Handicap Shower Table?
I have a friend, a tri-athelete who has recently become a quadriplegic due to a mountain biking accident. In preparation for his homecoming from the hospital a group of us outfitted his shower and bathroom with the ADA safety bars and grips.
He is home now and has requested if possible that we build him a support table in the shower to rest his arms on, hold his shampoo, etc. In our design discussions we have determined what he needs is an extension table that runs from the edge of the bathroom vanity across the shower and rests on the grab bar we installed. He currently sits on an ADA chair that has a set of legs in the tub/shower, the other outside. He is a very ambulatory quad with good arm movement, but little hand strength, no movement from midchest down, but recently he has been able to move his ankles, which has surprised his doctors.
I was thinking of a design similar to hatch covers on sail boats that would provide the support, but allow water to drain through. The unit would be 47″ long and 12-14″ wide, made of either teak or redwood. I wanted to run the idea by this illustrious group and see if you had any brilliant ideas or experience in this area. Of course any design will be coordinated with his ADA advisor as required by his insurance company. Just looking for ideas before I start cutting wood. Have you priced teak lately? Yikes!
I'd be looking for something in stainless from a kitchen or SS fab place. Maybe fold-down so it can be out of the way if necessary. I always hated wood in the shower -- it only looks good for about two days, and then it gets scummy from the soap, etc. But I may not understand exactly what you're describing.
You got me re-thinking the wood approach. I found a great stainless rack that will work perfectly and be easier and cheaper to build and last much longer. I do appreciate all the great advice on this site. Thanks again
Experienced, but still dangerous!
I was thinking, if permanent, cultured marble or granite and sloped to drain.
Good for you and your friends for coming to a friend in need and god bless!!!
Jeff in PA
Bathing is a real challenge for the handicapped. I know a guy who is a paraplegic - his legs are non-functional after a MC wreck. He was telling me the other day that some time ago he was at his sister's house that wasn't outfitted for him. Long story short, he fell in the shower and broke his leg - and didn't know it until like 3 days later!
>> In our design discussions we have determined what he needs is an extension table that runs from the edge of the bathroom vanity across the shower and rests on the grab bar we installed. <<
Wouldn't that make the grab bar no longer useable?
As far as material to use for the table wouldn't wood require maintenance and be a possible harbor for mildew, etc? I like the SS, cultured marble ideas, or how about even solid surface (Corion type material)? A quick Google brought up this page. Maybe something like this would work?