One of the more daunting activities of daily life that a person with disabilities faces is that of taking a bath. This is where shower chairs play an important role
For someone without disabilities, this is certainly not an area of concern.
However, for a person with mobility issues, the bathroom is a risky and dangerous place.
There are hundreds of people injured in the bathroom each year and the disabled are at a higher risk of slipping or falling and breaking a bone.
Shower Chair Comparison Table
#1.Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Adjustable Shower Chair Seat Bench with Removable Back
#2. Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Shower Lift Chair
#3. Shower Chair with Back by Vive
#4. Moen DN7025 Adjustable Tub and Shower Seat
#5. Better Living Products 70060 Spa Seat
#6. Medical Tool-Free Assembly with Anti-Slip Rubber Tips for Safety and Stability
#7. Healthline Trading Round Stool Bath Bench Adjustable Height Lightweight Shower with Non-Slip Seat
#8. Moen DN7100 Shower Chair
#9. Medical Tool-Free Stool with Anti-Slip Rubber
#10. Super buy 8 Height Adjustable Medical Shower Bath Chair Bathtub
Importance of shower chair
These special chairs have durable body and legs that are made from durable materials such as aluminum. To make it more secure, a rubber is added at the bottom of each leg to prevent it from slipping. The major consideration in choosing shower chair is its size and its maximum weight capacity.
Types of shower chairs
There are many types of shower chair and each of them has their distinct characteristics.
- Large/Small wheeled shower chair – This type of shower chair has wheels that allow the person to push himself to the bathroom with any assistance from the other person. They are available on large and small wheels. But the problem in a small wheeled shower chair is that it is hard to maneuver especially on floors that have thick carpets. In this situation, an assistant may help bring that person into the bathroom.
- Sani-chair – Sani chair is a different type of shower chair. It can also be used in the shower but its main purpose is to be used over a toilet. It is a mobile chair that has a hinged toilet. They are also available on large and small wheels.
- Shower trolley – This is a type of shower chair that has larger wheels with a platform allowing the person to be pushed into the bathroom or shower area while lying down. But due to the fact that it is much longer compared to other chairs, it is seldom used in a domestic situation. Most of these chairs would not fit into a standard shower area.
Using these shower chairs would be very helpful for those people who have suffered from injuries or from any physical damage.
This can help them take care of their daily hygiene even without the help other people in any given situation.
How to Use a Shower Chair
How to Use a Shower Chair for an Elderly Person
Whether you are buying a shower chair for your own use or are a carer or family member looking after an elderly person, it’s important to be aware of the various steps to using a shower chair with safety.
For elderly people who live alone, bath and shower time can be a difficult and worrying experience. However, by using a chair in the bath or shower cubicle, the risk of accidents and injury can be greatly reduced.
Even when there are two people present during the cleaning process, there are still various dangers related to slipping and tripping, even with the benefit of a chair. The following advice is intended for elderly owners of shower chairs as well as those who might be on hand during the procedures and will shine a light on things to consider so as to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Preparation for Showering
Before you even use the shower chair for elderly people, it’s vital to prepare the bathroom so as it is fit for use. This means, amongst other things, making sure the floor is dry so as no one slips over and is badly injured. Bath towels should be placed in easy-to-reach locations as should soaps, shampoos, body scrubbers, sponges and other bathroom accessories used in regular cleaning sessions. The shower chair itself should also be positioned close to the shower or bath, ready to use.
If you’re an elderly person living alone, it will be sensible to phone a family member or friend before showering. This will make someone aware of what you’re doing and thus able to phone you back half-an-hour to an hour later (depending on your choice of time) to make sure you completed the shower safely and without incident.
Secure the chair in place
There are a few different types of shower chair for elderly people and these vary in regards to whether they fit in a bath, shower cubicle or indeed, both. Place the chair in the bath or shower stall and make sure it is on a flat surface, secure and does not wobble.
Lock any wheels if applicable. Try to slide the shower chair around. It should not move at all if the rubber-tipped legs are doing their job properly. Finally, make any final adjustments such as the height of the seat and the width of the arm span.
Entering and Exiting the Shower
The most dangerous and exhausting aspect of showering when you’re elderly and infirm is getting into and out of the shower. If you are showering alone, then it’s important to transfer into and out of the shower slowly and carefully.
