Your Guide to Easy Access Walk-in Showers for Elderly

Your 1+1 Team
January 28, 2024

Showers and bathtubs are integral parts of our daily lives, yet they pose potential risks, especially for seniors with mobility challenges. Stepping into a shower can be hazardous due to slippery surfaces, making it crucial to explore safer alternatives. In this guide, we will delve into the world of walk-in showers for elders—designed to enhance accessibility, promote safety, and provide a comfortable bathing experience.

What Is a Walk-In Shower?

Walk-in showers are specifically tailored for people facing difficulties getting in and out of traditional tubs or showers. These showers offer a safe bathing experience with a minimal 3- to 5-inch lip to step over, ensuring easy access. 

Types of Walk-In Showers:

There are three main types of walk-in showers, each offering unique features to suit different preferences and spatial constraints:

  • Recessed walk-in showers: Installed into an alcove with walls from three sides and an enclosure or curtain from a single side.
  • Corner walk-in showers: Fitted into a corner with an enclosure from two sides.
  • Floating walk-in showers: Contacting only a single wall with an enclosure from three sides.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Walk-In Shower for Your Elderly:

Investing in a walk-in shower requires thoughtful consideration to ensure it meets your elderly loved one’s specific needs. Safety features play a crucial role, and factors such as built-in chairs, grab bars, and accessibility considerations should be taken into account.

Safety Features:

Key safety features to consider when selecting a walk-in shower include:

  • A chair-height seat: Ideal for those who struggle to stand for extended periods, providing comfort and support.
  • Grab bars: Strategically placed on shower walls to prevent falls and offer additional balance support.
  • Shower caddy: Ensures easy access to shower essentials, contributing to an overall safer bathing experience.
  • Scald guard: Some walk-in showers include anti-scald technology to prevent burns by adjusting the water temperature.


Walk-in showers can be installed through bathroom renovations or by purchasing units that fit into existing tub or shower spaces. Professional installation services, offered by companies like Safe Step, provide a hassle-free process, typically taking one to two days without damaging existing fixtures. It’s crucial to consider the surrounding floor, opting for honed or non-slip tiles to enhance safety.

Cost and Insurance Coverage:

The cost of walk-in showers varies based on models and installation methods, ranging from $3,500 to $15,000. Unfortunately, health insurance, including Original Medicare, does not cover walk-in shower installations as durable medical equipment. However, some long-term care insurance policies may offer coverage for home modifications. Checking with your insurance provider and exploring state-specific waivers for home and community-based services can help determine available coverage options.

Investing in a walk-in shower for your elderly loved one is a proactive step toward creating a safer and more accessible bathing environment, especially for seniors and individuals with mobility challenges. By considering the types of walk-in showers, safety features, installation options, and potential insurance coverage, you can make an informed decision to enhance your elderly loved one’s daily bathing experience and promote overall well-being at home.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

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