The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places for seniors and people with reduced mobility. One of the main dangers of this space is the wet floors, which are unavoidable when it is time for a bath or shower.
Shower chairs are one of the best options you have if you want to avoid accidents produced by slippery floors. They are also perfect devices for people that cannot stand up for the duration of the shower.
In today’s guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to use a shower chair correctly and safely. You’ll also learn more about these devices and what you need to do to avoid unwanted movement and accidents.
What Is a Shower Chair?
A shower chair is a seat with water-resistant features and an anti-slip design meant to prevent unwanted movement. Usually, these chairs are made of molded plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum alloy for better durability.
One important feature of these chairs is that they can hold a lot of weight. Most models will hold 300 lbs (136 kg), but some shower chairs can carry up to 500 lbs (226.7 kg).
There are also different types of shower chairs. Each of these types has a unique design with varying functions. For instance, you can find heavy-duty models able to hold more weight than standard shower chairs. There are also multifunctional options you can use as transport chairs, transfer benches, and portable commodes.
How to Use a Shower Chair
Shower chairs are not difficult to use, but these devices can still be challenging for first-time users.
So, you have your new shower chair. You’ve already taken it out of its packaging and assembled it. Now it’s time to put it in the shower and start using it for a safer time in the bathroom.
Place the Chair in the Shower
The first thing you’ll want to do is place the chair in the middle or corner of your shower. As a rule, you should always ensure that it is where the water can reach you and where you can grab the items you’ll need to clean yourself. Having everything at hand will reduce the need for too much movement and can help prevent accidents.
Ensure It Is Stable
Once you’ve found the right place to put your shower chair, you should ensure that the seat will not move while you use it. The best way to do this is by making sure that your shower chair has anti-slip rubber pads. These rubber pads go on the feet of the device and are meant to prevent movement on wet surfaces.
Note: If your shower chair doesn’t have these pads, you should contact your provider immediately. Without the rubber pads, your seat won’t be safe, so avoid using it until you get them.
One more tip that can help you is placing a rubber mat under the shower chair for extra safety. It won’t replace the rubber pads. Still, it can create additional friction, preventing unwanted movement and falls.
Remove Any Obstructions
Remove every potential danger around the shower chair and the shower. You should be looking for shower caddies or benches that could cause you to trip or fall. Also, ensure that the floor in the bathroom will remain dry. To do so, you can use a set of shower curtains and a bath mat. That way, you won’t slip after you get out.
Adjust the Chair’s Height
Shower chairs tend to come with standard heights, which can be uncomfortable if you need a lower or higher chair. However, these chairs also provide adjusting mechanisms that you can use to regulate the height. Find the size that suits you best so that you can feel comfortable while you bathe.
If you want a more visual guide of how to use a shower chair, you can watch this video:
How to Avoid Falls and Accidents with a Shower Chair
Shower chairs can make the showering process a lot safer for seniors and people in general. However, for the chair to help you, you need to know about the safety tips that can prevent falls and other accidents.
Sit on the Center of the Chair
You must always sit on the center of the chair because it will correctly distribute your weight. For a seat to remain stable, it must balance the weight evenly across its four legs. If not, the legs of one side can give up, leading to falls and other dangerous accidents.
Avoid Moving Too Much
One more tip that can help you prevent accidents while using a shower chair is avoiding moving too much. For instance, if your soap or sponge falls to the floor of the shower, try not to force yourself into reaching it. This type of movement can make the chair lose balance and can ultimately lead to a fall.
Ask for Help
You should also ask for help from a family member, a friend or hire a caregiver if you think that the chair might not be enough. That way, if you need to reach for something or need assistance with anything while you shower, you can have the help you need.
Shower chairs can be an excellent device for you, especially if you suffer from reduced mobility from age or an injury. These seats can provide the support you need to avoid falls or other accidents while you shower. They also allow you to sit if standing up for extended periods is too painful for your body.
Overall, when using a shower chair for the first time, always remember to ensure it is stable and won’t move while you use it. Also, keep in mind that you should always sit on the center of the chair, never on the edges. That way, you can prevent falls.