One of the best items of equipment you can use to help you with this process is a transfer bench. This item is a longer form of the standard shower chair which has one end open allowing the person to gently maneuver into and out of a bathtub or stall.
When showering is complete, the primary focus should be on drying yourself off as quickly as possible and moving to a warmer and drier location. That said, it is important, once again, to not rush and thereby risk injury. In many ways, taking things slowly and carefully is the fastest way to accomplish a task.
If possible, it is generally sensible to towel dry in the shower before exiting the stall or bath. This will mean your hands and body will have better grip for holding onto handrails and handles.
Added Safety Features
Some shower chairs for the elderly come with safety belts which can be fixed to prevent the person in the chair from falling out. Depending on your physical condition or that of your elderly family member, this feature will be something to look out for when purchasing a shower chair for elderly people in the first place. As well as this, chairs will also come with handles and footrests, plus a whole host of possible additions depending on one’s requirements.
When the cleaning process has been completed there are a couple of things to do in order to ensure the chair is ready for the next shower. Good hygiene is a vital ingredient in bathroom furniture and this is especially important when it concerns the health of elderly people and young children.
Make sure the chair is washed thoroughly after each use. This can be done by rinsing it in the shower or bathtub and wiping it down as you would other bathroom fixtures. Leave it to dry and then store it in a storage area or alternatively leave it next to the shower ready for use again.
The material used On the Chair
The material used in the construction of shower chairs also varies but only in slight ways. As one might expect, the chairs need to be waterproof, strong and without sharp edges, thus strengthened plastic is the norm.
There are some other more eye-catching options which are differences of an aesthetic nature and these include teak shower benches. All chair legs are metal and as mentioned previously, have rubber feet in the form of suction cups or similar.
Most shower chairs also come with handles or bars which allow for extra places to grip with the hands when getting into or out of the shower.
The vast majority of seats also have a hole or multiple holes to allow water to drain away and prevent build-up.
How Does a Shower Transfer Bench Chair Help the Elderly?
A shower transfer bench chair for the elderly is similar in many regards to a regular shower chair. It provides a safe and secure apparatus for an elderly person to sit on during showering or bathing.
The main difference between the two, however, is that the transfer bench chair is longer and is used primarily for bathtub based showers.
The aim of this longer version is to help the older person comfortably move into the bathtub without needing to stand, strain and risk injury.
Benefits of a Transfer Bench Chair
Shower transfer benches offer a variety of benefits which make a showering or bathing session all the more easier and enjoyable. Anyone looking after a disabled older person will find this type of shower chair an invaluable part of their bathroom equipment.
Most varieties are simple to work with and involve simply maneuvering the light-weight frame and seat over the edge of the bathtub and making sure it is steady and on a level.
So how does the transfer bench chair work?
It basically involves the elderly lady or gentleman sitting on the part of the seat which is outside of the bath and then sliding across and onto the part of the seat which is inside the bathtub.
The seating area is either continuous or built on rails, and thus negates the need for the older person to stand. Whether living alone or taking showers under the guidance of a family member, the transfer bench chair will allow the elderly person a greater amount of freedom and dignity when washing.
Transfer bench chair Designs
Shower transfer bench chairs are available in various different designs. This means you will be able to find one which will suit your bathroom style, physical needs, and any other requirements.
Most come with seats that can be adjusted height-wise as well as some that can turn 180 degrees or more. These qualities make shower time even easier and lessen the need to stretch, which can cause bodily damage. Padded seats are frequently included as well.
A good quality transfer bench will last you for many years and thus it is important to find one which is strong, has good buyer reviews and has all the particular accessories you know you’ll need.
Benefits of Folding Shower Chairs
Folding shower chairs for the elderly hold a variety of benefits which make them a worthy addition to one’s bathroom equipment.
When you or someone you know is physically infirm, the task of showering every day can seem an uphill battle that results in exhaustion. However, this need not be the case.
The following points bring together the various benefits a folding shower chair will deliver to your home and highlight the ways this type of safety furniture will contribute to your family’s well-being.
Inclusion into the Bathroom
Many existing bathroom designs have been created without thought to elderly persons. Although there are a plethora of specialist bathroom fixtures, such as safety rails and floor ramps, these are not always easy to install in a manner that is ideal for your situation.
