Adapting a bathroom for someone with limited mobility?

You’ve probably already considered user-friendly showers and accessible toilets. Wheelchair-friendly and accessible sinks tend to come pretty high up on the agenda too.

But what other bathroom elements can make a difference to a patient or customer?

A small detail that often comes up is whether a shower screen or curtain is best to use. Does it really matter which one you have?

Let’s weigh up our options and find out.

shower screen

Shower Screens And Accessibility

Shower screens can be an important element in transforming the shower into an accessible space.

You may have seen accessible shower screens available as part of a package deal for accessible bathrooms. These specialist shower screens can boast half-height doors to make help while washing a breeze, and even extra hinged panels to provide flexibility to the shape of the showering space. 

Portable shower screens are also a popular option for accessible bathrooms where a permanent screen is either unnecessary or impossible to install. These products are lightweight, easy to move around and come in different shapes and sizes. 

Accessible shower screens are everywhere, but there is evidence to suggest that a shower curtain could be the better bet.

shower curtain

Curtains: A Safer Option?

Installing accessible shower curtains in adapted bathrooms instead of glass screens makes it less likely for a patient or customer to hurt themselves in the case of a fall. 

Screens and doors that fold inwards may also restrict the space and be highly inconvenient or tricky to manage for wheelchair users and individuals with reduced strength or a small range of movement.

Compared to your flimsy, run-of-the-mill domestic version, accessible shower curtains are extremely durable and made to last. Many benefit from double or even triple layers of vinyl and come weighted at the base, forming a 100% waterproof barrier between the shower space and the rest of the bathroom.

Heavy-duty accessible shower curtains are also designed to resist electrical shocks, fire and harmful bacteria. This means that not only are they the safer option, but a more sanitary one too.

Curtains And Privacy

So accessible shower curtains are safer? That’s right.

More hygienic? Yep!

What about increased privacy? Absolutely.

Accessible shower curtains form a visual barrier that most shower screens often don’t, enabling users to retain their dignity and feel more at ease whilst washing. 

Curtains can also be manoeuvred far more easily than hefty shower screens, allowing for maximum independence with help just a short reach away if needed. 

What If I Don’t Want A Curtain?

Though modern accessible shower curtains are safe and practical, they can appear rather clinical-looking compared to the colours and patterns of standard domestic shower curtains. 

For this reason and others, some patients and customers will simply not want a curtain at all.

As a compromise, it is possible to source plastic shower doors to use in place of the usual glass screens. Because they don’t shatter upon impact if a user were to fall against them, plastic shower screens and doors are the next best option if an accessible curtain isn’t a viable solution.

Curtains Are The Safest Choice, But You’ve Got Options

There are plenty of combinations out there to suit your patient or customer’s needs.

When searching for a shower screen solution, consider how vulnerable your individual is, and how much help they’ll need whilst washing. Are they likely to fall? Are they willing to compromise on style for a safer showering experience?

Considering safety alone, accessible shower curtains are the number one option to provide utmost independence and give you and your patient or customer peace of mind.

Need to talk it through? Give us a call. 

The John Ford Group has over 14 years of experience improving domestic and commercial properties for a variety of needs and our fantastic team really know their stuff.