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Building the Perfect Handicapped Shower

Building the Perfect Handicapped Shower

By Kevin Cleary

There might be nothing in the world like a good shower to make us feel refreshed and rejuvenated, not to mention clean. Unfortunately, for those with handicaps the prospect of a shower can be a pipe dream. Good news, with a little bit of planning and understanding of what’s available those with limited mobility can fully enjoy the benefits of a refreshing, cleansing shower. Whether it is new construction or retrofitting an existing bathtub/shower, have no fear you’re not far from an invigorating bath/shower.

Make a Safe Entry

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Possibly the most dangerous aspect of a shower or bath to a handicapped person is actually entering the bathtub/shower area. This usually requires the bather to lift one leg over the side of the tub or to step up into a shower. These are slick areas that can become treacherous, especially if wet. One way to get added traction is to use Nonskid Shower Slippers. The latex free rubber allows those that are at risk of falls greater traction in wet bathrooms. Another option for aquatic footwear is the Posey Nonskid Quick Dry Slippers. The loose knit nylon mesh upper lets water flow through and dries quickly after use. By using a bath transfer bench, transferring into a shower can be simple and safe. The Columbia Elite Reclining Bath Shower Transfer System eliminates risky entries. It can be used for positioning, a rolling shower chair, or bath slider. With foldable tub bench, storage is a snap and an auto safety stop system prevents the chair from falling off the base. Another safe entry technique is twisting. By using the Nova Medical Swivel Bath Transfer Seat entering your shower area is no longer a daunting task. It swivels a full 360° while locking into four different 90° positions, therefore allowing patients (up to 250 lbs.) to be transferred into the seat and then swung into appropriate showering position. Some may need only a secure bench such as the Drive Bath Bench with Removable Padded Arms which supports up to 300 lbs. and has legs that are adjustable to allow different height users enjoy it. While traveling, Drive offers patients the Drive Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench. Its seat slides left and right along its frame and features a seatbelt for safety. After your bath or shower, it folds flat for storage!! For a bench that can double as a bath caddy, the HealthCraft Invisia Bath Bench is made of beautiful Brazilian walnut and provides a secure seat and can even hold a glass of wine for that perfect stress relieving soak!! For easy access to the bath after using the toilet, the Eagle Health Toilet to Tub Sliding Transfer Bench does exactly what its name implies. The user can slide directly from the toilet into the bath safely and simply.

Take a Seat on the Bench

Once the bather is safely in the tub, a seated position may be the most appropriate for them especially if standing is an issue. It is much simpler to rise from a seated position than from a reclining or supine position. The use of a shower bench can circumvent this issue. One permanent solution is the Teakworks4u ADA Compliant Wall Mount Burmese Teak Shower Seat which is permanently mounted on the wall between 17 in and 19 in and made of marine grade stainless steel as well as 3/8 inch wide teak battens. Another permanent option is the HealthCraft Invisia SerenaSeat Fold Down Shower Seat which provides a slim profile when folded. It is solidly mounted to the wall by distributing the user’s weight evenly across the bracket and features a machine tension spring that prevents the seat from inadvertently falling. One option that provides safe seating in the shower, but also folds for simple storage or travel is the Invacare Folding Shower Chair with Back. While providing a sturdy surface for a refreshing shower it provides a holder for the optional hand-held shower head and its back provides comfort and support while showering. Being able to move around with full freedom while in the bath can be tricky. By using the Jobar Swivel Shower Stool washing and rinsing your body while showering is simple while allowing the user to swivel to get in and out of the tub.

It’s all in the Palm of Your Hand!!

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Obviously, in order to have a great shower/bath you need water!! Being able to control that water with a handheld showerhead is perfect for those with limited mobility. Using a Full Spray Hand-Held Shower will allow you to reach all the nooks and crannies that you need cleaned while remaining in a seated position!! With a convenient pushbutton to pause water during soaping or transferring, cleanliness is only a shower away. In order to relieve the stress of the day the Mabis DMI Deluxe Handheld Body Shower Massager is the ticket!! It has a three speed shower selection and a simple easy to use on-off switch, while providing a 5 foot chrome hose. For those that may have trouble with gripping a wet showerhead, the Safety Grip Showerhead or Diverter Valve allows showering or hair watching from a seated position, as well as an 84 inch hose, pushbutton control, and an added feature of a safety trigger which means if it is dropped the water flow is stopped. Invacare offers bathers the Invacare Hand-Held Shower Kit for greater comfort and safety. Its lightweight design with white finish comes with a wall bracket and offers three different choices of spray. One way to ensure a secure grip is to use the Moen Pause Control Hand-Held Shower. With a soft grip handle with a safety strap, the user can choose from a shower, pulsating, or massaging setting while a 7 foot long flex hose delivers warm, soothing relief. Whatever your trepidation might be there is an answer for you. Identify your issue and meet it head on in order to enjoy a relaxing shower/bath.