A folding shower chair, on the other hand, is a very, on the other hand, equipment that doesn’t need special fittings nor does it require reaching deep into your wallet or purse. When not in use, it can simply be folded against a wall or stored in a cupboard ready for the next shower session. This makes it perfect for small bathrooms too.
Shower Chairs Need a Vacation Too
A folding shower chair for the elderly is perfect for the older lady or gentleman to take with them when they take a vacation. Most shower chairs cannot easily be taken to new locations due to their inability to be folded up.
It’s not just at home where a shower chair is needed but also in your holiday destination. Indeed, it’s probably going to be even more vital to have a shower safety chair when in an unfamiliar environment.
Simply fold up the chair, place in the back of the car and off you go, safe in the knowledge you can have a secure and scrumptious warm shower when your journey has finished.
No One Uses a Shower Chair in this House
Using a shower chair offers the elderly a level of dignity and safety that would otherwise not be possible if they had to continuously have a helper or carer with them during shower time. Independence is a key component in most people’s lives and being dependent on other people can drain one’s confidence and emotional well-being.
However, the thought of having friends and visiting guests know you use a shower chair can also be a source of embarrassment. With this in mind, a folding shower chair for the elderly means the seat can be folded up and hidden away during most of the day.
When people enter the bathroom, they’ll be none the wiser to what’s inside the cupboard nearby.
Many elderly people might require a shower chair only occasionally, perhaps during the wetter months of the year when arthritis can become more of a problem. Other occasions might include after surgery or hospital medical procedures.
When a shower chair is only needed sometimes, then a foldable chair is going to be the best solution. This allows the chair to be folded away when not in use for a few months and brought out for when it is required, without having it constantly taking up space in the bathroom interior.
Commode Shower Chairs
One of the biggest problems faced by older people when showering is the chance they may be unable to stop themselves from going to the toilet in the middle of washing.
As we get on in years, our bowel movements can begin to be irregular and there’s little that can be done to stop them sometimes.
The answer to this concern and problem is the introduction of a commode shower chair with special toilet capabilities.
With this apparatus, the elderly person can concentrate on washing the body without needing to quickly hop out of the shower and to the toilet. The time it can take very frail elderly people to dry off and walk across the bathroom can be too much and the resulting mess will result in extra cleaning and a loss of dignity.
Commode Chair For showering
Many commode chairs which are used for regular toilet trips can also be used in the shower environment depending on their specified capabilities.
Designs differ and these are made to accommodate the various different uses and needs that elderly people require. Some chairs come with wheels which make the job of a carer all the more easier, as well as reducing the need for the occupant to stand or move so much
Bariatric Shower Chairs
For the heavier elderly person, a bariatric shower chair is going to be the most suitable addition to a bathroom setting.
When extra weight and gift is concerned, some shower chairs for the elderly might not be suitable due to arm width and weight restrictions.
This leaves a larger person with fewer choices and can be a frustrating endeavor to find a chair that suits their needs. The bariatric chair solves these problems in one go.
Most bariatric shower chairs can hold weights up to 550 pounds, which is a hell of a lot, and thus will suit the vast majority of people’s requirements.
The majority are created in the style of regular shower transfer chairs and this helps the heavier elderly person move in and out of a shower or bathtub in a more dignified and relaxed way. Strong suction cups make sure the bench will not move when it is in use.
The shower chairs of this type are made from a combination of strengthened plastic and stainless steel. The plastic forms the seat and back whilst the steel provides the framework and legs which give tremendous strength to the chair. Another benefit of these materials is that they are extremely easy to clean and the plastic is comfortable against the skin.
If you or someone you know is elderly, infirm and decidedly overweight, then a bariatric shower chair is going to be a highly functional and welcome piece of equipment for shower and bath time. Many can be folded up as well and thus stored away, saving space and also allowing the chair to be hidden away when guests visit.
What is the maximum weight capacity for most handicap shower chairs?
Most handicap shower chairs have the ability to hold anyone from 250-300 lbs. There are, however, heavy-duty models that will hold a person up to 400lbs.
What are some of the features/accessories available in a bath and shower chair?
There are many features and accessories available in today’s shower chairs. Options such as shower seat handles, bench extenders, cushions, and heavy-duty aluminum legs are available.