Why Every Senior Should Own a Shower Chair

by Bethany
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There are studies on which room is the most dangerous in the house with experts presenting data that accidents can happen anywhere. But, one thing most experts agree on is that bathrooms are one of the top three most dangerous rooms.

Bathrooms are wet, confined, and the combination of water, slick floors and confined spaces means there are all sorts of accidents that can happen to anyone. For seniors who have a handicap or concerns about balance and mobility, the bathroom can be a difficult room to navigate.

A shower chair is an important part of the bathroom for any senior using a tub. It is an item that is important to providing the them and their loved ones with peace of mind, yet it is sometimes viewed as being unnecessary until an accident happens.

A shower chair provides for a safer environment, promotes independence and contributes to a positive quality of life. This article takes a look at shower chairs and just how beneficial they are for any senior.

What Are Shower Chairs?

Shower chairs are water and slip resistant seats that fit into a tub or shower stall. They allow people to bathe independently while reducing the potential for falls. There are chair models that fit any budget and offer many features.

Most shower chairs have padded, contoured seats. They are available in sizes that can accommodate any build. People who prefer to have a chair with fixed or removable back and arm rests have many options available. Chair legs may be adjustable so that the user can be comfortable and sit with their feet flat on the tub floor.

Shower chairs are rated for weight so take into account the size of the people using them and the size of the tub. Chair legs must sit flat on the bottom of the tub and not be too wide that they push against the tub sides. Some chairs include compartments so you can safely access toiletries without having to reach far for them. These types of convenience features are designed for safety as well as ease of use.

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Who Needs Shower Chairs?

Bathing should be a time to begin a new day refreshed or help release stress after a busy day. It can also be a frightening experience for anyone who has balance or mobility issues. Concerns about slipping and falling are disconcerting. Using a shower chair helps reduce those concerns and keeps bathing a relaxing activity. Too often, a need is addressed only after a negative event has occurred. The possibility of a fall in the tub is reduced when a shower chair is used. Since they are designed for comfort as well as functionality, using one can enhance the bathing experience. A chair can be used by anyone but most definitely should be used by any senior with a handicap, looking for a safe relaxing bath or shower.

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Benefits of Shower Chairs

There are many benefits to using a shower chair. Peace of mind, relaxation and convenience are among the greatest. Peace of mind is achieved when the senior goes into the tub knowing they have a sturdy chair to support them. There is no longer a need to either stand up and shower or sit in the tub, concerned about being able to climb out. Relaxation while in the chair is great for physical and mental well-being. Instead of focusing on concerns about mobility, while in the tub, the senior can focus on positive thoughts to start or end their day. This coupled with the convenience of the chair makes using one highly beneficial.

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Finding Affordable Shower Chairs

Affordable shower chairs come from many sources. It may be difficult to have Medicare or private insurance cover the cost of a chair but depending on the medical needs of the senior the chair is for, it is worth asking about. When it is time to buy a shower chair, you will find them through large retailers, medical supply stores, home improvement stores, and online shopping sites. There are a number of ways for you to comparison shop. One of the best ways is to look online and determine the price differences between what you find online and what the cost is in the store. Remember, you can always ask your local retailer if they will match a lower price that you found online. Many times, they will honor the lower price.

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Other Shower Accessories

Using a shower chair is a good first step to promote safety for seniors. In addition to the chair, there are other items you should consider for the bathroom to prevent slips and falls. Anyone at any time can slip on a floor so a high quality bath mat will reduce the chance of slipping. A mat is a must have item for any tub. Grab bars, either permanently mounted to the wall or on the side of the tub are great for helping stand or sit. Finally, a bath caddy placed within reach of the shower chair makes it easy to grab toiletries without having to stretch or stand.

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Senior Bathroom Safety

Keeping a bathroom safe is important for everyone but even more so for seniors who may have issues with balance and mobility. The relatively small size of most bathrooms means that one wrong move and a serious accident may occur. A question that should be asked when addressing every fixture in the bathroom is, “What can I do to make this safer?” Implementing changes like providing a shower chair goes a long way towards reducing the potential for accidents. Things like making sure that there is a bath mat and a rug with grips on the bathroom floor are also very helpful. Anything you can do to assess your environment and address any concerns will make the bathroom a safer place to be.

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Preventing Dangerous Falls

In bathrooms, water and slick surfaces are the enemy. Falls happen when people slip on wet surfaces or lose their balance. Preventing falls resulting from slipping on wet surfaces is accomplished by keeping floors as dry as possible. Using a shower chair, grab bars and setting up your bath so that everything you need is within reach of the chair is the best thing you can do to prevent accidents. A senior that does not have mobility issues today may have them at some point in the future. Being prepared now and installing a shower chair will give you and your family peace of mind, and make time spent in the bath that much more enjoyable.