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Portable Showers For The Elderly (Roll In Showers – Barrier Free Showers)

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When I was practicing Occupational Therapy I spent a year going working for home health agencies and visiting my patients in their homes.  It was a great way to see “the other side” of the lives of these patients and how they were able to perform once they left the rehab unit.

There were some homes where I saw portable showers in a bedroom or elsewhere in the home.  They were very useful for not only the patient but the caregivers as well.  They can be used as a permanent shower stall or a temporary shower solution.

So, if you aren’t aware of these great pieces of equipment – let me enlighten you.

Portable Showers Are NOT Camping Showers

Portable showers are also known as Roll In Showers, Barrier Free Showers and Portable Wheelchair Showers.  These are all names that mean the same thing.  But the one thing they are not and should not be confused with is Camping Showers.

Although a portable shower to be used by an elderly person may look very similar to camping showers – they are not the same.  The main difference is that portable showers are often open at the top whereas camping showers oftentimes come with a “roof” of sorts.  The reason these showers are open on top is to give the caregivers access to helping the senior person in the portable shower stall.

The wheelchair accessible shower from Amazon shown here is an example of a simple shower stall that can be disassembled and put away.  There are more stable ones with solid sides that seem more semi-permanent.  The company Shower Bay (not an affiliate link) is a very popular company that makes these types of shower stalls for seniors.

How Much Does A Portable Shower Cost?

As you can see, the portable shower stall on Amazon sells for less than $1000.00 which is reasonable considering there are others that sell for over $2000.00.  It’s important to know that there are different sizes and different features offered so choosing the one that fits your needs and potentially future needs is important.

How To Choose The Right Portable Shower

Like most things, choosing the “right one” of any tool or piece of equipment depends on the needs of the users.

Below are a list of features and information about portable showers.

  • Dimensions – you will want to make sure that the portable shower you choose fits the area you are intending to put it in.  The one shown above from Amazon measures 48 x 36 x 48 inches.  Another roll in shower stall measures 36 x 36 x 48 inches.
  • Weight – they can weight anywhere from 25 lbs to 118 lbs.
  • Placement – portable shower units need to be situated near a water source and near an area where water can be drained.  The water source is normally a hose attached to a faucet.  The used water goes into a collection tank through a floor drain in the shower stall.  The tank is connected to a hose which drains out the water.  The hoses that come with portable showers (that connect to the faucet) range from 10 ft to 35 ft in length.
  • Shower heads – all portable showers come with hand held shower heads to make it easier for the user and the caregiver.

Whichever shower stall you end up purchasing – the benefits for the user are many.


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