America's aging population is at its highest point in history. Thanks to a combination of medical advances, fewer dangerous jobs, and a healthier diet, the percentage of people who are above the age of 60 has tripled since 1950, and shows no signs of slowing down, estimated to reach more than 2.1 billion by 2050. And, with this healthier lifestyle, you don't necessarily need to consider retirement communities or nursing homes to continue to live life to the fullest. Why not age in place in the home you've owned for years? Perhaps the house you bought while you were in your thirties isn't working as well as if did when you were younger, but you can make some minor adjustments so you can age in place. Since falls are the leading cause of a person's decline as they age, the home should be outfitted to minimize the chances of taking a tumble. Since the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home, one of the best solutions to eliminate some risk is to install a walk-in shower for seniors.
Benefits of a Walk-In Shower
The newest versions of these walk-in units are hybrids, combining the convenience of a shower with the option of a soothing, heated bath, where jets can stimulate and nourish the skin, soothing away the day's frustrations or help heal your sore muscles. These units come loaded with a number of safety features, including handrails, a comfortable heated seat, dual heads to accommodate both the shower and the bath elements, anti-scald technology, a low point of entry, and a quick-drain system so you aren't sitting in cold water for several minutes while the tub empties.
What to Look For
The best units are made from acrylic with a gel coat overlay and an anti-skid flooring. Most brands can provide proof they have undergone rigorous testing and will provide you with years of reliability. Look for a unit that comes with a lifetime warranty at a fair price, and make sure the dealer can have the unit professionally installed. In most cases, these units can fit in the space where the conventional bathtub has been, but special plumbing may be needed, and any warranty may be voided without having it professionally installed. These are a few considerations when considering the installation of a walk-in shower for seniors.