There are now plenty of options for installing an easy access shower or perhaps adapting existing facilities to meet mobility needs. Most bathroom fitting companies offer a range of easy access shower options such as step free wet rooms so specific requirements can be catered for.
Even if space and current plumbing arrangements are an issue, there’s usually a way to create a shower facility that will be safe and convenient to use.
Provision of shower equipment
Shower equipment is classed as daily living equipment, so it may be possible to receive local authority help through the disabled facilities grants (DFG) system. This can cover full shower installations and adaptations including any structural work such as creating a step free wet room.
If buying privately, it helps if the company is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) which confirms they are able to advise properly based on specific needs.
The shower options
It’s basically a choice between an over-bath type where the shower is located above the bath and is accessed by stepping into the tub, a shower contained separately within a cubicle, or an open area such as a wet room.
An easy access bath with a door that allows you to walk in is a good solution for those who wish to have a shower but also enjoy a bath too. If you have room for a separate shower, this is always a better option.
A shower cubicle is usually much easier to access so long as the step isn’t too high. If the plumbing can be passed below floor level, it is possible to install a low profile shower cubicle that has a very small step, and will greatly reduce risk of tripping.
A step-free wet room is the ideal choice. The shower is basically an open area of the bathroom with no raised area and no door. This makes for an easier to access space and more room for wheelchairs if required.
A step free wet room can be installed anywhere – not just on a ground floor – and further access aids such as seats and grab rails can be added. It is advisable to use anti-slip mats as most wet rooms are built with ceramic tiles, which can become slippery when wet with soap.