Handicap Shower Chair: Create a Disabled Shower the Easy Way
A handicap shower chair can offer flexibility, practicality and a variety of features for use in a residential disabled bathroom.
For those who cannot afford to completely renovate with a new handicap bathroom design, a handicap shower chair can be the answer. Sometimes it's just not financially feasable or practical to install walkin tubs or bathtub lifts, if there's any way around it. In some cases, simply
adding the appropriate shower chair can at least be a short-term
solution. Shower chairs for the disabled are available as
wall-mountable chairs or benches, or as seats that fit into the
bathtub or shower that can be removed when not in use.
Wall-mountable shower chairs and benches
Wall-mountable chairs and benches generally fit into the wall
using sheet metal screws. If you are planning on installing a
wall-mountable chair or bench, it is important to note that the
back of the tub or shower needs to have at least a two-inch thick solid backing material. The ADA recommends that these be made of wood, although, steel can be used.
Wall mount shower benches are usually the best option if you have a handicapped person living within your home and you need a low-cost solution for a handicapped bathroom that does not involve retro-fitting your bathroom. They are generally easy to install and can be done in a matter of hours. Tools required include:
- backing for the shower made of wood or stainless steel
Wall mountable shower seats are usually available in lengths of 26, 28, 32, and 34.5 inches wide. These wall mount shower seats can fold down against the wall when they are not in use, freeing up the shower area for anyone who does not wish to use a bench. They are comfortable and the seats are available in a variety of different materials including stainless steel, wood, cushioned, and in either solid or slatted styles.
Adjustable shower chairs
Adjustable shower chairs are perfect for those who infrequently have
handicapped guests, or those who just cannot manage the installation
process of a wall-mountable unit. Made of a sturdy PVC and plastic
blend, these seats can accommodate up to 300 pounds. They require
no tools for assembly and usually just have to be unfolded and placed
in the bathtub or shower. When not in use, they can be stored away in
a closet or under a bed.
They are available with or without arms and also have a space built in
to accommodate a hand-held shower head. The arms and backing are
often made of a durable steel, coated in a flexible plastic. Arms
designed such as this allow for use as rails or handles. If needed, a
person can hold these for balance when getting in and out of the tub or shower.
The major benefit of this type of handicapped shower chair is its low-cost and easy portability. These are also useful when vacationing. Although ADA bathroom requirements demand that hotels to offer handicap-accessible rooms, they are not penalized if the rooms they have are taken. Since these adjustable shower chairs easily "stow and go," they are great for when handicap shower stalls are not available and only a conventional bathroom can be used.
Both styles are safe, effective and make life easier for those with disabilities. Because there are so many choices on the market, it is best to compare prices, styles and features to find the right one for your situation. For additional safety purposes, it's also wise to choose a handicap shower chair that is ADA compliant.
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