Bathing can be a time of anxiety for those who are disabled or aging. Caregivers face challenges as well due to safety issues in the bathroom. Bathtubs and showers can be slippery environments with hard surfaces and sharp corners. For those in wheelchairs, the transfer process can be difficult and has the potential for falls and other injuries. Can you imagine not being able to relax and enjoy the luxury of taking a shower or bath?
United Disabilities Services is now offering a Caregiver Half-Height Door for showers that allows a caregiver to assist the user in showering or bathing, while controlling water and keeping the caregiver dry.
The Caregiver Half-Height doors create a water barrier, once closed, ensuring that no water runs out of the shower. This helps to control water splash on both the floor and the caregiver, and keeps the surrounding area safer.
When opened, the Caregiver Half-Height doors allow full access to roll-in showers, walk-in showers and full barrier-free showers. The Half-Height doors are easy to install and can be used with most shower units.
Caregivers who have used the Half-Height doors are grateful to have a product that allows for easier care for their loved one and for the ability to stay dry in the process. The safety of dry floors and surfaces is also an important element for their consideration.
The transfer process in and out of the shower or bath can be made easier with the installation of grab bars. The UDS eStore carries a line of carefully chosen grab bars that are fully functional and aesthetically pleasing as well.
The UDS eStore offers carefully chosen product offerings, gives contractor discounts, has trained field technicians available for advice, will give design consultations and offers good prices that are tax free. United Disabilities Services has years of experience in helping the disabled, veterans and those aging in place to create individualized design solutions for home modifications. Products can be found at estore.udservices.org or call 888.428.0240 to speak with the UDS Home Modifications team.
Your home modification needs for achieving accessibility may be as simple as the use of grab bars or a shower seat; or you may have more complex requirements which involve a complete shower or bathtub replacement. We recommend discussing specific needs with a qualified contractor and using the following checklist to identify the appropriate products available:
This roll-in shower makes accommodating a wheelchair a breeze.
Specific bathroom items:
- Swing-out doors
- Non-slip floors
- Grab bars
- Reinforced walls, i.e., ¾” plywood backing throughout, for installation of grab bars
- 5” square clear area (required for most wheelchair users to make a 360⁰ turn). Since many wheelchair users can function in smaller areas, measure exact clear floor space if less than 5’.
- Chair-height racks/shelves/cabinets
- Lever handled faucets
- Lowered or tilted mirror
- Roll-under vanity top
- Hinged, fold-down seat in shower
- Roll-in shower with no curb
- Hand-held or adjustable shower head
- Bathtub with non-skid strips or surface
- Half-height caregiver doors
- Toilet seat 17” – 19” from floor, or wall mounted toilet
- Telephone outlet
- A ground level entrance clear of any major obstructions that would accept a ramp with a slope no greater than 1” height per 12” in length.
- At least one large bathroom with a 32” clear door opening and clear 5’ X 5’ floor turnaround space
- Wide doorways (32” – 36” clear width)
- Wide hallways (42” – 60”)
- Low-pile carpeting with thin padding or smooth surfaces
- Chair-height (48” – 54”) doorbell/mailbox
- Chair-height electrical controls/outlets (excluding the kitchen, generally controls are 6” lower and outlets are 6” higher than standard)
- Chair-height push button telephones/jacks
- Accessible, easily operated window controls, i.e., slide to side can be opened with one hand or less than 8 pounds of pressure, located 24” – 28” from floor
- Audio and visual smoke detectors
- Large windows, overhead lighting or several electrical outlets in each room (lighting is a big consideration for persons with low vision)
When engaging a contractor to make home modifications, consumers should check their references and look for specific home modification experience. A contractor who is certified in home modifications is the best selection for an accessibility solution.
UDS offers solutions that have been evaluated by the UDS team for use in home modifications. Visit the eStore at https://estore.udservices.org.
The products offered on our eStore focus primarily on bathroom modifications and include shower seats, grab bars, open showers, wet room systems, water containment products, home modification showers, shower pans and half-height caregiver doors. These products will allow for wheelchairs to roll into the shower without any accessibility issues and can facilitate easy transfers in and out of the shower or tub.
Grab bars can be especially important in allowing people to maintain independence and privacy in the bathroom. The UDS eStore has a wide range of grab bars available which also make a bathroom safer when transferring in and out of the bathtub or shower.
The stylish Invisia Collection offers an Accent Ring, Corner Seat, Corner Shelf, Soap Dish, Toilet Roll Holder, and Towel Bars – all with Integrated Support Rail. There is also a BathBench which rests across the tub and can double as a bath caddy. Or, select from Moen’s Curl Grip Grab Bars in three beautiful finishes. There are also Swing-Up Grab Bars and a number of different Super Poles that can be used in different areas around the home when no wall is available for a traditional grab bar.
Invisia Towel Bar with Integrated Rail Support
Invisia Soap Dish with Integrated Support Rail
An experienced and certified home modifications contractor will be able to make recommendations from these product selections and will know how to install all of the products offered on the UDS eStore. Whether you need simple grab bars or shower seats or more complex modification solutions, we can help you identify what you’ll need.
Visit our eStore to shop all of the above products.
Sometimes changes in life, whether due to aging, dealing with a progressive disease, or an unfortunate accident, force people to make major adjustments in their lives and their homes. No matter the cause, there are modifications that need to be made to a home in order to facilitate daily living when these changes occur.
Home modification should begin with a home assessment. Look for a contractor certified in Universal Design who will come to your home and perform a needs assessment. The first visit should be free and is required before an estimate can be given to you for review or approval. Your contractor should be capable in assessing your complete living needs; from your garage to kitchen to bathroom. Ramps or lifts may also be needed, so an experienced home modification contractor will readily recognize your unique needs and will be key to the success of your project. The contractor will also determine if walls need to be moved, if electrical and plumbing changes are required and, in the case of a large project, whether building permits are needed. In addition, an experienced contractor will have a thorough knowledge of accessibility products.
Many experienced home modifications contractors use products from the United Disabilities Services eStore. The UDS Home Modifications Division uses these selections in the projects they install in the Southcentral PA area. The Home Modifications Team has vetted all of the products and recommends them for Universal Design projects. In addition, the UDS eStore has trained field technicians available for advice. They will also give design consultations and offer contractor discounts that are tax free. Products can be found at http://estore.udservices.org.