There are many considerations when planning a shower enclosure for someone with special needs. Shower features such as curb-less (also known as no step entry or barrier free) and wider doors for a larger entrance are recommended for those with physical disabilities. The American Disability Act (ADA) guidelines and requirements can help you to integrate these safety features into any shower space.
When remodeling or constructing new showers designed for wheelchair accessibility or other physical disabilities, a shower space should be designed by integrating a frameless or semi-frameless shower enclosure style with all of the safety features necessary for easy, independent access.
When you decide upon the type of shower enclosure you would like, you need also consider which type of glass doors will work best. Consider the size and location of your shower space, the direction of the shower head when planning door placement and any nearby fixtures that may impede the operation of the shower doors. Do you need a roll in shower or a handicapped accessible walk-in?
A curb-less shower adheres to universal design principles which are design principles to allow for accessibility to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. A curb-less shower is very practical solution for those that are aging-in-place. Another alternative is a curbed shower with a slip resistant shower pan which allows easy accessibility. Glass shower doors can be single, double and outswing. To meet the ADA accessibility standard, doors must have a clear width of 32 inches from the face of the door to the opposite stop. It is advisable to make sure other doorways in your home also meet this standard.
We recommend that you work with an experienced remodeler familiar with universal design principles or is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) remodeler. Even though you implement safety features your aging in place bathroom does not need to have a sterile or hospital-like appearance. There are many options that will allow you to have a beautiful, safe, functional and accessible new shower space.