When people get older or if disabilities are a concern, it’s not uncommon for healthcare providers to recommend certain enhancements to help them overcome obstacles. At home, bathroom accessibility is typically a top priority and one of the recommendations may be replacing a traditional shower with a walk-in shower. While the two serve identical purposes in regard to bathing, they are very different by design.
Walk-in showers are intended to replace existing free standing shower stalls. They may also be used to retrofit other wet rooms in a home to serve as a bathing area. The latter option may come into play, for example, if a person can no longer reach a second-floor bathroom. Transforming a laundry room to serve for bathing with a walk-in shower may provide the perfect solution in that scenario.
Walk-in showers are specifically designed for people who face mobility challenges. Here are some of the key differences between a traditional shower and a walk-in shower:
Whereas traditional shower stalls have a ledge, people must step over to gain access to the bathing area, walk-in showers are designed differently. While they will have three walls like their traditional counterpart, they rely on a special pan for the flooring. This pan sits as flush to the floor as possible. By doing so, walk-in showers enable users to simply “walk-in.” Accessibility is also greatly enhanced for those who rely on wheelchairs, walkers or canes to get around.
Traditional shower floors may become rather slick with use. Walk-in shower pans, however, are designed to provide exceptional slip resistance. In addition, their unique design helps prevent water from escaping the shower and creating slip hazards on the bathroom floor itself.
Additional Safety Features
While different walk-in shower models vary in the features they offer, most offer extra safety features like seating and grab-bars. These two features can prove especially beneficial in simplifying the bathing experience for people with mobility challenges.
Walk-in showers are designed to make bathing safer for people with mobility challenges. By eliminating accessibility and safety concerns, walk-in showers stand out as distinct from their traditional counterparts.