When mobility is an issue, it is a good idea to think about making changes to the home which means that it will become much safer and easier to navigate for those who have issues along these lines. With this in mind, you may wish to think about a wheelchair accessible shower, and the good news is that there are plenty of tips that can make this work for you. We have put together a list of the best tips that you can use to make the most of the space you have available.
Widen the door into your bathroom
There’s no point in having a shower that can be used by someone in a wheelchair if they struggle to get in and out of the bathroom in the first place. A lot of doors are tight to get wheelchairs through, and this not only means that it can be frustrating, but also that it is dangerous in case the home needs to be evacuated during a fire. With this in mind, getting a wider door – even if only by a small amount – could be a huge advantage.
How wide is a wheelchair?
For a bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair the door needs to be widened to at least 32 inches. Standard doors in the UK are from around 23 to 27 inches which is not wide enough for a wheelchair. Depending on where the doorway is situated will depend on the size of the door gap. For instance if the doorway requires turning a wheelchair the widened door will need to be more like 36 inches.
Think about a wet room
There are lots of different shower types that are accessible, however by far the best type is a wet room, as it means that there is no “lip” at all for the wheelchair to have to get over when the shower is being used. A wet room provides a huge opportunity for freedom of movement, and if you know that a wheelchair user is going to have to use the room then this could be one of the best options for their needs.
Add a shower seat
Although it is possible to shower in some wheelchairs providing cushions are removed first, many individuals will not want to do this, and would prefer to transfer to another chair for their shower. For this reason, it is a good idea to build a fold-down chair into the shower. This means that it can be used whenever needed, but if a non-wheelchair user needs to use the room then it is good to simply be able to fold up the chair, and then fold it down again once it’s needed.
Think about a sliding door
There are many types of shower cubicle available on the market, and if you choose one with a door that opens you may find that it is too difficult to fit a wheelchair in the room at the same time – particularly if you’re only working with a small space. For this reason, a sliding door could well be the ideal option for your needs, as this means that there is no room being taken up every time it needs to be opened or closed. This can be of great benefit to a shower room, as it means that every inch of space is being used to its best possible effect.
Consider safety and peace of mind
No matter how accessible a room may be, there is still always the possibility that something might happen, and for this reason an emergency cord is a great thing to have fitted. This means that if an accident does occur, help can be summonsed and the issue can be dealt with as quickly as possible.
With the right kind of accessible shower, you should find that it is perfectly possible for seniors to enjoy their shower time as independently as ever. This can add a great deal to their quality of life, so if you think that this would be of benefit for you or someone you know, there is no better time to start the process and consider your design.