Important Facts About Glass Shower Enclosures for the Elderly

Posted on: 23 February 2015

As your parents age, there are often tough decisions that need to be made with them about their ability to take care of themselves and how to make them safer at home  Given the advances in modern medicine and the different home safety products on the market, many people of advanced years manage to stay independently in their homes for many years. Others may have been counting the days until they were able to move in with you or one of your siblings.

Regardless of whether you are improving their home or modifying yours for their stay, it is essential to consider the use of shatterproof glass. 

What Type of Glass Should Be Used?

Shatter-resistant glass is typically ideal for the bathroom doors. The bulkiness and moisture of a shower curtain can make it easier for a senior citizen to slip-and-fall, which could cause serious injury. Therefore the best choice would be to completely do away with the shower curtain and focus on the glass.

In this instance, it is a good idea to understand what shatter-proof glass actually is. If you see something that boasts it is shatter-proof, it is important to understand that it could still break. However, its construction and the presence of plastic or resin between the two types of glass prevents shattering it from as into many pieces as it would otherwise. When the glass is damaged, the middle piece is designed to hold the pieces, preventing injuries.  

Therefore, shatter-proof and shatter-resistant glass are virtually identical, but don't be surprised if it does break, to see the contained pieces. 

Tempered Glass Only Looks Like a Good Idea

Tempered glass is often a beautiful addition to your bathroom and in theory, it may seem as if providing your loved one with a little more privacy in the shower would be a good thing. Unfortunately, it is not. Although not common, there have been reports of tempered glass shattering hours or days after the door itself received a side impact, often with no visible damage before the occurrence.

Any major jolt to the glass could be sufficient to damage the tempered glass, resulting in broken glass and dropped hardware. In addition, by providing your parent with tempered glass for their shower, it would be easier to spot them if they fell or were otherwise incapacitated while showering. As a result, it can be pretty to look at, but dangerous to use and it's simply not worth the risk to your loved ones.  

In conclusion, the shower, with its humidity and slippery surfaces, can be a significant safety challenge. Before an injury occurs, it is a good idea to plan for the improvements to your shower enclosure