Taking a simple shower for the average, mobile person may be simple and routine. For some elderly people who have no choice but to use a standard shower unit, it can be difficult, unsafe, or even impossible. The elderly who are unable to use a conventional shower often need a special shower unit or features. If you are the caretaker of a family member who is elderly and immobile, you may wish to evaluate which of the available special showers and features are available to you. Here are a few ideas to consider for your special shower stall.
For those who need to enter their showers in wheelchairs, a shower ramp will make it possible for caretakers to move the elderly person into the shower without danger.
In a conventional shower, grab bars can be installed at a place on a wall where the bar is convenient for the elderly person to hold for balance and for security.
Adjustable Height Shower Heads
A shower head that is adjustable for height will allow an elderly person to shower while either sitting or standing.
Hand Held Shower Heads
For the person who is immobile or unable to stand in a shower, install a flexible shower head. Your immobile family member will be able to shower while sitting and still adjust shower head as needed.
For the person who is able to enter shower unassisted, but who finds it difficult to remain standing, a shower unit with an adjustable seat will allow him or her to shower without fear of falling.
To ensure that your elderly family member is less likely to slip and fall in the shower, install a fiberglass floor surface with a grit. It will usually offset the slippery conditions of the wet floor.
Shower Entry Doors
Give your elderly person easier access to the shower by installing a double entry door rather than a single door with a 24-inch width. With the wider entry, which is usually between 32 and 36-inches, mobility challenged people will be able to maneuver a wheel chair or walker through the door into the shower.
Mobility challenged often find it difficult to reach a light switch, especially in a dim bathroom. Provide plenty of light for your elderly family member in the bathroom. Adequate light is usually be necessary to create a safe environment.