In terms of safety, shower curtain or shower door? - AgingCare.com

In terms of safety, shower curtain or shower door?

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Mom just had her first home care person give her a shower. She suggested that we switch over to a shower curtain. It currently has a door. My dad still uses that shower all by himself though. While a shower curtain would be easier if there is a helper, I always thought that the door is safer since they can't fall out. I don't want dad falling out since he's used this shower with a door for decades. What do people think in terms of safety, curtain or door?

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I would say the bigger question lies therein of does  the shower have grab bars? That is an absolute necessity...think falls. On the issue of a shower curtain as opposed to a door, I would choose the door. The shower curtain is a definite fall risk, since the elder will grab onto the shower curtain and will fall, pulling the curtain down to the ground with them!
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I switched from a glass door to a curtain since it was easier for me to monitor my Husband while he was in the shower and it was easier for me to help him if help was needed.
The other concern I had was that he might use the handle on the door as support. I also removed the towel bar right next to the shower entrance as I saw him try to use that as a grab bar.
I removed the door and stored it in a closet for the time when I could put it back on.
Hung the shower curtain.
Made it part of the routine that when He would go into the shower he would use his walker to get to the shower then I would move it until he was done then place it where he could grab onto that when he exited the shower.
When He became a little more unstable I/we switched to a bathroom down the hall from the Master, this bathroom was built for handicap use, roll in shower, grab bars in the shower (I did add a few more in that bathroom though) This is the shower he used from then on first with using a walker in the shower (great resale shops, inexpensive walkers that he used in the shower, I would toss them when they became rusty) then eventually a shower wheelchair.

If there is a way that you can have a shower put in with no threshold that would be great. Will save some worry and the ease of getting in and out is so worth it!!
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When we remodeled a bathroom a about 15 years ago we took out a shower that was a walk-in with the entry door on the narrow end farthest away from the shower head. That had annoyed me for years--reach in, turn on the water, jump back to keep from getting doused with cold water, wait for it to warm and hope I'd gotten the temp right. We put in fiberglass shower unit that was bathtub shaped, had molded seats on both corners, sliding doors on the wide side so you could easily get in and out, and a hand-held "telephone" shower head that could also be hung in a bracket like a fixed head. With a sliding door open we had good access to either the sprayer side or the far end. Loved that! Hated to leave it when we sold the house a couple of years ago. Now at my daughters there is a tub with a curtain, which is OK except that I make sure to have a good non-slip mat in it.
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Daughterof1930, I had that concern (sitting there cold) with walk-in tubs. A friend installed one and was wildly enthusiastic about it. Don't you get cold? No. I go in with a towel around my shoulders. The tub fills and drains faster than a normal tub. Hmm. A little later Coy saw advertisements and asked if we could get one. He loved bathes to the end. I got one with water jets. Very, very nice. Only wish I'd done it a few years earlier.

You can have a regular tub converted by installing a door. Useless. Don't waste your money. The huge value of a real walk-in tub is not only the door, but also that you sit as in a chair.
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Daughterof1930, I never thought about sitting there cold while the water filled the tub. Makes sense, Thank you so much for this input. I have ruled this type of tub out.
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Sounds like you found a good solution.

We had a tub/shower combination. Before scheduling my DH's hip replacement, we decided it was a good time to gut and redo the bathroom with a view toward greater safety and access as we age in place.

The tub came out. In the same footprint we had a tiled, curbless shower put in. We installed grab bars on all 3 walls of the niche-- a vertical one near the "exit", a diagonal one on the back wall and a horizontal one on the 3rd wall, where we hang the bath mat when not in use.

I decided to go with a shower curtain instead of a door-- I have a cloth curtain with a clear plastic liner. This arrangement allows for maximum access for caregivers, makes it easy to roll in a shower chair (if it ever becomes necessary), and leaves lots of room to move a wheelchair into position to transfer on/off the toilet, should that be necessary someday. (I remember how hard it was to transfer my late mother to and from the toilet when she used to visit us, even using a travel wheelchair-- there just wasn't enough room to maneuver.)
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Thanks for the responses everybody.

Re privacy. It's not a matter of privacy since the shower is in a bathroom with a door. I decided to go with a clear shower curtain. Not only is it brighter in there but it's clear to my dad that it's not a wall or door anymore so hopefully he won't be tempted to lean against it.

Re tub or shower. I neglected to say that it's a walk in shower.

I've had a shower seat in there for a couple of years but no one uses it. My dad is still fit so has no need. My mom doesn't because she doesn't shower much. That's why we are trying the home attendant to help her.

Dad says he never even leans on the doors so it's not a problem. I further addressed this by putting in a bar that fits across the entryway after he's in there. He just has to swing it into place. So it's basically a handrail that's in place where the doors once were. But can be left aside for when the attendant comes.
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My mother not only ended up removing the doors from the tub/shower in her main bathroom she also removed the one on the stall shower in her 2nd bath. As she aged she was afraid of falling and going through the door plus it became harder for her to clean with the sliding doors on the tub.
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It is possible to have a door and a curtain?
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I am 80 years old and still take tub baths, which I love...for me there is nothing more relaxing and it really helps when I have one of my frequent gas pains. But no question that, even with grab bars, it is getting harder to get up and out of! I often wonder what will be the precipitating event that makes me give up tub baths.
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