A shower bench is an indispensible piece of equipment that is designed to aid in the financial independence of seniors.
The premise is simple. A waterproof and rust proof chair is used in the shower so that a senior citizen doesn’t slip and fall while in the shower or transporting themselves in and out of the shower.
The shower bench also assists those who have mobility issues in several ways…
- Those with mobility issues have trouble walking or standing. By being able to sit in the shower it is far safer.
- By using a shower bench it enables seniors with mobility issues to more safely get in and out of the shower. This is a HUGE advantage and why my brother and I made arrangements to get a shower bench for my mother.
Now, when you are looking at different shower chairs or shower benches, here are some of the things that you should be looking for…
- Non-skid surfaces. This is a must considering that the shower chair will be covered with water and soap.
- Make sure the chair has solid arm rests that can be used to assist someone in getting up. Some of them do not come with this and I personally think that is crazy.
- Even more crazy is that some of these do not come with a backrest. To me that is inviting an injury. Make sure the shower bench has a back rest.
Also, on a personal note, I would definitely recommend a shower bench over a shower chair because the bench allows someone to sit down outside the tub and slide over into the shower.
For my mother, getting in and out of the shower is tough. Raising her legs creates a very unsafe situation and it would only be a matter of time until she fell in the shower.
But with a shower bench she can sit down, raise one leg and get it in the tub, then slide over a bit and get the other leg in the tub. All done in a safe manner.
That’s why if I was going to recommend a shower bench to you I will recommend one with the same qualities as my mother’s…
- Arm rest
- A back to the bench for rest, support and safety
- A bench…not a chair…to make transporting in and out of the tub safer
- A wide seat to limit the risk of slipping off of the bench
- Legs that are slip-proof
- A good weight capacity…at least 250 lbs.
Something like this is available through Amazon…and is reasonable priced as well.
The only problem that I see with this particular bench is the weight capacity. The limit is 250 lbs which is good for most people but for those larger seniors who would need the same type of shower bench but stronger I would recommend…
This shower bench offers the same features I listed above, but is made to withstand a weight of 550 lbs., more than enough for just about everybody who will be using it.
Shower Stool? Not a Good Idea
One thing you may come across when you are looking for a shower bench will be something called a shower stool.
It works similarly to the shower bench I describe above, but unfortunately I don’t think it is as good a product, for a few reasons…
- It doesn’t come with a back
- It doesn’t come with arm braces to allow seniors to gain more leverage to stand up
- It doesn’t help when it comes to transporting in and out of a tub.
Regardless of your choice, either of the above shower benches will allow a senior citizen with mobility issues to transport in and out of the shower safely, greatly reducing the risk of injury from a fall and, for caregivers like me, giving the peace-of-mind of knowing that your loved ones are safe.
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