If you are a caregiver who is having difficulty with bathing your loved one, and are concerned about a fall, then maybe a shower chair with wheels is the type of support device you need.
In this article, I want to detail for you what types of chairs there are, give you some visual examples, and show you how to find the best deal if you choose to purchase one.
First, a shower chair with wheels is an ideal care aid to provide peace of mind and allow your loved one to be bathed safely, whether or their own, by you or with the aid of a home health care worker.
When I looked into them, I was really amazed at the difference in price and the different features that come with them.
But first, understand that if you are going to be using such a device then you are going to need to make some bathroom renovations.
In the article that I wrote about the “Top 3 Aging In Place Home Renovations” I wrote about the most common bathroom renovations. Take a look at the picture below and the shower area…
…notice how the tub was pulled out, the floor is slightly recessed toward the drain so that the water doesn’t run everywhere (tough to tell from the picture but it is, trust me), and that it is extremely easy to enter.
This is the type of renovation that will be required for you to use a shower chair with wheels. If you don’t have the ability to do this, then a shower bench over the tub to allow for safe entry and exit of the shower is a good option.
But back to the shower chair with wheels.
If your bathroom will take it, is a fantastic option for caregivers, but the price of these items varies considerably. A quick Google search showed price from $120 to $1000, a rather sizable range.
The range for such items on Amazon was from $120 to $300.
So how do you tell the difference? Here are a few guidelines…
Weight-I found that the lower priced items had a weight limit of around 225 lbs. So you might be to use one of these if, and only if, the loved one you are caring for is in the weight limit.
My personal experience at Mom’s nursing home is that the vast majority of users could get away with this.
Dimensions-most often, this related to the width of the shower chair. Wider ones cost more.
Accessories-most of the shower chairs with wheels also doubled as a commode. However, I did not see a substantial difference in price based upon this feature.
So now that you have some idea of what you are looking for, how do you pick the one for you? Here are a few ideas for you to pick the best one for you…
- Is the seat adjustable, or is it stuck in one position. If it isn’t adjustable you will be in the position as a caregiver of having to lift your loved one on and off the seat
- Weight issue-I know I mentioned it above but you will need to be very liberal in the maximum weight capacity of the seat. Make sure to get one that is a lot higher rated than the weight of the user
- Comfort-this is tough to tell online but I would look for one with a padded seat and back for more comfort
- Wheel brakes-if there is any possibility that the brakes might not work when covered with soapy water then move on. Make sure you check the reviews or ask questions of previous purchasers as to exactly how the braking system works
- Putting together-you will have to assemble so if it is possible to check online and get the directions first to see that they are easy to follow this is an added bonus