Why You Should Have Barrier Free Showers for the Aged and Disabled

For homes with disabled or aged people, barrier free showers are necessary additions. These showers allow privacy for those with limited mobility brought upon by old age or handicap. The showers are made with built-in safety features and can be used independently by people who otherwise require constant supervision from caregivers or family members. There are several barrier free shower designs available. Make sure the product you buy adheres to all ADA rules. Also consult with the aged/handicapped family members about their needs before purchasing such showers.

The Leak Factor
These shower stalls facilitate easy movement of a wheelchair in and out of the enclosure. The curb that restricts the flow of water in normal showers is absent in such showers to enable easy wheelchair navigation. The curb is also a source of anxiety for the aged who struggle to cross over it and may also trip in the process. The lack of the curb prevents accidents, but it also allows flow of water outside the stall. This water leakage onto the floor of the bathroom increases risk of slipping.

There are ways to curb the flow of water outside the curtain. Some of them are discussed below.

  • Using shower curtains: Using the shower curtain with some minor adjustments can help you contain the leakage of water. Remember to drape the curtain over the tub or the insides of the stall to channelize all the moisture on the curtain inside the stall, which ensures that the floor outside the stall remains dry. As an alternative, you can fix a ramp or collapsible water dam in your shower stall.
  • Using ramps: Ramps are inclined boards made of metal or wood, designed to bear the weight of a person. Using these ramps, a wheelchair bound person can be wheeled in and out of the shower cubicle. The mechanism of the ramp is simple and easy to set up. The surface of the ramp is skid-free, which prevents the wheelchair from tripping. Using a ramp that opens up vertically is recommended as you can put up the inclined portion of ramp as a barrier after wheeling the person in, to stop the water from flowing out.
  • Using collapsible water dams: As barrier free showers are built keeping the safety of handicapped or aged in mind, it is imperative to find a solution that prevents water leakage. The collapsible water dam is built to flatten itself when pressure is applied on it and spring back up once pressure is removed. The material with which this dam is made is flexible in nature and does not cause injuries even when stepped upon.

Most accidents that occur in the bathroom are a result of slips and tripping over obstacles. Using barrier free showers is one way to minimize these accidents. Fixing accessories such as a collapsible water dam or a ramp make the barrier free shower stall even safer. There are other bathroom additions such as ADA compliant bathtubs, which come specially equipped with features such as grab rails and enclosures, facilitating easy usage by handicapped people.