A handicap shower enclosure is an important and necessary part of any handicap bathroom design as it provides the user with a means to take a shower with dignity while in comfort and without the usual dangers that are associated with a regular shower stall.
Let's take a look at some of the major benefits and design features of a good quality handicap shower stall.
Size is Important
The first thing you'll notice if you've never seen a handicap shower enclosure before is that it is much larger than a regular shower.
That is because it needs the extra room for a wheelchair user to easily enter, turn and exit whilst in one of the specially adapted shower wheelchairs, which are waterproof and easily cleaned and dried off afterwards.
This type of wheelchair shower for people with disabilities will also incorporate heavy duty bathroom grab bars or grab rails for safety and to enable the user to transfer form a wheelchair to a specially adapted handicapped shower chair that is a common feature of handicapped shower stalls.
There are also a useful collection of handicap shower accessories that enhance the overall usability of the unit and we'll take a look at some of the more used ones.
The handicap shower seat is also highly important and necessary for the comfort and ease of the user taking a shower. It allows then to do so in a sitting down position which is many cases is the only way in which they would be able to take a shower.
The design of the handicapped shower seat makes for a robust and tough seat that is able to take extra heavy people if necessary and still be comfortable to sit in whilst performing its task of allowing the user to take a shower in comfort. It is also corrosion resistant and easy to clean. Some come in foldaway designs to maximize the space in the handicap shower enclosure while retaining their strength and robustness.
An important aspect of design is making sure that the unit integrates erganomically with the bathroom layout enabling easy accessibility to all other facilities without it feeling crowded.
Well designed handicap showers are fitted with either a gully with a fine grate to cover it along the open side to channel water into a drain or a collapsible water retaining strip or water stopper that keeps the water in the stall and not flooding out all over the bathroom floor.
These strips are made from neoprene rubber making them flexible. This enables a wheelchair to pass across them without a noticeable bump, which is necessary for wheelchair users and to augment the usability of the handicap bathroom itself.
You'll often also find a heavy duty manufactured shower curtain and curtain rail which provide the user with privacy and also helps to keep the water in.
A well designed and constructed handicap shower stall is a joy to use for those with special needs and provides all of the functionality of a regular shower with accessibility for people with disabilities or mobility issues that require them.
Originally posted: September 3, 2009
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