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So your parents are starting to get a little up there in years. They are still perfectly independent, but they want to remain that way for as long as possible. How can you help them take care of themselves in their golden years? Well, one of the first things to become difficult for many older people is getting into and out of the shower.

Many showers are not currently very friendly to people with poor balance or vertigo issues. If your parent is already using a mobility aid or needs help taking care of themselves, a typical shower is even less friendly. However, there are plenty of ways to help your parents out – here are some of the best glass shower design elements for the elderly person in your life.

Your First Choice – Inline Shower Layout #1

  • Inline Frameless Shower Layout 1
  • Extra Wide Doors
  • Zero-Threshold Entrance
  • Fully Frameless Design
  • Easy Enter/Exit for Elderly Users

OR

Wide Doors

 

One of the first and most important things you can get for your favorite elderly person’s shower is a wide width. Your parents may be completely independent now, but in a decade they may need a walker or some other movement aid. With that future in mind, it would be wise to build a shower with a wider door.

Narrow shower doors can make it difficult to enter for someone with mobility issues or mobility aids. A wider door can help someone in a wheelchair or with a walker transfer to a shower chair much more easily. A wider door also allows for first aid or in-home care assistants to get in easily as well, in case something happens anyway.

 

Zero-Threshold Entrance

 

The second thing to consider when designing a shower for the elderly is adding a zero-threshold entrance. A trip-and-fall incident can be hard to recover from for many older people. By installing a shower that does not have a rim around the edge, you can remove a tripping hazard and make it much simpler for people with limited mobility to get in and out.  It can allow for mobility aids, including wheelchairs or walkers, and for people who can still move around on their own, it’s one less thing to worry about in the typical shower environment. It can also add to the style of a room – a beautiful glass shower seated evenly with the rest of the floor gives the bathroom a clean, chic aesthetic.

 

Glass Showers Can Have Shower Seats

 

After installing a zero-threshold floor, the next thing to add to this accessible shower is a seat. The best way to avoid a slip-and-fall incident is to make sure that the person is sitting down to begin with. The seat can be built into the wall, if you are putting in an entirely new shower, or you can find many shower seats online that can be moved and adjusted to the height that works best for your circumstances.  Even if your parents are still able to stand for long periods of time, adding a shower seat is a good
precaution. If your parents do not want one, you can always spin it as a luxury – you don’t need to stand during showers anymore!

 90 Degree Shower for Elderly Parents

  • 90 Degree Layout #1
  • Large Door Available
  • Extra Room to Maneuver
  • Fully Frameless Design
  • Easy Enter/Exit for Elderly Users

OR

Handheld Shower Head

 

Another important aspect of making your shower elderly-friendly is installing a handheld shower head.  Some older people find it difficult to maneuver to rinse off with just a wall shower head. Furthermore, if you have a shower seat that gets a lot of use, having the added maneuverability of a handheld shower head can make it much simpler and more pleasant to get clean. To be fair, this holds true for able-
bodied people as well! There are plenty of handheld shower head styles out there, so you are sure to find one that matches the look of your beautiful glass shower.

 

Grab Bars

 

Grab bars can make all the difference when it comes to the accessibility of your shower. What may be easy one day may become difficult the next, as conditions like vertigo or arthritis worsen or improve from day to day. Having a grab bar in the shower, next to an in-built seat or next to the door, can help your favorite older person remain safe and independent.  It is important to make sure these are securely installed into the wall – the aim is to have something sturdy and reliable that can potentially hold a person’s weight should something happen. These bars should go into a structural wall, not the built-out portion of the shower.

 

Textured Floor

 

Another great way to help reduce incifdents is to make sure that the shower floor is textured. While smooth tile is sometimes considered attractive, it is not the way to go in this situation. There are plenty of tiles out there that will have a clean look to match the rest of your bathroom that have a textured or “grippy” feel to them.  Smooth tile gets very, very slippery when it gets wet, and that is the opposite of what you want in a shower for an older person. You can get a rougher tile, or you can get rubber, textured mats that can go on top of a current floor if you do not want to do a complete renovation. These also have many styles and colors you can look into. Either way, the goal is to make sure that the shower is as safe as it can be.

 

Wrapping Up

 

All of these aspects can help your elderly parent remain independent for a much longer time. Showers can be a great source of stress relief, and being able to keep their dignity and modesty is very important to many older people. Helping your favorite elderly person hold onto this aspect of their independence is a great gift. Focus on making their shower the cleanest, safest, and most visually-appealing experience it can be, and you can give them the golden years they deserve.