What to Look for in Handicapped Shower Stalls
If you selecting a handicapped shower stall for the first time you may have questions. You may be unsure what you are looking for. Installing a new handicapped shower stall, like any other remodeling project, can feel daunting the first time you do it. Fortunately, there are many handicapped showers that can meet your needs.
The first thing to consider is whether you need the handicapped shower stall for residential or commercial use. Are you installing it in your private home or are you installing it in a hotel, rehabilitation center, etc?
If you are installing the handicapped shower stall in a commercial building you will need to comply with your local and state laws.
At the minimum, you will likely be required to comply with ADA standards. They have separate standards for roll-in showers (ones meant for a wheelchair user to bring their wheelchair into) and transfer showers (showers intended for the user to transfer from a wheelchair outside the shower onto the shower seat).
Along with the ADA standards, some locations have additional rules for commercial handicapped shower stalls.
Residential handicapped shower stalls, or stalls intended for use in a private home, often don’t need to meet the same ADA standards as those placed commercially.
It is important to assess your personal situation and needs.
All handicapped shower stalls should have easy to place grab bars and room for seating. There should be easy to reach shelves and the showerhead should be detachable and easy to reach.
The size of the shower you choose will depend on several factors including your needs and the space you have to work with.
Do you need a shower big enough to fit a caregiver along with the shower user? Is the shower user able to care for their showering independently? Do you need to bring a wheelchair into the shower or can the user transfer safely?
It is important to get a shower large enough to meet your needs but, when possible, that fits in the spaces you already have.
Additionally, some showers come in one piece and others are delivered in pieces. Depending on the size of your current hallways and doorways it may be easier to assemble a handicapped shower stall in pieces rather than in a single piece if you are, by necessity, navigating narrow spaces.
Do you prefer an enclosed shower or an open shower? Do you prefer a door or a curtain?
What colors and styles will match the decor you have and fit both your practical and aesthetic needs? It is important for both the user’s happiness and future real estate value to incorporate the shower as naturally as possible into the existing bathroom.
Some handicapped showers appear almost identical to other walk-in showers however, they have a lower barrier that allows a wheelchair to slide over it smoothly.
Lifetime showers allow the user to adapt the shower as their needs change. This is an excellent choice for those doing a remodel in preparation for aging in place. You may realize you will need an accessible shower in the next few years but are reluctant to add the handicapped shower before it is needed, only to remodel again in a few short years.
If you live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island and would like more information on handicapped shower stalls call (508) 802-4259 to speak to an expert at Lift and Care Systems. We will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect home medical equipment to meet your needs.