Bathroom safety is of paramount concern to many people and it often starts with the shower. Slippery tubs and floors can be the cause of accidents and people who have trouble standing may require a shower chair to help them be safe. In addition to your own needs and preferences, ask your doctor or health care professional if you have any questions about the appropriate shower chair for you. We’ve provided basic information to help you get started finding the right shower chair for you.
What is a Shower Chair Used for?
The purpose of a shower chair is to provide support in showers or other wet areas to those with mobility or fatigue concerns. They range from simple waterproof chairs that are great for people who are still somewhat mobile to fully supportive mobile versions that work well for people with severely limited mobility. In both cases, they eliminate the need for you to stand during your shower, significantly decreasing the likelihood of falling.
Given that shower chairs are used in a wet environment, they’re made from waterproof and corrosion-resistant materials. They should take into account your comfort and the comfort of your caretaker, if appropriate. To assist with that, there are several types of shower chairs.
Multipurpose Shower Chairs
In some cases, shower chairs can also do double duty as a commode chair. These chairs have a removable section in the seat enabling the chair itself to be fitted with a toilet pan or placed above the toilet seat. Often, people who need help showering also require assistance in other areas of the bathroom, a multifunctional shower chair can be a user-friendly and economical option.
Space-Saving Shower Chairs
If you prefer to have a shower chair that’s permanently affixed, there are many options available. They must be installed to load-bearing walls sufficient to support your weight. These models are usually referred to as space-saving shower chairs because the feet drop down and retract and the seat itself folds against the wall when not in use, keeping the area free for others who may use the same shower.
Other Things to Consider When Buying a Shower Chair
Depending on your use you’ll want to be sure you have one, or more, of these options included in your shower chair.
· Stability. The idea with a shower chair is to prevent falls, so non-slip feet or locking wheels are important to keep the chair from moving while you pull yourself in or out of it.
· Fit. The size should be appropriate to your height and weight and be comfortable for you to sit in and reach the floor with your feet and access your shower products like shampoo and soap.
· Drainage. No one wants to wind up sitting in a puddle during their shower, so check to be sure the shower chair drains quickly. This also helps it dry faster after use.
· Security. Depending on your level of mobility and stability, you may want to consider a shower chair with armrests, footrests, or a headrest to improve support. Another option for those who need even more support is a lap belt.
· Transfers. Getting in and out of the chair easily is important. To help with that, detachable armrests and swinging footrests are available. These are particularly helpful with side transfers.
· Comfort. Ergonomic designs and waterproof cushions increase comfort levels.
· Cleaning. Showers and wet areas can be a breeding ground for molds and other microorganisms. To keep your shower chair bacteria free, look for smooth, seamless surfaces made from antibacterial and easy to clean materials.
· Strength. Check that the manufactures recommended maximum weight limit is appropriate for you.
· Tilting. This is particularly helpful if someone assists you with bathing. Tilting chairs put you in a more stable position and make it easier for the person helping you to assist you comfortably.
Using a shower chair is a great way to prevent many bathroom accidents and injuries. By taking these items into consideration and talking to your doctor, you can be sure to get the best shower chair for your needs.