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Guide to Barrier-Free Showers

Published on Friday September 22, 2023

Barrier-free showers include design features that eliminate obstacles and enhance accessibility. They’re especially helpful for seniors and those with mobility limitations because they provide safety and ease of use. 

Learn about the features that make barrier-free showers a preferred choice for seniors who wish to age-in-place and those who require ADA-compliant bathrooms. And find out how Long Baths can assist in customizing your barrier-free shower to suit your specific needs and preferences.

Understanding Barrier-Free Showers

What is a Barrier-Free Shower?

A barrier-free shower has no obstacles or barriers to entry, like stepping over the side of a bathtub, which can easily cause accidents. It’s designed to be easily accessible, especially for people with mobility issues, disabilities or simply to help as they age. 

There are no steps or raised edges, allowing individuals to easily walk or roll their wheelchair into the shower. Barrier-free showers minimize the risk of accidents and falls, making bathing a safer experience for everyone, regardless of age or physical abilities.

Key Features of a Barrier-Free Bathroom

For maximum safety, we recommend installing these features in your bathroom:

  • Replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower to eliminate having to climb over the side of a tub
  • A shower seat for comfort and minimal movement on a wet floor
  • A grab bar or handrail in the shower to help you balance
  • A flexible, handheld shower head for easy bathing
  • Easy access to water and temperature controls

The Benefits of Barrier-Free Showers

For seniors looking to age-in-place, investing in a barrier-free shower offers many benefits that suit your lifestyle and needs.

Safety Aspects

The absence of steps or raised edges eliminates tripping hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and falls. This is especially important in a wet environment (like a bathroom) where slips can easily occur. The even, smooth floor surface of a barrier-free shower ensures stability and allows for safer maneuverability. At Long Baths, our barrier-free showers offer non-slip flooring for increased safety.

Accessibility Features

An ADA-compliant or aging-in-place specialty shower should prioritize convenience, usability, and ample space for maneuverability, including wide openings for walkers and wheelchairs. The shower controls, such as temperature and water flow adjustments, are typically placed within easy reach, allowing individuals with limited reach or dexterity to operate them independently.

Types of Barrier-Free Showers

The term “barrier-free shower” refers to more than one style of ADA-compliant bath upgrade.

Roll-In Showers

These have a  flat and level entry, allowing individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility aids to roll directly into the shower.

Walk-In Showers

Walk-in showers feature a low threshold to step over or no threshold at all, making it easy to step in and out of the shower without the need to navigate over raised edges or steps.

Wheelchair-Accessible Showers

These showers are specifically designed to accommodate individuals using wheelchairs. They have wider entryways and more spacious interiors, allowing users to enter the shower area and move around comfortably.

Open Showers

Open showers are designed without any enclosures or doors, providing a wide and accessible shower space. They offer easy access and maneuverability, particularly for individuals with mobility challenges.

Multi-Functional Showers

These combine accessibility features with additional functionalities, such as built-in seating, adjustable showerheads, grab bars, and thermostatic controls for various bathing needs and preferences, ensuring comfort and convenience for users of different abilities.

Work with an Aging-in Place Expert

Long Baths is dedicated to ensuring peace of mind for all our customers. We provide the highest quality services for designing safe and secure showers for seniors who wish to age in place or anyone with different abilities. 

Contact us today to schedule your free, in-home consultation!

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**Excludes labor. Subject to credit approval.

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