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Looking for a better shower experience

September 3, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
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I have been getting showers in nursing homes for many years. For me, a good shower is (or should be) and enjoyable, invigorating experience. For example, the administrator at one facility told me the water pressure was better in the shower on another unit. He was right. The few times I was showered there I loved the high-powered handheld sprayer, which could be shut off with the push of a button. The water was always hot instantly and that allowed the aides to give me a shower more quickly.

But since I lived on a different unit, I had to use that shower. The water always took longer to warm up and the handheld shower sprayer did not have much pressure or an off push button. Consequently, the aides had to run the shower for a while to get the water hot.

Since I only get three showers a week, I look forward to the experience. But one thing has continuously befuddled me is that the handheld shower wands seldom spray very well. As a result, my shower is not invigorating.

Shower wands are frequently partially clogged from the water's minerals. Then they shoot tiny streams of water everywhere. Then an aide can be soaked before even starting a shower.

I know the facility wants to economize on water so the hand sprayer releases a light spray. Since I also live in a behavioral facility, and I realize administration does not want residents using the shower wand like a water cannon.

However, there must be a way to satisfy residents who want a brisker sprayer. If the stream runs harder and faster it is easier to rinse off the resident. I know from experience it seems it takes forever to get the soap from my skin and the shampoo from my short hair.

A more forceful showerhead sprayer also allows the aides to spray down the shower walls and floor quicker, making cleanup easier for housekeeping staff. In most nursing homes, shower chairs and manual wheelchairs are cleaned in the shower rooms, which is another reason for an adjustable shower wand spray.

I think shower wands could be water efficient and have a better spray. An instant shut-off button on the handheld sprayer would save water. I have never tried a rain shower wand, but I wish the one here had that setting.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...