A typical scenario looks like this: Mom or dad falls and breaks a leg, a hip, or sprains an ankle. With or without rehab, they now need to be able to take a shower safely. Or, perhaps this same thing happens to you. Even athletes have accidents, and when you need to shower and have either a temporary or permanent disability, you realize just how complicated this one task can be.

So, you run out to a drugstore to pick up a shower chair. Problem solved, right? Unfortunately, not by a long shot. There are no one-size-fits-all shower chairs for individual issues and homes. But we have you covered here at TCARE. Accessibility, safety, and aesthetics are our top priorities, and we can help you set up a shower situation that is convenient and safe. Let’s look at some of the shower chair options and some other safety additions you may not have thought of.

What to Consider Before Deciding on a Shower Chair 

Although you need a shower chair now, take a deep breath and look at your situation before buying.  If you buy the wrong chair, you are risking a fall. Some things to consider:

  • Do You Have a Walk-in or Tub Shower? Stepping into a tub is more dangerous and complicated than a walk-in shower. 
  • Is Your Disability Temporary or Permanent? This matters because if you have a tub and your disability is permanent, you may want to consider incurring the cost of installing a barrier-free walk-in shower.
  • Do You Have Grab Bars Installed in the Correct Places? Regardless of your shower setup, you need grab bars installed in the correct places to help stabilize you as you access your shower chair. At TCARE, we can assess your shower situation and make recommendations for the proper placement of grab bars.
  • Do You Have a Long-Handled Shower Head? Once you have selected your shower chair, you will need a way to control the showerhead. A detachable long-handled shower head is the best option.
  • What About the Toiletry Shelf? The reason you have a shower chair in the first place is that you can’t stand safely. If the toiletry shelf is out of reach, this could be a problem. Consider reinstalling a shelf at a height you can easily reach. And don’t forget towel hook height as well. 
  • Do You Know How to Use a Shower Chair Safely? Purchasing a shower chair is one thing, but knowing how to use it is another. At TCARE, our occupational therapist can make sure you know how to transfer to whatever shower chair you use correctly.

Tub Chair Ideas 

At TCARE, we like the brands Carex and Drive for tub and walk-in shower chairs. But, there are other good brands as well. Consider other factors when choosing, such as having a back to rest against, padding, and arms for stability. Also, think about the shower curtain and how you will keep water from getting outside the tub. 

Tub Chairs

A standard shower chair might work for the tub if you have no problem getting in and out of the tub, but you may want to consider a sliding transfer tub chair to give you more stability and reduce fall risk. 

Drive Medical Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench

The Drive Medical Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench is an example of the kind of tub shower transfer chair that will get you in and out of the tub safely.

Carex Easy Transfer Shower Bench

If you don’t need a sliding bench, this Carex Easy Transfer Bench is an example of a tub transfer bench.

Walk-in Shower Chairs

If your shower stall is small and confining, you will want to make sure that your chair fits the space that you have. We don’t usually recommend stools, so consider a chair with a back for resting and arms for stability.  If space is an issue, you could install a flip chair that is convenient and hides away. Here are some suggestions. There are other brands to consider, so find the chair that fits your needs.

Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms

This Drive shower chair is a good example of an affordable, safe chair for the shower. 

Carex E-Z Bath and Shower Seat with Handles

The Carex E-Z Bath and Shower Seat is another example of a good, sturdy chair for the shower. Note that the maximum weight is 300 pounds. Both the Drive and Carex have adjustable legs.

Platinum Health Padded Shower Chair

The Platinum Health Padded Shower Chair is an example of a polyester padded chair for comfort and stability. 

Folding Shower Chairs

Folding shower chairs have several advantages. They are permanently installed on the wall, so they are very stable. Folding shower chairs can be folded down against the wall when you need it out of the way. The downside- they can’t be moved or adjusted, so you will want to make sure you have everything else within reach. Options include padded seats, legs, slats, and more.

This Moen Teak Shower Chair gives you an idea of the elegant look available in a flip-down shower chair. 

Shower Seats: Safety, Accessibility, and Affordability

Now you can see the many considerations when it comes to shower chairs and other accessibility features. At TCARE, we can do an in-home assessment not only for your shower situation but all of the other home features to keep you independent and safe. Contact Us to start the evaluation process and give you peace of mind as you or your loved one recovers.