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Not all showers are equal when it comes to safety
15 January 2010
Why low level and step-in showers aren't low enough to offer a truly safe bathing solution
For safety reasons, a friend’s 85 year mother recently decided to replace her bath with a shower unit. She contracted the work to a company in the South East of England claiming to specialise in bathing and showering solutions for older people but was appalled by the experience. Not only did her mother find the installer rude and overbearing, the shower still doesn’t work properly and has leaked into her kitchen ceiling.
If this weren’t enough, it turns out that the shower wasn’t even a genuine level access showering solution. The only showers this ‘specialist’ company offers are step-in or low-level access showers and these just aren’t good enough. A curb of any height can be a trip hazard and should a shower commode chair be required in the future, the shower unit will need to be replaced again.
There is no doubt that installing a genuinely flush or ‘level access’ shower, where there is no curb or upstand, requires more effort on the part of the installer: a recess needs to be formed in the floor to house the shower tray. However, the result is a vastly superior outcome for long-term safe and independent showering. The fact that a company can promise to install a shower ‘in a day with no mess, no fuss’ is irrelevant if it means you end up with a band-aid solution that will likely need replacing. Surely it’s better to get things right, first time around with a company that genuinely cares about the experience their solutions offer to their customers.
Specialist bathing companies should be designing and installing solutions that offer the safest and greatest usability possible. And while it isn’t always possible to install level access showers every time, these companies should be promoting best practice, not just the easiest, most profitable solution for themselves.
Lisa set up Ruby Slippers when she discovered how little specialist assistance was available to help her family update their homes in their retirement years. Here, she regularly shares her thoughts and experiences.
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