Why Seniors Should Have Walk-In Showers
At UpHome, we highly value the utility of a walk-in shower. Many of the benefits of a walk-in shower are often more helpful to the elderly among us. More space to move around, hand-held shower heads, safe seating and grab bars, anti-slip surfaces and flush to the floor installation all contribute to a more accessible and safer shower than a traditional tub and shower combination. Walk-in showers with features like these are not only safer, but also enable our seniors to maintain a higher degree of independence and peace of mind.
Showers With More Space are More Comfortable
A typical tub and shower combination has a wall a few inches thick around its perimeter to build out the bathtub. These walls are somewhat tall and may be difficult for someone with limited mobility to enter. Often this leads to this person needing assistance getting in and out of the shower, which can feel rather suboptimal when better options are out there. This also creates a danger should they try to climb in by themselves, adding a risk of falling and being injured. Thankfully, all this can be avoided!
Walk-in showers remove this risk. A walk-in shower can be configured through UpHome which makes every bit of space flat and available for standing, instead of the curved bottom and high walls that bathtubs have. This shower can also be configured with a curtain rod instead of a glass wall, giving the user more flexibility to move around in the shower. This enables you or your loved ones with limited mobility to retain a bit more independence and makes it safer to enter or exit the shower without assistance.
Handheld Shower Heads are Great for Seniors
Speaking of flexibility and independence, have you ever tried a handheld shower head? These things are amazing. Whether you’re just really tall, or usually seated while showering, a handheld shower head makes life so much easier. The problem with standard shower heads is that they’re usually fixed and stationary. Because a standard shower head can’t do much more than swivel around a fixed point, their ability to physically shower you in water is limited to whatever range of motion the shower head has combined with the water pressure in your house. For some people this is fine, but it creates an issue for some groups of people who the water won’t reach effectively no matter which direction the head is turned. This is where handheld shower heads come in.
A handheld shower head totally eliminates this problem, enabling you to bring the water to yourself, exactly where you need it. UpHome offers a variety of premium handheld shower heads, as well as one option that has both a fixed shower head and a handheld one. This enables you to pick the shower head that best suits you and your needs. If you need to be seated while showering, using a handheld shower head is a necessity! Speaking of seats…
Shower Seats Make Showering Easier for Seniors
A perfect complement to a handheld shower head is a built-in seat. A shower with a seat and grab bar built in is far more easily accessible than one without a seat. The combination of a seat and grab bar enables someone who can’t stand for long periods of time (or at all) to sit down and take a complete shower with little to no assistance. A grab bar makes it easier and safer for someone with limited motion to get in and out of a shower seat. In addition to the benefits provided when combined with a shower seat, a grab bar by itself is useful while standing to add a point of contact to help prevent falls.
Anti-slip Shower Floors Prevent Falls
Speaking of falling, did you know over 3 million seniors are treated for some sort of fall injury every year? Of these, about a third of them are hospitalized. Around 80% of falls at home happen in the bathroom while getting in and out of the shower or on and off the toilet. It’s easy to accidentally slip and fall on an old tub floor, especially if it’s been worn smooth from years of use or came that way when it was installed. While anti-slip mats and pads can be purchased to mitigate the chances of falling, they can introduce a new problem that might be difficult for someone with limited mobility to address: the underside of these mats must be cleaned occasionally to prevent buildup of soap scum, mold, and whatever else might like to grow in a damp, dark place. Similarly, there are treatments that stick to the bottom of the tub or shower with a strong adhesive, but they share the same problems with anti-slip mats: crevices and gaps eventually enable unsightly and unsanitary microorganism growth under and around the treatment.
It is far simpler and less time consuming to clean a floor that already has an anti-slip surface. For this reason, UpHome installs shower trays that have a textured anti-slip surface that’s still easy to clean. These anti-slip floors are standard in all UpHome shower configurations, including those made to be senior-friendly. They are etched into the tile itself, so the sand or slate-like surface will never peel up or deteriorate with time.
Prevent Tripping with Flush to Floor Tiles
Aside from the shower tray’s surface being anti-slip, it’s also important to prevent tripping upon entering the shower. Such small differences in height as 1/4th of an inch are considered by the ADA to be a tripping hazard, and this is amplified by limited mobility. The safest shower floor is one that is flush to the floor that doesn’t have any height difference whatsoever. This eliminates the risk of tripping over any step up or down into the shower, while also allowing for wheelchairs to enter the shower easily. Combined with an anti-slip surface, a flush to floor installation is great for everyone, but perfect for those with limited mobility.
Because flush to floor installations are the safest option, UpHome offers them by default in all senior-friendly configurations for their showers. They are also an option if you are configuring a regular shower, but they are default for the senior configurations for simplicity’s sake.
UpHome Shower Renovations Make Life Easier and Safer
In conclusion, UpHome offers numerous solutions that, when combined, provide a much safer shower for seniors and those with limited mobility. These preventative measures give us and our loved ones more independence and less chances of taking a dangerous fall in the bathroom.
Also, while safety is a top priority for our customers, so is peace of mind. Not only does UpHome offer showers that make your life easier, but the process to get one installed is also designed to be easy and stress-free. Just configure your shower, choose your safety and style options, get your quote and get pre-approved for financing or pay directly online. All without dealing with a contractor or salesman! Sound good? Give it a try today. We can’t wait to install your next nicer, safer shower!