As the age advances, seniors lose a lot of their mobility. While many older adults crave independence, some find it challenging to perform daily tasks, such as bathing and showering. Because it gets more challenging for seniors to stand straight or keep their balance, seniors risk falling or slipping once they step their feet in the shower. Falls in the bathroom are contributors to injuries and deaths among older adults. While people can minimize these falls, not everyone can always adopt the appropriate measures. Walk-in tubs are seen as an obvious solution to this problem, but that is not the case for some seniors, thanks to their low income. The elderly with walk-in showers or bathtubs, and are still worried that they might suffer bathroom falls should invest in a shower seat or a bathtub chair to keep them safer, comfortable, and well supported as they take their bath/shower.
Who Should Use a Shower/Bathtub Chair?
There are many products in the market for achieving stability while taking a bath or shower. Over the years up until now, many older adults have always relied on grab bars and safety rails to prevent bathroom falls. However, shower seats are more secure, and their added stability is suitable for seniors with:
- High risk of suffering falls or slipping while in the bathroom
- Weak legs
- Serious balance problems
There are many options to consider when getting a bathtub or shower chair for a senior loved one, including those designed for older adults in need of extra support to enhance their safety.
What to Consider When Buying a Shower Seat for an Older Adult
One should consider whether all the needs and expectations of their senior loved one are met by the model of a shower seat they are opting for. Does it provide full support to the body when taking a shower? Is it removable from the bathroom? Does it fit in smaller bathrooms? Does it allow more space for older adults to allow for assistance from a loved one or caregiver? Can it offer support when entering and exiting the shower or tub? It is accessible to the handicapped seniors? All these questions will help when trying to purchase a shower seat that best fits a senior’s needs and expectations.
Consider the Size of the Seat
One should get a shower seat their senior loved one can comfortably and safely sit on. Measuring a backside width while seated on a chair is the way to get the exact dimensions you need. Now, when buying the shower seat, ensure the chair you go for is a bit wider than the dimensions you got from the backside measurement to avoid falling off the chair or sideways sliding.
Consider the Weight Capacity
The weight of the shower seat is important when purchasing one for a senior loved one. Ensure you get a tool that safely supports the weight of the older adult. The shower seat weight ranges from 250 to 400 pounds, depending on the model.
Consider Whether Its Height Is Adjustable
Shower seats mostly come with adjustable height, but one should ensure they confirm before purchasing and bringing a product home. Seniors should e able to adjust the seat up to a level that they feel comfortable in, without straining their joints when bathing or taking a shower.
Consider the Materials Used in Making the Seat You are Going for
It is essential to ensure that the product you are opting for is can withstand regular exposure to water. Plastics, steel, and aluminum are the most common materials used for making shower seats. The best ones you can consider are chairs made of plastics, but they might not be as many on the market. The ones made of combined materials, like plastic and aluminum, are the most common.
Consider the Seat Style
Shower seats come in different styles, including chairs, seats, and stools. The suitable option for your loved one depends on their own preferences and needs. Stools do not offer backrests and are narrower, making them uncomfortable and not usable by seniors with mobility issues.
Best Shower Seat For Seniors
Azadx Bath Chair: Are reversible, and seniors can well adjust their height
Almost every senior can use this shower seat in any bathroom, thanks to its quality that allows for adjustable height and reversibility. The chair provides maximum comfort and stability while taking a shower, and comes with drainage holes to prevent older adults from slipping. They are made of aluminum and leather, and seniors can use them daily.
Carex Bath Seat: Can withstand up to 400 pounds
This chair is comfortable and offers maximum safety to seniors as they take their baths. Seniors can adjust their height and disassemble them to store safely. It can fit most showers and bathtubs, including those designed with curved bottoms. It lasts longer and offers more stability than most shower chairs, as it comes with built-in handles on the chair for extra support.
Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair: Backs and arms can be safely removed and returned
This is a lightweight shower seat that comes with stable legs and non-slip feet. It comes apart, with removable legs, arms, and back for easy storage. The seat also comes with a visible height indicator so that the elderly can easily make adjustments necessary to bathe comfortably.
Drive Medical Shower Chair with Back: Has adjustable legs
This shower seat is suitable for older adults looking for a basic bathing tool. Made of aluminum, the drive medical shower chair with the back is lightweight and does not suffer rust. It comes with adjustable angled legs for extra security.
Essential Medical Supply Shower Bench with Arms and Back: Has a large, textured seat
This is the perfect shower seat for older adults who like to spend a long time in the shower as it comes with padded armrests that provide maximum security in the bathroom. It is made of aluminum, with an anodized frame that prevents it from having rust. The chair can withstand up to 300 pounds.
Why do Seniors Need a Shower Seat?
More than 200,000 non-fatal injuries occur in the United States every year, and the rate increases with age advancement. This means the frequency at which shower and bathtub falls occurs are very high. That is why there is a need for a shower seat. They enhance the safety of the elderly in the bathroom. And this is regardless of whether a senior person lives alone or with a loved one or caregiver. Older adults should feel safe, comfortable, and supported every time they take a bath or a shower.