Roll-In Showers: Restore Bathing to a Pleasant Experience
When showering becomes a challenge due to illness, limited strength or mobility, a roll-in shower can be the perfect solution. Roll-in showers are designed as an open stall with no curb so that wheelchairs can be rolled in and out easily. The shower floor is level with the bathroom floor, so there is nothing to step over or into. For those who cannot stand, a roll-in shower can provide a convenient way to bathe without assistance from others. For caregivers, roll-in showers make bathing those with upper body limitations or severe disabilities easier.
Who Can a Roll-In Shower Help?
Roll-in showers can make life safer and more pleasant for the elderly, the disabled, those with serious injuries, those recovering from surgery, patients with balance problems, neuromuscular diseases, chronic pain, arthritis, spinal disorders and anyone caring for those who have such challenges. Seniors who are able to stand and walk can still benefit from the barrier-free design of a roll-in shower. It eliminates the need to lift the legs high enough to step over a barrier.
Benefits of a Roll-In Shower
The convenience of being able to roll into a barrier-free shower can give those with physical challenges increased independence. These showers offer easy entry and exit, and they eliminate the risk of bathing-related falls. Various models offer safety grab bars, seating and shelving options. Shower controls are fitted at a level that is easy to reach from a seated position, and a hand-held showerhead is standard.
Superior to Removable Shower Aids
There are several assistive devices on the market that help with bathing. Tub chairs, transfer benches and shower stools are inexpensive options, but they still require some range of motion, and they take a considerable amount of effort and time to use. This may leave bathers exhausted from their hygiene routine instead of refreshed and comfortable. Unlike simple shower walls and floors, these items can be difficult to keep clean. If others in the home also use the shower, seats and benches have to be constantly taken in and out. This is not an issue with a roll-in stall. A roll-in shower is a practical, easily maintained, permanent solution that will not require later additions or replacements.
When to Install a Roll-In Shower
The right time to install this product is often sooner than it is needed. If baby-boomers plan on caring for their elderly parents at home, adding these helpful elements when the house is built or during a renovation is the most practical and economical choice. In the case of a roll-in shower, the product is attractive and fully usable by all members of the family, so it does not create a flaw in the style or decor of the home if installed a few years ahead of time. When it is necessary, it will be there. There will be no transitional use of awkward shower seats or benches needed in the case of sudden illness or mobility issues.
Finding the Right Roll-In
Finding the right style and size of roll-in shower can be easier with the help of your building or remodeling contractor. To get started, obtain the exact measurements of the bathroom where the stall will be placed. There are many different models and brands to choose from. Some are simple one-piece units and others have multiple parts. Some styles can accommodate custom installations. Many roll-in shower products are listed as ADA compliant. Some well-known manufacturers of curbless showers include Accessibility Professionals Inc., Sterling Plumbing, Kohler, Best Bath Systems and others. Check with your supplier or contractor for a full list of available brands and products.
Thanks for the info – it was stuff like this that allowed my own grandparents to stay in their house well into their 80s. My grandfather died, and my grandmother ended up moving into an assisted care center, but I’m glad they were able to stay in their house for so long.
Overall, products like these are great for allowing elderly people to stay in their homes longer – especially those with dementia. I learned a lot about dementia here: http://www.squidoo.com/in-home-care-for-dementia-patients – People with dementia are often hospitalized or “institutionalized” in assisted centeres that aren’t very homely. Several studies have shown that this actually leads to a more rapid decline in their cognitive functions! We need to keep people with Alzheimer’s in their homes for as long as possible to avoid rapid degeneration.