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Incorporating Universal Design Into the the Bathroom Shower


Universal design addresses the need to create living spaces, including the bathroom shower that are accessible to anyone, regardless of their age or physical ability. According to the AARP, one in four Americans will be 65 or older by the year 2020. Additionally, 56 million Americans, or approximately 19 percent of the US population, reported having some sort of disability on the 2010 census. These statistics demonstrate the growing need for spaces that comply with universal design standards, and with an increasingly aging and disabled population, it is imperative that designers, architects and plumbers adhere to universal design guidelines in order to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Not Applying Universal Design in the Bathroom Can be Dangerous To An Aging Population

If they’re not mindfully designed, bathrooms can pose serious challenges to the elderly and disabled. Showers are particularly problematic, and tasks such as getting in and out of the tub or turning on the water can be almost impossible for people with limited mobility. To assist those who might have difficulty showering, handshowers are an excellent alternative to traditional showerheads. Unlike fixed showerheads, handshowers are free moving and can be attached to a fixed wallbar. This lets users mount the handshower at various heights, affording those who either need to sit while in the shower or are confined to a wheelchair complete control over their showering experience.

A Handshower Is A Good Place To Start

Picture of Axor Fix Fit Outlet

Axor Starck Fix Fit Wall Outlet

Hansgrohe makes a product called a “FixFit” wall outlet. When strategically placed and installed with a handshower, it puts the control of the water closer to the bather, something that is vital for individuals who are unable to stand up in the shower. Mounting the FixFit wall outlet closer to the seating area puts the handshower at a height that can be comfortably reached. For care-givers who need to multi-task when caring for individuals in the shower, the handshower can be turned on and off in a pinch, further streamlining the bathing process for both parties.

Hansgrohe’s Raindance Select E 120 AIR Green 3-Jet Handshower is an excellent option for those looking toUniversal design for plumbing incorporate universal design in their homes. The handshower is easily removed from its stationary wall mount and can be paired with an accessible wall outlet, letting individuals with limited mobility easily and independently bathe themselves. In addition, the Raindance Select offers its users the opportunity to choose between three different spray settings (RainAir, Rain and WhirlAir) by clicking the ergonomically placed “Select” button. Conventional hand showers require the user to grasp and rotate the spray face when changing settings. Those with limited range of motion in their hands and fingers will find that changing the spray settings by pushing a button is easier and more comfortable to use.

For more information, please visit http://www.universaldesign.com, a website that is dedicated to providing free access to universal design information.

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