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Enhancing Bathroom Safety: Choosing Frameless Shower Doors for Seniors and Accessibility Needs

February 21, 2024

By Kevin Wisecarver

As people age, their bodies weaken, which can increase the risk of injuries after a fall. Bathrooms pose a significant danger for the elderly due to the many wet surfaces in the environment and physical limitations. Because of this, it’s important to prioritize bathroom safety for senior family members by adding basic safety features and upgrading to a frameless shower enclosure. 

When it comes to choosing the right shower door for accessibility, installing a frameless shower door can be the perfect solution. Unlike a framed shower door, frameless shower doors create an open, accessible space, since the bulky metal frame is eliminated.

A frameless shower door will also enhance a bathroom’s aesthetic appeal while providing easier access for seniors and people with mobility issues. These doors feature a wide entryway, making it more convenient for people with limited mobility to exit and enter the shower enclosure safely.

Common Bathroom Dangers for Seniors

Shower seats, grab bars, and handheld shower heads can improve shower safety, however, even with these safety features in place, an elderly person may still be at risk of falling. Most bathrooms have the same two types of hazards- protruding or sharp objects and slippery surfaces.

Below are bathroom hazards that can increase the risk of falls: 

  • If a shower opening is too narrow, entering and exiting the shower can be challenging.
  • Poor sealing of shower doors can result in wet floors
  • Cheap bath mats that are meant to improve traction can become additional slip hazards that can increase the risk of potential injuries 
  • Poor lighting can decrease an elderly person's visibility, increasing their risk of falls
  • The lack of stability features can result in the use of a flimsy towel bar to stay steady
  • Water heater thermostats that are set too high can lead to second-degree burns

Falling while getting in or out of the shower can result in life-threatening injuries. By making simple adjustments, adding basic safety features, and upgrading to a frameless shower door, complete with a wide entry, a senior can safely navigate the environment and easily access the shower.

Shower Curtains vs. Shower Doors for Safety

Frameless shower doors will allow seniors to maintain their independence longer, providing a more stable environment. Unlike a damp shower curtain, a frameless shower door provides stability, giving shower users something to hold onto when they enter and exit the shower enclosure. This extra safety and stability can make bath time easier for the elderly, especially if they live alone.

Why Frameless Glass Shower Doors for Accessibility?

A custom frameless glass shower door can significantly improve bathroom safety while accommodating unique needs. Whether it’s a no-threshold entry that eliminates the need to step over a high threshold or a wide entry for wheelchair access, the glass contractors at Wise Glass can design and install frameless shower doors that are tailored to meet the unique needs of every client. This level of customization will ensure that your bathroom remains an inviting, safe space.

Zero-Threshold Shower Entrance

Curbless shower doors and enclosures can help reduce the risk of falls. A curbless walk-in shower creates a smooth surface for wheelchair access while eliminating the need for complicated wheelchair-to-shower chair transfers or the need to step over a threshold to enter or exit the shower. With this design, a glass contractor can install swinging shower doors, which only require minimal hardware to mount, as opposed to sliding shower doors which would require a track, making it difficult for wheelchair access.

Wider Shower Doors

A narrow shower door can make it challenging for a senior with mobility issues to enter. Wide shower doors can help someone with a walker or in a wheelchair to easily transfer to a shower chair. Wider doors will also allow in-home care assistants to get in and assist with a senior’s shower needs.

Unique Shower Layouts for the Elderly or the Handicapped

Installing safety rails or grab bars can significantly improve shower safety. Both will help your elderly family member safely get in and out of the shower while providing support during a shower.

Shower chairs with arms can be a perfect option for elderly family members who have difficulty standing for long periods of time. Shower chairs provide the perfect resting surface during a shower, while making it easier to wash hard-to-reach areas.

Handheld shower heads allow loved ones to bathe without standing up.

Non-slip bath mats on the shower floor and outside the shower can provide traction and stability, preventing falls when getting in or out of the shower.

Common Shower Design Errors to Avoid!

While it may seem simple enough to keep a bathroom safe, shower design errors are still far too common.

The most common errors include:

  • Installing a shower threshold at the entrance
  • Installing a shower head too far away from the shower bench
  • Shower controls that have been installed too far from the shower bench
  • No place to store shower supplies inside the shower
  • Too many obstacles in or around the shower area 

Contact a Top-Rated Shower Door Company to Get a Free Estimate and Schedule a Consultation

If you live with senior family members, ensuring your shower enclosure is designed properly and equipped with all the right safety features is essential. If it’s time to upgrade your outdated framed shower enclosure and switch to a safer frameless shower door, contact Wise Glass today. We can meet with you to discuss what you can do to make your bathroom a safer environment for your elderly family members while going over the best design options that will add safety, functionality, and value to your home. Contact Wise Glass today to get a free estimate and schedule a consultation.

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February 21, 2024

Enhancing Bathroom Safety: Choosing Frameless Shower Doors for Seniors and Accessibility Needs

As people age, their bodies weaken, which can increase the risk of injuries after a fall. Bathrooms pose a significant danger for the elderly due to the many wet surfaces in the environment and physical limitations. Because of this, it’s important to prioritize bathroom safety for senior family members by adding basic safety features and […]

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