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Shower access for the disabled and elderly

Bathing is a fundamental life experience for all of us, beginning from the time we were babies playing with bath toys in the tub and continuing on in other forms for the rest of our lives.  It’s also a life experience that is easily taken for granted, or even considered inconvenient when our days are very long and busy. However, for the disabled and elderly, shower access and the ability to bathe regularly is often a daily struggle.

The reason? 

Small height barriers, or ‘curbs’, usually ½” or more, that are designed to prevent water from spilling out of the shower or tub.

The solution? 

 ADA compliant shower ramps.  By enabling wheelchairs to easily roll in showers, these ramps provide the necessary level of safe access while also maintaining the personal independence that many disabled and elderly yearn for. 

Shower ramps are also very beneficial for caregivers since they make it much easier for them to bathe their clients, which is a primary duty of a caregiver.

What makes shower access difficult?   

A shower door transition edge with a vertical height greater than ½”, which is standard for roll in showers, can make wheelchair access difficult, if not impossible.  

While manageable for folks who can easily maneuver their wheelchairs over and around smaller impediments, these obstacles can be dangerous for the elderly, disabled, and those that simply have trouble overcoming a walk-in shower or tub transition.

These thresholds, even at ½”, can cause trips, slips, and falls, as well as potentially preventing life-saving mobility if one of those accidents were to occur.

How can you make shower access ADA compliant?

Regulations within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require the removal of barriers in the showering facilities of buildings and public accommodations.  Showers that have access barriers need to be remodeled or retrofitted in order to be safe, accessible, and convenient for the elderly and disabled.

For shower access in residential settings, overcoming height barriers is more of a matter of convenience, independence and safety rather than a legal requirement.  They also are very helpful for caregivers that care for their patients in the home.

In both cases, shower ramps are often considered the optimal solution due to their flexibility and lower cost compared to the alternative option of remodeling.  The minimum requirement for shower ramps is 12” of length for every 1” of rise (8.3% of slope).  Installation generally does not require shower or floor alterations, although disability access codes may also require a maneuverable clearance area for wheelchairs.

What features are important when buying a shower ramp?

There are a number of important features that a good shower ramp must have, and they include:

  • ADA compliance to ensure that safety requirements are met.
  • Durability 
  • Slip-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable

Why choose SafePath Products for a shower ramp?

SafePath Products offers a wide selection of shower ramps and transitions for walk-in bathtubs and showers that require edge treatment or a transition ramp to overcome height barriers.  All of our ramps are quality-assured and have the following features:

  • ADA compliant – All our ramps, transitions, and reducers are ADA compliant and satisfy disability access codes for showers, walk-in bathtubs/showers, and steam showers.
  • Versatile – Our shower ramps are designed for both residential and commercial use.
  • Durable – Our ramps are made from 100% recycled rubber and are engineered for quality and longevity. 
  • Slip-resistant and water-resistant – Our non-absorbent recycled rubber ramps are slip-resistant and waterproof.
  • Convenient – Our ramps are customizable for shower door size, transition height, side approaches, and sloped or mitred sides for safety. 
  • Easy installation – Install in minutes with silicone adhesive for permanent solutions, or with double-backed tape for less permanent applications.
  • Multiple color options – Generally coated in our white SafeShower coating but also available in standard black or with any of our exclusive StoneCap Color Coating options.
  • Affordable – Competitive market pricing, and much more cost-effective than remodeling.

For more information on the benefits and utility of shower ramp systems please visit our SafeShower Ramps page, or call us toll free at 800-497-2003.  

To see all of the other ADA compliant products we sell please visit our Products Page.

SafePath Products is an American manufacturer of ADA compliant threshold ramps, entry level landings, seismic surface transitions, flooring reducers and other industrial and residential products for ADA access code compliance. For over 24 years we’ve been the industry leader in providing “green” solutions to the construction industry, and all of our products are made from 100% recycled rubber here in the USA. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your next project.