Elderly family members who have knees or other joint problems are always at the safety risk of falling while having a shower. Many people with weak muscles use a shower chair.
How to Use a Shower Chair Safely? You can use the shower chair safely by adjusting the chair height, placing it on a non-slip mat, collecting all necessary supplies near you, and using grab bars to sit down or stand up from the seat. It is better to keep the shower door open and carefully sit at the center of the chair to balance the seat.
A shower chair is one of the amazing inventions that help the elderly and ill family members to bathe and take care of their hygiene without any difficulty. Moreover, they have many features, such as a self-propelled option, which allows the person to feel independent.
How can you use a shower chair safely?
You can use it safely by taking some precautions during a bath because the water on the floor can cause the chair to slip. The following steps help you to understand how you can use it safely.
Adjust the shower chair height
These chairs come with an adjustable leg height, and you can change the height as you desire to comfortably sit on it without any stress on your surgical knee or back.
It is better to adjust the height equal to your knee to sit easily without bending your back or knees much around it.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that the standard height for shower chairs, stools, or benches ranges from 17 to 19 inches. Adjust an appropriate leg height before sitting on the seat, and you can ask your caretaker to help you to sit on it.
Place the chair on a non-slip mat
The floor can get wet, and the chances of slipping increase with water all over the floor surface. This can cause an accident when you try to get up after a bath, and it can slip on the wet floor.
Therefore, taking safety precautions and placing a non-slip mat under the chair is better to prevent slipping. Place it at the center near the shower head holder, where you can reach it conveniently without getting up from the seat.
It has rubber caps attached at the bottom of the legs to provide better stability on the floor, but placing the mat can offer more safety.
Collect the necessary supplies
Gather all the essential supplies, such as shampoo, soap, body wash, and other things you need during a bath because you do not need to get up from the shower chair to get each thing.
Put all the supplies in a basket on a bar near you at an accessible distance.
It is better to have a long-handle sponge to clean your legs and feet without bending much and a long-handle showerhead so that you can access it easily without moving.
Use grab bars to get up after a shower
You can install the grab bars and use the existing grab bars in this area to get support when sitting or getting up from the seat.
It causes pressure on your back, surgical knee, or weak joints when you try to get up without grabbing anything near you.
Moreover, the soap and shampoo bar on the wall can get a break if you grab it to stand up or if the wall is far from your chair to get support.
Therefore, the grab bars are the best option to install near you so you can grab them and stand up without any pressure on the back.
Keep the shower door open
It is better to keep the shower door open when you place your shower chair and turn the bathroom fan on for proper ventilation.
The steam from a hot bath does not accumulate in the closed shower area, and you can bathe without feeling suffocation.
Another benefit of keeping the door open is that you can call your caretakers if you have any problem getting out of the shower. The caretaker outside this area can hear your voice and provide you with anything you want.
Carefully sit at the center of the chair
Carefully sit at the center of the chair to keep the balance because it can wobble or slip if you sit on the edge or side.
You can teach the elderly members in the house how to use the shower chair correctly or help them adjust the height and correct seating placement.
They should sit at the center of the chair and tell them not to move near the edges until they complete their shower. Do not place a towel or cloth on it because it will not allow the water to go down and absorb in the towel.
Place the shower chair in a bathtub if you want
You can place the shower chair or stool inside the bathtub if there is no separate shower area in the bathroom. However, placing it in the bathtub is not suitable for senior members who find it challenging to get into the tub.
However, adjusting the correct position and level inside the bathtub can allow a better option to bathe there because it requires force to sit down and get up from the bathtub.
Do not sit on it until you feel it is stable. However, they are designed to fit inside the bathtub, and you can select different size stools to place inside the tub.
Why do people use a shower chair?
Shower chairs allow people with disabilities and back or knee problems to bathe without standing for a long time. In addition, they provide different advantages, such as wheels and self-controlled features.
You do not have to ask others for a bath because they are designed with a two-in-one option of using the toilet bowl by adjusting the seat height.
They offer better safety to bathe while having a medical problem and allow you to maintain hygiene.
In addition, the seat stability and the rubber caps under the legs do not allow slipping, and you can bathe without worrying about any mishap or accident.
You can support your back with the chair’s back and grab its arms if you do not have grab bars or other supporting stands nearby.
What are the different types of shower chairs?
You can find different shower chairs with various features and options and select any of the following listed chairs.
Rolling shower chair
These shower chairs are like wheelchairs with the additional feature of switching to a commode-seat style. In addition, you can replace the rubber feet with the rolling wheel and lock them in place.
They allow more independence and mobility to move anywhere in the bathroom. Some rolling chairs offer to lift the seat when you want to use the toilet. They are best for people with limited mobility who cannot walk a few steps to the shower or toilet area.
Standard shower chair
It is like the standard chairs in the house with four legs and two arms. Some chairs have a back, while others do not have a supporting back.
You can select different sizes and back options as per your personal preference. You can easily stand from the seat with the help of the two arms on both sides.
Folding shower chair
This shower chair is installed directly on the shower wall; you can fold it for more space when no one uses it. In addition, the back of the chair is permanently fixed on the wall to provide better stability and support on the floor.
It offers handles support, and you can install grab bars near the wall. Folding stools are also available but do not have side handles or a back.
Transfer tub bench
A transfer tub bench is a good option if stepping into the bathtub is challenging. These long benches have two legs inside the bathtub and two outside it.
You can slightly slide across the bench to wash your body while sitting outside the tub. The long leg length of these benches allows you to use them over the toilet.