Conventional shower trays and cubicles are generally not suited to the needs of care home residents. They often feature a raised edge around the shower tray to contain shower water, but this can be an obstacle and a trip hazard for patients with limited mobility and for wheelchair access.
Cubicles also often feature limited width access, which can be a hindrance to wheelchairs, walking frames and carers who need to assist with showering.
A walk-in shower allows unimpeded access between the changing and showering areas of the bathroom, and is designed to contain all showering water without the inconvenience of hinged or sliding doors.
If a shower is fitted with a level access tray, this is set flush with the rest of the bathroom floor and requires a threshold of 10mm or less. Wheelchair users can therefore access the shower area without assistance and ambulant users are less at risk of trips and falls.
This can often reduce the need of carer intervention, which brings benefits in terms of maintaining the dignity of users and releasing carers for other tasks.
If a resident has reasonable mobility, a low-level access shower may be more suitable. This features a small step of 60mm or less, so would be unsuited to wheelchair access but installation is simpler, particularly if the shower is replacing an existing shower or bath.
A wetroom is the ultimate solution for residential care home bathing facilities, for several reasons.
- It is more accessible
In a wetroom, the showering area floor is contiguous with the rest of the room, eliminating the need for a threshold and allowing residents with reduced mobility to access showering facilities without assistance.
- It is safer
Wetroom flooring is designed to be warm underfoot and anti-slip, even when wet.
- It is easier to clean
With the entire floor and wall areas sealed and resistant to cleaning chemicals, a wetroom can be easily cleaned and sanitised with water spray or steam. The outlet drain is flush with the bathroom floor, so all water will easily drain away.
This reduces not only janitorial costs but also the risk of bacterial contamination that can put residents and carers at risk.
- It requires lower maintenance
A wetroom eliminates the risk of water spillages or overspray escaping and penetrating the fabric of the building, where it can cause expensive damage to drywall and timber, and shock or fire hazard with electrical supply.
Eastern Adaptations are highly experienced designers and installers of safe, accessible showers and wetrooms for domestic and healthcare applications, and can create solutions that are cost-efficient, low-maintenance and practical yet maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment.