Whether you're caring for an elderly individual or making your home disability-friendly, the shower can be quite the challenge. There are ways that you can improve the accessibility of your shower enclosure, however, especially if you're interested in creating a custom shower enclosure for your home. An inaccessible shower isn't just an inconvenience. It can be a significant safety hazard for those with physical impairments.
1. Install Your Shower Enclosure Without a Curb
Curbless showers are quite popular because they're very attractive. They're also very easy to get into because you don't have to climb over the curb to get into the shower. In a curbless shower, gravity and the shower's walls are used to ensure that the water stays in. The floor itself is also on a very subtle incline, to drain the water properly. Many incidents occur when stepping in and out of the shower, so this modification can help reduce the chance of tripping and falling.
2. Use Sliding Doors Rather Than Pullout Doors
When installing glass shower doors, you generally have two options: either a sliding door or a pullout door. For small, compact showers, pullout doors are usually preferred -- but they can make a shower far less accessible because the individual needs to maneuver out of the way to enter the shower. It can also be hard for an elderly individual to open on their own.
3. Place Hand Supports in the Shower
Hand supports inside of the shower will help people getting in and out of the shower, thereby vastly improving accessibility. The most important aspect to a hand support is that it needs to be installed by a professional. An improperly installed hand support can become a danger in itself, as it could come lose or pull off when someone is leaning on it.
4. Install a Handheld Sprayer
A handheld sprayer which is kept next to the hot and cold knobs will make it much easier for those who cannot reach up to use the shower. While there are many detachable shower heads that can be used both ways, they still require that the person reach up and detach the shower head to use it. The handheld sprayer, by contrast, is usually placed by the knobs and can be activated by the press of a button.
Many accidents occur every year in the shower, so everything that you can do to make the shower more accessible will help. Other very easy safety features include adding non-slip floor mats and placing a stool inside of the shower enclosure so that someone can sit down and take a shower easily. Your shower door company, like Enterprise Glass Co Inc, can help you meet your shower needs.