens and closes to let you in and out, this shower design offers you the flexibility of both a standalone shower and a bath. Hence, you can enjoy a long, soothing bath or have a quick rinse as per your mood. For improved accessibility and ease, you can consider adding a comfortable shower chair to your tub.
Wet room with a specialist wheelchair
A wet room is perhaps the ultimate in wheelchair accessible showers. When you choose to have a wet room, your entire bathroom is designed to make it suitable for your specific needs. For instance, a flat surface is created that is both waterproof and slip resistant. For wheelchair users, a shower chair or specialist wheelchair can also be used in the shower area of the wet room.
When choosing any of these options in wheelchair accessible showers, always think long-term. Thinking ahead will help you avoid making a shower choice that would probably be useless a few years later.