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Choosing the Right Walk in Shower or Steam Shower Unit for Individuals with Handicaps or Mobility Issues

Mobility issues and handicaps can create a unique set of problems in the home, and particularly the bathroom. This area tends to be smaller, harder to maneuver in and contains a variety of hazards that can cause accidental slips and falls. Today, there are a wide variety of bathroom installations that can make mobility problems less of an issue and many of these items are also wheelchair accessible. However, the shower can pose one of the greatest challenges. Traditional designs can pose safety and mobility issues, which can cause accidents and take away an individuals’ independence. However, walk in showers and steam shower units are available in a wide range of designs that are barrier free and ADA compliant. Installation of one of these products can transform your bathroom space, into a safe and accommodating place for family members and guests.

Walk in showers and steam shower units come in a wide variety of styles, and offer accessories that make dealing with mobility issues easier. These designs are ideal for accommodating the elderly and disabled because of the additional safety features. However, finding the right shower design can be a difficult process. Traditional bathtub and shower combinations have a high wall that can be difficult to maneuver around, posing a safety hazard to the elderly and those with mobility issues.  The above mentioned designs can completely eliminate this problem. One of the first aspects you should look for are models that are “barrier free.” But what exactly does this term mean? These designs utilize a low threshold pan that is only an inch or two above floor level, making it easy to step over – minimizing the risk of falling. If this raised lip is still a concern, consider a model that has a basin area that lies completely flush with the floor. When combined with the use of non-slip flooring, this can be one of the safest options for your new bathroom design.

Another feature to look for in walk in showers and steam shower units is a label indicating ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. ADA compliant shower designs have to meet a specific set of criteria to ensure they are wheelchair accessible and able to aid those with mobility issues. Wider doorways, low or no barrier entranceways, seating and hand rails provide an increased level of safety and security that is unmatched by traditional bathtub shower combinations. However, before installing a steam shower unit – an additional aspect must be considered. While walk in showers are safe for everyone to use, the high levels of heat and humidity generated by steam units can be dangerous and even deadly. The elderly, individuals with heart conditions, circulatory problems and similar issues are at increased risk, and should consult with a physician before using the steam feature on one of these units.

Low barrier shower styles and ADA compliant styles are the safest (and best) options available for homes that have elderly residents and those with mobility issues. While steam showers may not be suitable for all homes, walk in showers can accommodate any space and resolve a majority of a safety concerns. By choosing one of these designs during the renovation process, your bathroom space will not only look beautiful but be a safer place for anyone who enters your home.



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