Shower chairs are important for seniors who have difficulty standing in the shower. There are many safety concerns for the elderly that could require having one.
These chairs are available in different types and sizes. You may have been overwhelmed by the large array of choices available. However, selecting the best shower chair is easier than you think.
You or a loved one might be considering putting a chair in your shower but aren’t sure which one is best. Shower chairs for seniors come in all shapes and sizes. There are various factors that go into choosing the perfect one.
From choosing the right style to getting the measurements for the chair right, we will look at how to select the shower chair that’s just right for you.
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- Enhanced comfort seat fits all shapes and sizes
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- Designed for You: Height adjustability makes sure the shower bench fits you rather than you having...
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How Do I Choose the Best Shower Chair?
First, how comfortable will you be in the chair you want to buy. And if you’re buying online, be sure of the specifications (and read customer reviews), measure your shower, and yourself, then choose something that fits.
It will be best if you chose based on:
Bring your physical attributes into the picture- especially your weight and height- and select the shower chair perfect for your body frame.
The shower chair:
A shower chair perfect for your body could be a disaster in your shower. You must keep in mind the size of the chair with respect to the size of your shower.
While you must choose a shower chair you can afford, look out for quality, and if what fits the description you want is slightly above your budget, you should compromise.
Types of Shower Chairs for Seniors
Different types of shower chairs can be found in the market today.
They have been listed below:
The Conventional Shower Chair:
It has a simple design, a wide seat, a back for resting, two padded armrests, and can support different weight categories. A typical shower chair is usually made of plastic and rubber.
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Vaunn Medical Shower Lift Chair
- Easy to assemble
- Suction power
- Easy to use
The Wall-Mounted Folding Shower Chair:
The folding shower chair was made for senior adults. It’s permanently mounted to the wall of the shower. It has enough support for the back and is folded after use.
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- Easy to install
The Wheel or Rolling Shower Chair:
Think of a typical wheelchair and you have a clear idea of what a rolling shower chair looks like. It has a back, two armrests, a wide seat, and it is unique for its wheels. Just as you can lock the wheels of a wheelchair to keep it still, you can lock those of a rolling shower chair in as well.
- Can be positioned over a standard toilet or used as a portable self-contained commode
- Height adjustable; Floor to seat height can be adjusted 2" without tools
- White aluminum frame is attractive and rust resistant
The Built-in Shower Bench:
This type of shower bench is planned and deliberately made during the shower’s construction. With built-in shower benches, you can customize your shower however you want.
The Transfer Bench (Sliding Transfer Shower Chairs):
The transfer bench was made specifically to assist the elderly or those with mobility challenges. With the transfer bench, instead of walking into the shower, one can slide through the shower bench. Sliding transfer shower chairs for elderly can assist those with limited mobility to enter showers or bathtubs without falling.
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- Safety belt helps prevent accidental slipping
- Nylon strap locks seat in position while showering
- Shower wand holder (shower wand not included)
- Removable cut-out for easy perineal access
- Height adjustable legs with anti-slip rubber feet
- Metal handle for extra stability while showering
- Blow-molded backrest adds comfort and safety
The Shower Stool:
The name says it all; shower stools are stools used for sitting in showers. They have no backs or armrests like benches, but they’re moveable like shower chairs.
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Tub Transfer Bench and Sliding Shower Chair
- Light weight
- Easy to assemble
What Size Should a Shower Chair Be?
There’s no general size to a shower chair; they vary, and you should choose the one that suits you. As long as there’ll still be room even after you’ve sat in the chair, and it fits in the shower, it’s the right size.
A good seat for the shower should be able to provide the support needed for all shapes and sizes. The weight of the chair should be light to maneuver, approximately weighing between 6 and 10 pounds. If your chair is a transferable one then this will make it easier to lift in and out of the tub. As for the weight that the chair can hold, most of them support up to 300 pounds. Bariatric chairs are available for those that need extra support.
The average height of a safe seat is a minimum of 17’ from the top of the seat to the ground. However, you can find benches that are shorter and taller. The height of the chair should be tall enough so that your feet are flat on the shower floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Prior to sitting down, consider having someone measure your height from your ankles to your knees to get the appropriate numbers. This will allow you to purchase a seat best for your height. Also, consider purchasing a chair that has adjustable legs just to be safe!
What Height Should a Shower Chair Be?
The shower chair’s height has more to do with how high its seat is from the shower floor than the top of the chair’s backrest. They have different heights, and what’s high enough for one person can be too low for another. An ideal shower chair must be high enough for your legs to touch the floor while you’re sitting comfortably.
According to the United States Department of Justice’s ADA standards, a shower chair’s seat should be 17 to 19 inches high. Tall people can choose shower chairs with a height of up to 23 inches, and most heights are adjustable. The height matters as it will determine how comfortable and safe you will be in the shower.
Regardless of their height, most shower chairs have a seat depth of about 12 inches and a width of 21 inches. Before you choose a one, measure your shower or tub, and compare it with the chair’s size.
The Size of Your Shower Will Tell You the Size of Your Chair
The top two questions that need to be answered when it comes to size, and mobility are:
- Compact or Basic?
- Fixed or Portable?
If you have a smaller shower or tub you might consider purchasing a shower chair that is compact and portable. The benefits to a chair that can be folded up and moved include:
- Easy with travel
- Folds neatly for storage
- Locking casters for safety
- Can be used for more than just a shower
Another factor to consider is if you will be sharing that small shower with someone else who does not need a chair. If so, we recommend purchasing a foldable chair that will allow more room.
