Some of us are lucky. Some of us have never had to spend any time thinking about a shower chair. Indeed some of us may well not have appreciated that shower chairs even exist.
If you are one of these people then it is likely that you are a strong and able-bodied person. Some people, however, are not so adept. And it is these people who might find a shower a slippery and potentially dangerous place to be, and therefore require the best shower chairs.
Just to be clear a shower chair is sometimes also called a shower seat, a shower bench or a shower stool. They are essentially all variations on the same basic theme. That theme essentially is a mechanism to help you sit whilst you are taking a shower.
If you are someone for whom taking a shower can prove to be a difficult experience then it is quite likely the shower chair is perfect for you.
There are many models of shower chairs on the market today.
You will save them a lot of pain and injury if you simply make this one small investment of money and time.
- Addressing Concerns
- Who Will Benefit The Most from the Best Shower Chairs for the Elderly
- Choosing The Best Shower Chairs for the Elderly
- Installing Shower Chairs for the Elderly
- How to Organize Your Bathroom When Taking Care of Elderly Patients
One concern that many people have about adding shower chairs for elderly people into their home is that they are worried about losing space in their shower.
This can be resolved in one of two ways.
- First, you can purchase and install folding shower seats. These fold down out of the way so that the full area of the shower is available for those who do not need to use handicap showers.
- Your second option is to install a new shower that is larger than your old one. This way you have plenty of room even with the shower chairs for elderly people permanently installed.
Another concern people have is that they will have to spend a lot of money remodeling their bathroom to accommodate the shower chairs for elderly people.
This is simply not the case in most situations. You should be able to use your existing shower and convert it to a handicap shower. All that is required is the seat itself, grab bars, and potentially some new shelving so that they can reach everything they need to.
You do not need to completely remodel your bathroom unless you want to, and these adaptations are actually quite inexpensive compared to buying a new shower.
Who Will Benefit The Most from the Best Shower Chairs for the Elderly
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 is 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.
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.
When a 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.
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.
This is a degenerative brain condition associated with various diseases which result 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Choosing The Best Shower Chairs for the Elderly
There are several types of shower chairs to choose from so that you can get the one that will best fit your handicap showers. The first thing to consider is the weight limit of the chair.
You will also need to think about whether you want a foldable shower chair, one that is permanently installed in the shower, or one that is removed from the shower when not in use.
The ones that are removed from the shower when not in use are horribly inconvenient, bulky and hard to store out of the way. The best option is generally a foldable chair that can be removed for those who do not need handicap showers.
When choosing shower chairs you will also want to consider purchase price and ease of installation. A comprehensive hardware store such as Home Depot should be able to assist you with locating different chairs and helping you find the one that will work with your showerhead.
However, you may not want to purchase it from that store. Shop around and see what prices you can get elsewhere. You may be surprised at the deals you find.
How to Choose The Right Bathroom Chair
It is important to choose the right shower chairs for elderly. Check out the following paragraphs to give you some ideas about choosing the right shower chair for old people.
- The first thing you should consider is the height. You do not want to choose a chair that is too high or too short. Old people will find it difficult to reach and sit on a chair that is too high. On the other hand, a very short chair might give back pains to an elderly.
- Another consideration is the style. You should pick a shower chair that has a back and handle that will make it more comfortable and easier to transport. The old person can also hold onto the handle to support his weight while standing up or sitting down. You can also choose a cushioned chair for added comfort.
- It is also important to choose the right material for this type of chair. Since shower chairs will be exposed to water constantly, you have to choose something that can withstand prolonged exposure to moisture. You can choose a shower chair for elderly made of vinyl or teakwood that is commonly used for making furniture that are always exposed to moisture.
- Do not buy a shower chair that is too big for your shower room or space. Most shower areas have very limited space, especially if you live in an urban home like apartment or condominium. You should pick the right sized shower chair that will fit snugly inside the shower area and through the shower door.
- Aesthetics is also an important factor to consider when choosing a shower chair. Since you are already spending money to buy a shower chair, why not choose something that looks attractive in your shower room? Choose the right color and style based on your bathroom’s color motif and theme. If you have a rustic bathroom, you should choose a shower chair made of wood instead of plastic or steel.
- The price is also an important consideration. Prices of shower chairs vary according to material, difficulty of design, and brand, to name a few. Pick something that meets your needs and budget.
It is important to pick the right shower chairs for elderly that will keep the old people safe and comfortable while taking a shower.
When to Consider a Folding Shower Chair
The folding shower chair can be a very beneficial tool for senior citizens. It is actually a very worthy inclusion in the bathroom, especially if you have elders at home.
