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.
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.