A major struggle of many disabled people and/or those dealing with chronic illness can be the ability to practice “proper” hygiene. This article explores some of the ways in which showering and/or bathing can become more accessible.
What is an accessible shower? What does an accessible shower mean?
Let’s begin this conversation by addressing what is an accessible shower. An accessible shower is simply a shower that a person can take without any major difficulties. As you find when you look through the next section of this article which suggests potential solutions to this problem, almost everyone uses something to help them have a more accessible shower. However, for disabled people the accessibility is more of a need than a want, while for nondisabled people it tends to be more of a convenience. Either way, more accessible showering can be extremely helpful to both groups of people.
The following are some tools/products to make showers and baths accessible:
- 1. Shower Chair
- How does a shower chair help increase shower accessibility? A shower chair offers an alternative to standing while taking a shower.
- Who does a shower chair help? This tool can be extremely helpful to a wide variety of people. Anyone who can benefit from sitting down can be included in this category, such as people who tend to utilize wheelchairs, those who deal with joint issues, anyone experiencing chronic pain, those for whom standing may lead to fainting, etc.
- Examples of a shower chair:
- 2. Shower Filter
- How does a shower filter help increase shower accessibility? While a shower filter may seem like an unlikely accessibility tool, it can be extremely beneficial to reduce and remove certain types of chemicals, such as chlorine, found in modern water systems.
- Who does a shower filter help? Those who are sensitive to chemicals oftentimes found in the water system would find a shower filter can help increase their shower accessibility. For example, those dealing with any sort of Mast Cell Disorder would be able to take safer showers which wouldn’t lead to unwanted symptoms such as hives and headaches. These filters also benefit anyone using them even if they don’t usually have any symptoms caused by their shower water, especially since a lot of water systems have things like chloride added which can dry out the skin and even cause some more serious problems in the long-run.
- Examples of a shower filter:
- 3. Shower Rack/Suction Cup Basket
- How does a shower rack / suction cup basket help increase shower accessibility? These products help to provide easier access to hygiene products. By doing so, those taking a shower are able to spend more of their energy on utilizing the hygiene products rather than spending their energy on searching for and reaching for their products.
- Who do these products help? These products can help anybody. However, those with mobility issues would greatly benefit from them.
- Examples of shower rack and suction cup basket:
- 4. Safe Product
- How does a safe product help increase shower accessibility? The term “safe product” is open to interpretation as it means something different to each individual. For example, it may mean fragrance-free or offer a packaging that is easy to open. Therefore, there are a variety of ways in which these products could help shower accessibility.
- Who do safe products help? Since safe products can have varying meanings and uses per individual, they can help a wide range of people as well. Some specific examples would be hypoallergenic products for those with allergies/sensitivities and pumps on top of products for those dealing with joint issues.
- Examples of a safe product:
- 5. Handheld Shower Head
- How does a handheld shower head help increase shower accessibility? A handheld shower head helps to shower the entire body with a minimized amount of effort.
- Who does handheld shower head help? It helps a wide range of people, including those who need to be seated in a shower chair.
- Example of a handheld shower head:
- 6. Back Scrubber
- How does a back scrubber help increase shower accessibility? A back scrubber helps to clean certain body parts, such as the back, which may be hard to reach.
- Who does a back scrubber help? Back scrubbers can aid anyone with mobility issues.
- Examples of a back scrubber:
- 7. Shower Mat
- How does a shower mat help increase shower accessibility? A shower mat helps to prevent slipping and even prevent falls.
- Who does a shower mat help? Shower mats are often used by many people as a preventative measure to help people feel safer and more comfortable in their showers. Some people who have trouble standing or struggle with heat intolerance especially to the point of fainting can heavily benefit from a shower mat.
- Examples of a shower mat:
- 8. Detangling Brush
- How does a detangling brush help increase shower accessibility? A detangling brush allows people two more easily brush their hair in the shower while being gentle on joints.
- Who does a detangling brush help? It helps those who struggle with fatigue, joint pain, and anyone else feels discomfort while brushing their hair with more common types of hairbrushes.
- Examples of detangling brush:
- 9. Grab Rail
- How does a grab rail help increase shower accessibility? A grab rail helps similarly to a shower mat as it helps with slipping and prevents falling by having an area that someone can hold onto while showering.
- Who does a grab rail help? A grab rail helps anyone who is worried about slipping or falling. It also helps wheelchair users as they get into the shower/bathtub.
- Example of a grab rail:
- 10. Bath Board
- How does a bath board help increase shower accessibility? A bath board allows a person to rest in their bathtub comfortably and be able to take care of hygiene needs from that position since all the necessary products are already placed on the bath board.
- Who does a bath board help? Anyone who takes baths, especially due to accessibility needs, should consider a bath board.
- Examples of bath boards:
While this is a list of my personal top 10 ways to increase shower accessibility from my experience and what has been brought to my attention, please keep in mind this list will be different for different people as all our needs vary from one to the next. Check out these options. Choose what works best for you. Make showering an easier task for yourself as much as possible. Hygiene can be difficult for many disabled and/or chronically ill people, so let’s make it as easy for ourselves as we can.
(Please note that these links are affiliate links which means I may make a small profit if you purchase these products through my links. Thank you so much!)