Bathrooms are slippery. That is why it’s no surprise that accidents can happen in the bathroom. While anyone is susceptible to this — the elderly are the most vulnerable. According to the World Health Organization, adults 65 years old and above have the highest risk of death or injury because of a simple slip and fall incident. This is why getting bath chairs for elderly individuals is crucial, as it ensures their safety and comfort.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported about 235,000 individuals aged 15 and up to have suffered bathroom injuries since 2008. One-third of these recorded injuries happened during bath or shower time. On the other hand, 14% occurred while using the toilet.
To ensure the safety of seniors when in the bathroom, get them a bath chair!
Bath chairs are a type of bath aid that helps the elderly sit safely when they are taking a shower. They are water-resistant and often made of non-rusting metal, aluminum, or plastic. The looks resemble that of a standard chair, with a backrest and shower seat that may or may not have drainage holes.
To maximize safety, a shower chair also has a non slip feature that usually comes in the form of rubber or suction cup-style feet. Other names on the market include shower chairs, shower tools, shower seats, shower benches, or bath benches.
Our time in the bathroom is supposed to be peaceful and relaxing. But with the limitations of the elderly, this can be a bit of a challenge. Let’s take a look at some the advantages this bathroom aid can give:
Having shower chairs in the bathroom can eliminate the risk of slipping or falling during shower time. This helps give peace of mind to both the elderly and their loved ones that no accidents will occur.
Shower chairs will grant the elderly some form of independence despite any present physical issues. It can help them get in and out of the bathroom with less assistance from others, and also lets them experience the personal time they need in the shower.
Over time, standing up for long periods of time may be difficult for the elderly. With shower chairs, the elderly can sit comfortably throughout their shower. The nature of some chair types also allow for certain adjustments, as some seats can be swivled or heights can be adjusted. Backrests can also be padded to achieve maximum comfort.
There are many different types of bath chairs available in the market made for the various needs of the elderly. From your standard everyday chair to a seat meant for small spaces, these options will guarantee the safety of the elderly in the shower.
A standard shower chair has four legs, back support, and spacious seating. Handgrips and the feet of the chair are also rubberized, which helps ensure that the chair doesn't slip and remains stable. The height of the standard shower chairs can also be adjusted to suit a users' needs.
This type of bath chair has no backrest, but it still can protect the elderly during bath time. While it also has rubberized feet, it lacks hand grips or armrests. As a replacement to these missing features, this shower chair has slots on both sides. Users can slip their hands into these slots whenever they need to grip on to something.
The foldable functionality of this chair also lets you effortlessly store it away whenever it isn't being used.
Instead of rubberized feet, a rolling shower chair is equipped with wheels made of durable rubber. These wheels can also be locked into place to avoid unwanted movement during a shower. Rolling shower chairs also come with adjustable back support, retractable armrests, and a cushioned shower seat.
Unlike other your typical portable shower seat, this one requires you to set it up permanently in your bathroom, and looks like your typical park bench mounted onto the bathroom wall. Fold-down shower chairs feature armrests, backreasts, and spacious seating.
This type of chair works best with a shower grab bar, as it allows the elderly to have something to grab onto during their shower.
Also known as a transfer chair or shower bench, this chair’s main purpose is to help seniors get into and out of their shower seat. There are two types:
The sliding function allows the elderly to glide right into their shower chair. The sliding transfer bench can be fitted with a sliding frame or railings that keeps the user safe from falling off the bench. Seniors won't have to put in much physical effort or movement just to get across with a sliding tub transfer bench.
While the purpose is the same, a non-sliding transfer bench requires more physical effort from the senior to move. However, you don’t have to worry because this tub transfer bench still has four legs and back support like a standard shower chair.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the best shower chair, as there are different features for different needs. As people differ in height, weight, and physical requirements, and homes have various bath dimensions, it's important to get a bathroom aid that can best suit one's needs. When looking for the best shower chair, here are the things you should consider:
Not all shower chairs have the same size. A compact shower chair can be a good choice if you have a small bathroom. Meanwhile, basic or bariatric size bath chairs can fit in standard size bathrooms.
The size of a chair can also differ based on whether or not it's wall mounted. For instance, transfer benches are wall-mounted and provide plenty of seating space, but are not adjustable in height. While this can suit those who are of shorter stature, a seat with adjustable heights are recommended for those who are taller.
The weight capacity of your typical shower seat can handle anywhere from 250 to 400 pounds. Some shower seats, like the medical-grade chair, can handle more. Individuals with less body mass will have no problem with a standard bath chair. As for those who are heavier, bariatric seat models are suggested to ensure safety.
The most common materials used for a bath seat are plastic, aluminum, or metal. Plastic is the economical option while aluminum can come at a higher price point. Both shower chair models provide durability and stability. It all just boils down to the aesthetic choice of the buyer.
Some shower chairs come with locking casters that enable safe transfers to and from a bath. Others have wheels while the rest have safe-grip, non slip rubberized feet. Aids with wheels are the best option to consider for easier transfer, but only if the space and dimensions of a bathroom permits it.
A commode is an added feature on a bath chair. With this component, the shower chair can be freely placed over a standard toilet seat, resulting in a more convenient bathroom experience for the elderly.
This feature not only helps the elderly with limited mobility but also makes the job of a caregiver a lot easier. Seniors who only need help with support and stability will do just fine on bath chairs with a solid seat.
One of the features to look out for in a bath chair is if they have a fixed or recumbent back support. Some prefer models that allow users to lean back as this will be easier on the part of the caregiver. Shower chairs with recumbent features may also have rising leg rests, as well as reclining backrests.
Check out the best shower chair brands in the market:
Whether the user is tall or short, the Nova medical-grade shower chair is ideal because of its adjustable feature. The seat has drainage holes, which helps ensure that no residual bathwater will remain. Each foot has sturdy and large suction cups along with anti-skid rubber tips for equal weight distribution.
Set up and installation of this chair take less than ten minutes, letting you experience a great shower experience just minutes after taking the Nova home.
Dr. Kay's adjustable bath stool is one of the best shower chairs on the market today, as it comes with an ergonomic design and easy installation. Aside from being lightweight, this shower seat can also fit in small bathrooms and even tubs. The non slip plastic feet also guarantees safety for the elderly.
The Carousel Sliding Transfer Bench premium padded swivel shower chair is ideal for seniors and even those with mobility issues. The armrests can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing users to move in and out of the tub even without coming down from the bench.
In addition to this, the armrests are padded and can be locked, ensuring the comfort and safety of the user.
One of the Platinum Health Deluxe’s notable features is its stain-proof color of white and gray. It’s one of the best shower models that use polyurethane for the padding, making it easier to clean as it doesn’t retain water.
The heigh of the Platinum is adjustable and its weight capacity can hold up to 300 pounds. Not to mention, it has a wide shower seat — granting the user maximum comfort.
This model is recommended for small bathrooms or those looking for a bath chair that will not take too much space. The AquaTeak bench is aesthetically appealing because of its wood finish. Even though it is made of wood, it has no water retention. The base of each foot has also features non slip rubb grips, providing both stability and balance.
Bath chairs are heaven-sent for the elderly and even those who have mobility problems given how they provide comfort and safety while in the bathroom.
Given the various types of shower seats on the market, choosing one can be quite daunting. Thinking about features like size, height, material, and other features in relation to the size of your bathroom is quite a challenge. Fortunately, the experts here at Senior Strong can help you with your decision. Call us and figure out which shower seat is the best option for you today.