Courtesy of Moen Home Care
A handshower is a key component to a universally designed shower.
With a handshower, you can adjust the showerhead’s height or remove it from the wall to more easily wash yourself, to assist a child or adult, or to bathe a pet. Also, some handshowers have settings such as pulse that can provide massage therapy.
Placed in tubs and showers, grab bars and handles can prevent slip and fall accidents. You can find prefabricated showers with integrated bars, or you can install individual grab bars. If you choose the latter option, make sure they are installed properly, with sufficient support and at the correct height. Having grab bars installed where there isn’t proper wall support can be worse than not any grab bars at all, since they can become dislodged from the wall once pressure is applied.
Mainstream manufacturers like Moen and Kohler are now including grab bars in their bathroom accessories catalog, and they are being sold at major home supply stores. And many grab bars are available in popular finishes that can match other bathroom hardware and shower fittings.
Bronze-finished grab bar and built-in shower seat.
Seats, Stools and Ledges
A seat or sitting area placed in tubs and showers can make bathing and washing safer and easier. Some prefabricated showers have built-in seats, but most bathtub seats must be purchased separately. Custom showers often have tiled seats built into them, as a ledge to sit on can be useful to children, anyone who can’t stand for long periods, and adults who need assistance.
Raised Toilet Seats
If sitting down and standing up strains your knees or muscles, then a raised toilet seat can increase your comfort. These toilet additions fit snugly over your existing toilet seat, raising the seat height between 2 and 5 inches. Some raised toilet seats also include additional width for comfort and handles to improve accessibility. Just remember that these seats have weight restrictions, so make sure the model you purchase can support your body weight.
Another option, if you’re planning to purchase a brand-new toilet: Look for a toilet with a taller base and a seat closer to chair height. Formerly only available for commercial applications, these toilets now come styles that look at home in your bathroom. Some examples of these kinds of toilets are Mansfield Plumbing’s toilets with SmartHeight and American Standard’s toilets with Right Height.
Accessible sinks give you the ability to use a sink and prep in front of a mirror while sitting down. Their main feature is allowing for knee space underneath the sink area. Many console tables and wall-mounted sinks provide open space under the sink.