Taking A Handicapped Shower In Comfort

There are some things in life that are a real pleasure to experience. My last post looked at the pleasure of taking a bath and fully immersing yoruself in hot water when you have a physical disability or mobility limitation and just how relaxing and totally cool that is to do. This post is going to take a look at the other side of keeping clean and fresh by taking a handicapped shower in comfort for a refreshing and invigorating experience.

Now first you have to understand that there are a few differences between a handicapped shower and a regular shower stall. First is the size and when you first see a handicap shower enclosure, you'll be a little daunted by its greater size. All things are relative and the greater size is not just so the user can do cartwheels under the shower head, even if they could. Its to accommodate a wheelchair and allow its user to either take a shower while staying in the chair, or transferring to a handicap shower seat where the necessary business can be attended to in comfort and above all, in safety.

You may have noticed that wheelchair users have more than a little difficulty with standing and indeed many cannot stand at all. So out goes any chance of taking a regular shower because all regular showers are designed for the user to use them in the standing position. This saves on space in the bathroom and is an economical way of keeping clean. Not so with a handicap shower stall, as the user must, by need take a shower in the seated position. So there's one of the major differences explained already.

Other differences are less obvious, although one thing that you may notice is that the entrance to the shower is generally flush with the bathroom floor. This is again so a wheelchair user can simply roll in and out of the enclosure without needing to get over a lip or water retaining ledge as you get in regular showers. That's because it would not only be a difficult operation, but a downright dangerous one in a wet, slippery bathroom! So the handicapped shower has a gully with a grid that goes the length of the entryway to take excess water away and stop it soaking the bathroom floor (making it slippery and dangerous). If there is no gully, then a flexible water retaining barrier is fitted along the length of the entryway so a wheelchair can ride over it without being obstructed while it can keep the water in where it needs to be.

Another visible difference is the installation of grab bars in strategic locations to allow easy and safe transference from wheelchair to shower seat and back again after the user has finished showering. These are for safety and simplifying the transference process as well as creating a safer and more solid feel for the user.

The rest of the differences are cosmetic, such as removable shower head so the user can either hose themselves down or clip it into position and just sit under the cascade of water. Niceties like water pressure regulators to prevent those sudden stabs of extra hot water when someone else turns on a cold faucet someplace else in the house, or the opposite cold soaking when someone else wants hot water!

The main reasons to have one of these showers installed if you are a wheelchair user is comfort, accessibility and safety. All in all, a handicap shower is a place to enjoy taking a shower even if you are in a wheelchair and can't stand up as is necessary in a regular shower.

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