A shower chair is a useful piece of bathroom equipment for households with elderly occupants. They come in a variety of styles depending in the construction of your bathroom and can be found in designs which will suit all needs and physical requirements. Shower chairs for the elderly offer an older person the chance to regain back some of their former independence and dignity. In this regard, they are seen as indispensable items of equipment in many homes across America.

There are a number of different bathroom interior layouts with some having cubicle showers and others having a shower and bathtub combination. Whichever style of bathroom you have, you’ll be able to find a shower chair for the elderly which will fit in with the existing arrangement your shower area has. All chairs share one basic feature in common however and that’s a sturdy but comfortable seat held up by four strong legs, usually rubber-coated on the bottom for a secure grip.

Shower chairs for the elderly allow the occupant to sit in comfort when taking a shower instead of straining to stand whilst also having to deal with washing the body, opening liquid soap bottles and changing water temperatures. Whilst an elderly person might still need a carer nearby for help when showering, the chair brings about extra comfort and peace of mind where otherwise the process might have instilled fear, tension and exhaustion. The chairs also tremendously reduce the risk of injury from falling.

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 basically differences of an aesthetic nature and these include teak wood. 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.

When buying a shower chair for elderly people it’s wise to consider all the variables mentioned above and decide upon the best type for your needs. Take measurements of the general bathroom interior as well as the shower area, whether this is a cubicle or a bathtub shower. One has to also take into consideration where the chair will be stored when not in use. Some shower chairs can be folded away and this makes storage much easier. In many cases, the chair will need to be positioned next to the shower permanently and so access space needs to be taken into account.

A good quality shower chair is not that expensive and will last a long time with the right care and maintenance. For older family members who are finding it hard going, then a shower chair will be a welcome addition to the home and make things a lot easier for everyone.

Watching our loved ones enter the twilight years of their lives is a distressing period. We increasingly worry about their safety and well-being as their frailty becomes ever more pronounced. Old age also introduces a variety of illnesses and conditions which make life harder both for the elderly person and their relatives. These include arthritis, weight gain, visual impairment and stroke damage.

Fortunately, with the development of science, medicines and technology, there are a huge range of resources and equipment which can make day-to-day routines as easy as possible for our elderly parents or grandparents. One of these items is the shower chair which allows for added security and comfort when showering.

So what are the ailments associated with old age that can also be associated with the need for a shower chair? I’ve gone with ten of them.

Arthritis – This is a disorder that affects the joints between the bones. There are over 100 forms of arthritis and the symptoms vary tremendously as do the locations in the body which are affected. The most common symptoms however, in the most serious of cases, are an inability to move the joint and thus decreased mobility, combined with tiredness and pains. A shower chair reduces the amount of movement needed when otherwise standing.

Osteoporosis – When fracture of the bones is a major concern, then movement and confidence are greatly hindered. Osteoporosis is a form of bone disease which weakens the strength of the bones in the body. The increased fragility means even a small fall in a shower cubicle can cause serious injury and pain to the elderly person, especially in frequently affected areas such as the vertebral column, hips and ribs.

Parkinson’s disease –When Parkinson’s strikes, the quality of life begins to decrease as does the quality of a person’s movement and coordination. The brain disorder also leads to its most infamous symptom, that of shaking or tremors. Unfortunately, there are a whole host of other symptoms associated with this disease and all will mean the ability of an elderly person to shower without some kind of safety apparatus is greatly diminished. These include impaired balance, movement problems, muscle pains, rigid muscles, fainting and automatic unplanned movements.

Dementia – This is a degenerative brain condition associated with various diseases which results in loss of brain function. Language, perception, memory and cognitive skills are reduced, thus making it extremely difficult for the elderly person to function properly or alone. A person suffering from a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, may well be in decent physical condition and would otherwise not need bathroom aids. However, due to their quality of mind, a shower chair is going to provide a safe, secure and helpful apparatus for a carer or family member to have.

Visual impairment – Eyesight naturally worsens as we age but for most of us it will not be a problem when it comes to basic household chores and activities. That said, some medical conditions can cause serious sight loss and blindness, resulting in a completely different way of life for an elderly person and their family. A shower chair allows for a blind older person to feel confident in what is potentially a slippery and dangerous environment.

Obesity – A decline in physical activity in older people can often lead to weight gain. Some disorders also contribute to excess weight and obesity. When obesity and old age combine, the ability to wash and clean becomes a lot harder and so special bathroom aids such as shower chairs become vital pieces of equipment.

Incontinence – Despite what many might think, incontinence is not necessarily associated with old age. Some young men and women also suffer from the terribly embarrassing condition. However, incontinence can be a serious problem for elderly people when it comes to everyday activities and this includes shower time. There are now special commode shower chairs which are fitted with pans underneath which allow the older person to shower without worrying about any embarrassing accidents.

Recent Injury – The rate of injury amongst the older generation increases due to increased frailty and decreased coordination. An elderly family member might recently have had a bad fall and broken a hip or arm. After hospital treatment, it is likely that a shower chair will have been mentioned by health experts. When recovering from an injury, a shower chair can contribute to extra peace of mind and a safety barrier against more falls and tumbles.

As one can now see, shower chairs for the elderly are helpful to people suffering from a myriad of health problems. The chairs are relatively inexpensive and the benefits they bring will seem indispensable when it comes to the safety, security and health of an elderly relative.

