Whether you are planning to build a new home, or remodeling your current one, it is beneficial to consider options that will allow you to live in your home comfortably and safely as you age. Options like walk-in tubs and barrier-free showers can be easier to use for anyone; for the mobility-impaired, they are much safer and accessible. However, one of these options may be better fitted to your needs than the other.
BARRIER-FREE SHOWERS: Also called walk-in or curbless showers, these showers are designed to be the most accessible, having no threshold to step over. An ADA compliant barrier-free shower has a full 60-inch opening, so that it is wheelchair accessible. Showerheads are often adjustable or hand-held. You have ample room to turn and maneuver. Also, the space these showers provide are ideal for those who need a caretaker while bathing.
WALK-IN TUBS: Traditional bathtubs can be dangerous for the mobility-impaired, hence the advent of walk-in tubs. For some, choosing a walk-in tub over a shower is worth it, because baths can be very relaxing and therapeutic for those with certain medical conditions. However, walk-in tubs have some drawbacks. They still have a threshold to step over. It is also not as convenient, as you must be in the tub before filling it, and you must wait for the water to drain out before getting out. Walk-in tubs can also be more expensive than barrier-free showers.
Choosing between these options ultimately comes down what best fits your present and future needs.
For an aging-in-place expert, reach out to member Kent McCool, Home Safe Homes.