Universal Universe: CAPS Project
“The grab bars are great! I use all three and it is as if they have always been there. The new seat – which I never used in my old shower – is wonderfully placed and the low curb makes entering the shower much easier for me. I feel very comfortable and safe – everything is quite natural.”
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, I am called upon to facilitate an assortment of projects. My CAPS discipline includes training that enables me to design spaces that are safe and usable, for home owners who wish to stay in their homes long-term, as well as for clients who have existing physical conditions. The ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) was the precursor to CAPS, yet includes many of the same goals: design that accommodates everyone, regardless of physical ability or limitation.
For my clients with existing physical challenges, I meet the design task with as much compassion and empathy as possible so that I may provide them with a solution that not only meets their needs, but respects their humanity.
A bathroom that accommodates their needs does not have to look sterile or commercial.
This featured project is an excellent example of all of these factors.
I designed this shower stall for a client who requires assistance standing and walking.
Communication is always key in the client / designer relationship, but it is even more critical when a client has very specific, physical needs.
The re-design of this shower was required to meet the following criteria for the client:
- stability when entering the shower (vertical grab bar)
- ease while entering the shower (low shower curb)
- support while standing and bathing (horizontal grab bars)
- a seat for resting
- assistance with rising from the shower seat (horizontal grab bar)
- storage for soap and shampoo that did not encroach upon the interior space (niches)
- anti-scald shower valve (prevents extreme fluctuations in water temperature)
- enlarge the shower stall (remove old fiberglass module and framed out new shower with custom base)
- visual beauty, in keeping with the existing room style
- quick turnaround time while the client was on an extended vacation
A project such as this is equally rewarding, both for my client and for myself.
It brings me great joy to create safe, healing spaces for others and I am blessed to be doing work that I love.