Knowing when or when not to buy a shower chair for an elderly relative can sometimes be a difficult decision. The main problem arises when you contemplating introducing the chair to its new owner and the reaction this might garner. Getting older is not something most people like to think about too much and receiving a shower chair is a stark reminder that they are not as young, fit and agile as they once were. One is therefore torn between not offending the dignity of a relative and making sure that they are safe and secure when in a potentially dangerous environment such as the bathroom.

Unfortunately, the realities of the situation force you to make a quick decision. The following points will help you come up with the answer as to whether a shower chair is applicable to your situation.

Physical Infirmity

When an elderly parent or grandparent is showing signs of obvious infirmity, then the decision to buy a shower chair will be a simple one. The obvious dangers associated with a wet shower cubicle, bathtub and non-carpeted floor are worrying to any family member when the elderly relation goes into the bathroom alone. If the elderly person has increased trouble getting into a car, climbing the stairs, reaching over for something or even just walking a short distance, then a shower chair will be a priority.

Putting off Showering

Many elderly people don’t like to complain or feel they are a nuisance to their relatives. So instead they keep problems related to their physical infirmity to themselves. They may have recently had a bad experience in the shower such as slipping over or banging their head on the shower cubicle walls but their family will know nothing about it. The outward signs maybe a reduced desire to shower or bathe at all and a tendency to skip sessions.

It’s important for family members to be alert to their elderly relative’s patterns and actions. When they begin to avoid washing themselves due to fear of falling in the shower then it’s definitely time to buy them a shower chair.

Toilet Fears

Incontinence can be a problem for older people and this can worsen the more the person strains when moving about in a shower or bath. Bending down and lowering themselves can be very difficult when the joints, bones and muscles weaken in the later years of life. The resulting mess and acute embarrassment from a bowel movement in the shower or bath can leave the elderly person traumatised and their confidence and dignity shattered.

The answer to this problem is to purchase a special commode shower chair with a detachable pan. The chair looks like a regular shower chair but has the addition of a hole in the center of the seat. This allows the elderly person to shower in a relaxed manner without having to worry about dashing to the toilet or the possibility of messy accidents.

Hospital Visits

Many people, whether very young, middle-aged or very old will need a shower chair after returning home from some medical procedures in hospital. When someone breaks a leg, has major heart surgery or is receiving chemotherapy, a shower chair is going to be a must-have item of equipment in the domestic bathroom interior. This is no different for elderly people, who might otherwise be in great shape, after a hospital stay. In this regard, the shower chair will be a temporary item and one that can be stored away when no longer required. Choosing to buy a shower chair in this instance won’t be a very difficult decision and will likely have been recommended by medical staff.

The important thing to remember when trying to decide whether to buy your elderly relative a shower chair is to keep all channels of communication open. Talk to him or her about their needs and discuss the various possibilities on offer such as shower commode chairs, shower transfer chairs and even just the inclusion of an extra wall safety bar or hand grip. It’s always better to be safer than sorry.

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.

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 severely 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 manoeuvring 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 seat 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.

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.

Shower Transfer Bench Chairs We Recommend:

Bathtub Shower Transfer Bench – Features include 5 levels of seat height adjustment, chair back, 250 lbs weight capacity, strong floor grips, durability and rustproof materials.

Safety First Designer Transfer Bench – Features include ergonomically contoured seat features with drainage holes, soft grip handles, attractive modern appearance, adjustable heights, a backrest that fastens easily to either side of the bench, made from strong and durable materials.

Plus many more where they came from… Shower Transfer 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 to your situation. They can be expensive too. A folding shower chair on the other hand is a very simple piece of 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.

Infrequent Use

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.

These are the main benefits of a shower chair for elderly people but there are many more.

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’s 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 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 manoeuvre into and out of a bathtub or stall.

When showering is complete, the primarily 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 foot rests, plus a whole host of possible additions depending on one’s requirements.

Afterwards

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.

Start here in your search for a good quality Shower Chair for the Elderly.

For many elderly people, a shower can be a worrying period of time. Not only is it physically draining but there are also mental and emotional drains which make shower or bath time an experience they’d rather put off for another day. 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.

A commode shower chair is basically a regular shower chair for elderly people with an added chamber pot underneath the open seat. It provides a place for the occupant to relieve themselves whilst in the shower cubicle and can be easily changed, washed and replaced within minutes. This type of chair is most suited to a household which provides a carer or family member in assisting the elderly person to wash as the pan will need to be changed quickly and potentially replaced within the span of a single shower session.

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 of the occupant to stand or move so much.

Variables that will need to be kept in mind are dependent upon the height, weight and frailty level of the elderly person who will be using the chair. When making a purchase, be aware of the height adjustment potentials or the various heights. Make sure the chair can hold the weight of the person and that the arms are not too close together relative to the girth of the occupant. When buying online, all this information will be clearly stated on the sales page.

Commode Shower Chairs We Recommend:

Etac Swift Commode and Shower ChairShower & Bath Stools & Benches) – Three benefits in one chair. Commode, Shower Chair and Toilet Seat Raiser. Comes with adjustable heights, pan and is very easy to clean. Capable of carrying up to 287 lbs.

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 endeavour to find 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 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.

Bariatric Shower Chairs We Recommend:

You can find a wide range of shower chairs for the overweight on Amazon and these come in a range of different styles including transfer chairs. Check out the range in full here: Selection of Bariatric Shower Chairs.

You’re sure to find what you’re looking for.