If you are living in your own space and intend to use the chair frequently, then a basic and fixed seat might be your best option. Some benefits of a basic and fixed chair include:
- Stability is safer
- Can attach to a wall
- Fits any size shower or tub
There is another option if you need to slide in and out of the shower. Consider a bench that will be longer in width. It is also great if you need a wider seat.
All three options have great benefits and knowing your personal capabilities and situations will only lead you to purchase the best shower chair for your needs.
Design Might Be Most Important
The design is one of the most important parts of the chair because it holds the most details and components. It involves far more than just looks. Some of the factors that go into the design and should be considered when purchasing the right chair include:
- The seat – This should be comfortable and slip-resistant. Find a seat that is padded, wide enough, and has drainage holes to prevent water from building up in your lap.
- Armrests and back support – Armrests add extra security to the chair when getting in and out. They also provide security while seated. Back support isn’t always necessary as you can choose from removable and stationary.
- Legs and feet – We recommend purchasing a seat or bench that has adjustable legs made out of rust-resistant material. To ensure your safety, check that the feet have anti-slip suction cups on each one. If you plan to purchase a chair that is compact, consider wheels for easy travel? Wheels can also allow for easy access in and out of the shower.
- Storage compartments – For those that have a lot of products and minimal space, consider buying a bench that has some pockets or waterproof compartments. This will help to make sure everything you need is within reach.
On top of all of the components listed above, another factor to consider when looking for the right shower chair is whether you want it upright or recumbent. If you are independent then you might just stick with a basic, upright chair. If you require assistance from a caregiver, have a limited range of motion, or simply just need the option of reclining then a recumbent chair is more up your alley.
The Quality and Material Will Make It Last Forever
There are several types of materials on the market that will give you good quality. Let’s dive into which is the best material for you.
Plastic and metal shower benches tend to be the most prevalent. These are the most popular because they allow the chair to be adjustable. They are excellent for reducing the risk of slipping or falling. This type of chair is typically made with a plastic seat and aluminum or stainless steel rust-resistant legs.
Wooden shower benches have become more than just an assisted device. They are trendy and sturdy enough to purpose more than just the ideal accessory for those in need. The wooden stools have brought calming smells and auras into the shower due to its representation of nature. This makes it more of a decoration rather than a reminder that you need assistance. Some of these woods include:
Marble chairs provide the cleanest and sleekest look to your shower. If you are more interested in purchasing a piece of equipment that is more pleasant to the eye then this might be it. The best part of using a marble bench is that they are very easy to clean. On the flip side, you will have to have it properly sealed prior to using it.
What More Will You Use the Shower Chair For?
Aside from a shower, there are a few other usages to get out of your new comfy seat. But what else do you intend to use it for? Answering this will allow you to further decide the best fit.
Many chairs are designed to be used for more than just the shower. Several chairs can be purchased to assist in helping on the toilet as well. There are products that have a dual functional seat and can be transferred from the shower to the commode easily and efficiently.
Shower Chairs versus Shower Benches
One would be remiss to say a bench is better than a chair. Whichever one you buy will be determined by these factors:
- The size of your shower
You need to figure out why you need one because shower benches have a slightly different function than chairs.
Shower chairs are the first choice for people with health conditions and the aged. The extra support makes it more comfortable and safer than benches. Chairs usually have armrests and a back for additional support.
On the other hand, most shower benches do not have a back for extra support. They are the best for adding color to your shower as you can have them built-in and customized to suit your taste. They occupy more room than shower chairs, but they also make getting into the shower easier than chairs.
Why Should Seniors Use a Shower Chair?
Shower chairs are essential for the elderly because they reduce the chances of slipping in the shower. There are more specific reasons why seniors should use one.
Shower Chairs Prevent Accidents
In 2008 alone, about 234,094 people above 15 received medical treatment for nonfatal injuries sustained in bathrooms. According to ConsumerAffairs, more than 80% of all falls in the home occur in the bathroom. Bathroom falls lead to twice the number of injuries compared to falls in other rooms in the home.
Shower walls can be slippery and this could cause you to lose your footing. Shower chairs will help you by providing you with the following;
- Back support, and
- Something to hold on to.
Shower Chairs Help Health Complications
Apart from accidents, certain health conditions make using shower chairs safer than standing in the shower. It is essential in the shower to provide support for:
- People with disabilities
- Heavily pregnant women
- Anyone with feeble knees
- Those recovering from surgery
- People with low energy
- Anyone with nausea
- Seniors with severe pain in the lower limbs
Shower Chairs Add Comfort
There are times when one wants to relax and spend some alone time in the shower. There are also days when you want to gently scrub your toes or under your feet while you shower, which would be difficult if you were to stand.
Ensure Your Safety with the Right Shower Chair
Without a doubt, shower chairs will ensure you and your loved one’s safety in the shower. When choosing one compare the different styles, prices, and sizes.
Based on your needs and measurements, choose one that makes you feel comfortable and secure. They are not only for seniors or those people with physical challenges. Anyone can have and enjoy one.
Improve Your Quality of Life with a New Shower Chair
Just because you are on the search for a shower or bath chair does not mean that your independence is being taken away from you.
Instead, purchasing a chair will only increase your time in how long you are strongly independent. Remember if you take your time finding the right chair then you will only have to find one!