In case you have a separate bathroom for them, using these chairs can be very good, not only for convenience but also for their safety and independence. Definitely, elders might have to battle the exhaustion being faced during showering. But by including the folding shower chair, you can make things comfortable for the senior citizens at your home.
Including in your bathroom
A lot of modern bathrooms are being designed with elders’ needs in mind. Including shower chair in your bathroom is a worthwhile option for sure. The folding shower chair can come equipped with a lot of safety features. It is simple equipment that does not need any hectic installations. It can simply be used and folded when not in use. It is also perfect for smaller bathrooms.
Can be taken on vacations
If elders need to go out for vacations, they can always also take their folding shower chair with them. They can be easily carried along because they are folded easily. You can carry them on your holiday destination with ease and without any hassles. You can, of course, get your personal showering experience anywhere with your folding shower chair.
Offers you safety and dignity
If you are growing old, nothing is bad in accepting it. If you have difficulty bathing, you can always use the shower chair for your own independence, dignity, privacy, all at once along with safety. You can always learn to take care of yourself and you don’t need to be dependent on others for that. If the thought of showing the shower chair is an embarrassment for you, the folding shower chair is always a great option. It can be easily folded and “hidden” anywhere you like!
Folding shower chair excellent for infrequent use
The folding shower chair can be very good for those elders who need to use these chairs but only infrequently. For example, some of the elders might be suffering from temporary joint pains. The chair can be used during times like these. It can be used and folded back if not in use.
The shower chair that can be folded can offer a lot of benefits to the elders or senior citizens. The senior citizens can have all the aforementioned benefits with the use of folding shower chair.
Installing Shower Chairs for the Elderly
When you are installing chairs in handicap showers you really need to be careful about what is behind the location where you are mounting the chair brackets.
If you mount the brackets on a wall that is just shower and drywall it will not hold very well. You may need to pull out the shower and add backing behind the drywall so that you can make the chair more sturdy and able to handle weight over a period of time.
The most important thing about installing shower chairs is that you need to be sure that they are mounted well and that you follow the instructions included to a tee. You should not have any leftover screws or bolts, nor should you have any wobbling in the seat.
How to Organize Your Bathroom When Taking Care of Elderly Patients
Most accidents concerning the elderly happen in the bathroom. If you are taking care of elderly patients, you need to make sure that your bathroom is organized in such a way that you can manage to take care of them while also giving them some independence, all without fear or worry of an accident occurring.
There are some great home safety tips out there that can help you learn how to avoid accidents while giving your patients some independence in the bathroom. This is of the utmost importance, as a lack of independence and privacy in the bathroom is a leading trigger for depression in elderly and handicapped patients.
The first home safety tips you need to check into are the ADA guidelines for bathrooms. You should install grab bars around the toilet, tub and inside as well as outside the shower.
ADA guidelines found all over the web can give you exact measurements as to where these grab bars should be from the floor, and how they should be installed. The grab bars should be a particular measurement from the ground, and some should be placed at a diagonal toward the floor while others should be placed horizontally.
Additionally, you should install a handicapped toilet. This toilet is higher up from the ground than traditional toilets. It is much easier for someone to get on and off of, especially if they have trouble balancing themselves or putting weight on their knees.
Some of these toilets also have push buttons on the top of the tank to flush them, which is easier for people with arthritis and allows people to avoid bending over. Higher sinks will also give the elderly the ability to wash their hands without stooping, something that can cause them to lose their balance as well.
However, remember that if the elderly person is handicapped, a lower sink might be in order.
Another of the home safety tips you will need to pay close attention to is the conversion of your shower to care for elderly patients. You will need to add grab bars within and without the shower, but you will also need to install a shower seat.
Shower seats can be installed to fold out of the way when they are not in use. However, they make it much easier for elderly to bathe themselves in the shower, especially if they cannot stand for long periods of time.
Basic organization home safety tips should be followed when organizing your bathroom as well. It helps if everything in your bathroom is within easy arms reach of any seated position in the bathroom, including the shower. You should also keep everything really organized and put in the same place every time. This helps elderly who cannot see to easily manage to grab the appropriate bottle when necessary. Additionally, you should make sure that the tub and shower have slip resistant mats installed.
The floor itself should be free of rugs and other mats that might slip on the floor and cause a fall. You should also make sure that the tile is not slippery at all. It may be helpful to install carpeting in the bathroom due to the elderly person so that you know they will not slip. If you don’t want to do this, make sure to put a slip resistant mat in front of the tub, shower and sink. This will help prevent falls when the tile floor gets wet. However, throwing on the toilet seat covers can be a help to them because they will be able to more easily steady themselves if needed than if they had to grab onto bare porcelain.