- 1 What Is a Shower Chair?
- 2 How to Select the Best Shower Chair for Elderly?
- 3 Top 5 Shower Chairs for Elderly on the Market – 2018 Reviews
- 3.1 Dr. Kay’s Adjustable Height Bath and Shower Chair
- 3.2 Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms
- 3.3 Ez2care Adjustable Lightweight White Shower Bench
- 3.4 Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Adjustable Shower Chair Seat Bench with Removable Back
- 3.5 Medmobile® Bathtub Transfer Bench / Bath Chair
- 4 Conclusion
If you ever had a chance to work with the elderly, people with mobility issues or patients recovering from different surgeries, you know how useful a shower chair can be.
This is the reason why people often decide to go with simple regular chairs rather than buying a medical grade one, as they are significantly more expensive. This decision might be good for your patient’s pocket, but it is not a safe one, as the regular chair have a different design, and they can be slippery and cause injury.
This guide will help you learn how to choose the right shower chair for elderly, what are their advantages and disadvantages and which models are the best.
Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have enough information to advise your elderly patients in which shower chair to invest their money.
What Is a Shower Chair?
A shower chair is a highly-specialized four-legged type of seating, which typically has rubberized feet, aluminum frame and a durable, plastic seat with optional back and armrests.
Its primary purpose is to provide support and greater independence in the bath or shower for the elderly or people who are struggling with mobility issues. They are also used to help transfer a person from a wheelchair, into the shower chair itself.
The critical goal is to reduce the risk of accidental slips and falls while showering or bathing.
How to Select the Best Shower Chair for Elderly?
With hundreds of different models on the market, choosing the best shower chair for the elderly is not an easy task. Whether you are working in a nursing home, rehabilitation center, as an in home-nurse or you just suffered an injury, and you are purchasing a shower chair for yourself, these are the factors you should consider:
As a nurse, you will be dealing with different elderly who have different body shapes.
Fortunately, shower chairs come in a variety of sizes so that they could accommodate the needs of different people.
This is the first and probably the most important factor to consider.
Most commonly you will come across shower chairs that can bear up to 250 pounds. However, there are also bath chairs that go all the way up to 400 pounds.
If the user of the chair has less body mass, a standard weight capacity will provide adequate stability. You have to recognize if you are dealing with a heavier individual and if it is time to pick a bariatric model.
There are two options you will find – shower chairs that are made entirely of plastic materials and the ones that have an aluminum frame.
There is no right or wrong answer when deciding which one to choose; it depends on your personal preference.
Aluminum tends to be more expensive, while plastic or PVC models are usually more affordable. Both types of chairs can support the weight of their users without any problem; the question is which one do you find more aesthetically pleasing.
Not all showers are the same size. Before deciding to purchase a shower chair you need to measure your shower or a bathtub, and you need to be precise.
Most shower chairs are designed to fit in a standard shower, but if your bathroom has different dimensions, you need to take that into account.
For smaller, more narrow showers, a compact shower chair is a right choice. On the other hand, in the case of standard size bathrooms or bathtubs, both basic and bariatric size shower chairs will be compatible.
Learn the measurements of your bathroom, before purchasing a chair. Keep in mind that the bathroom needs to fit you, the person you are helping and a shower chair, all at the same time.
The weight of the chair itself should have a significant impact on your decision.
It should be lightweight enough so you can lift it, and move it in and out of the bath. Also, if it can be folded for storage purposes, that is a huge advantage.
If you are working with the elderly who can take care of their hygiene on their own, but the shower chair is necessary for different reasons, you should think about the wheeled options.
These models often rely on safe-grip leg coverings, which prevent the chair from moving around in a tub.
If the chair you are purchasing is going to be used by someone who needs assistance from caregiver while showering, choosing a shower chair that has the option to lean back can be helpful and sometimes even necessary.
In this case, you are deciding whether you need upright back support or not.
Many shower chairs offer recumbent features such as reclining backrests or rising leg rests.
For users who do not need that type of support, the regular fixed back will be good enough. If the shower chair user is stable, has good balance and needs no assistance, you can even go for a chair that has no backrest at all.
Top 5 Shower Chairs for Elderly on the Market – 2018 Reviews
Dr. Kay’s Adjustable Height Bath and Shower Chair
If you’ve already tried different brands of a shower chair, and you didn’t like their height, Dr. Kay’s model might suit you. The maximum height of their chair is 2 inches higher than the others; you can adjust it from 12.5″ to 18.5″. This shower bench weighs only 4 lbs, but it can hold 250 pounds with no problem. It fits in the small tubs and showers, and it has useful handles that can make your life easier.
If you are helping a senior, or you need a chair for yourself, you know how vital its weight is. Dr. Kay’s chair is indeed lightweight, yet firm at the same time. Rubber knobs on the bottom will prevent it from sliding, so you don’t have to worry about any accidents. Also, your bottom won’t slip off the chair either because its seat has curved ends.
However, you might have some problem cleaning it and storing, because it has holes and it doesn’t fold. Also, the seat might be too small for you.
- The chair is strong and adjustable.
- It is lightweight and easy to handle.
- Rubber knobs on the bottom prevent it from sliding.
- It is comfortable, and the ends are curved.
- It’s easy to assemble.
- Thorough cleaning is difficult due to holes.
- It doesn’t fold for storage.
- The seat is a bit small.
- If the surface underneath it is not flat, you’ll have problems with balance.
Drive Medical Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms
Drive Medical’s chair offers you a chance to adjust its height easily, without using any tools. It features a visible height indicator which makes the adjustments quicker. The chair is comfortable and has both back and armrests. The seat dimensions are 16.5″ x 21.75″ x 16-20.5″, while its weight capacity is 350 lbs.
If you have a small or narrow bathtub, you should consider purchasing this model. It can fit almost anywhere. Additionally, you can assemble and disassemble it quickly, and the height adjustments are more than simple. This chair won’t wobble, and it will give your back and arms all the support they need.
Unfortunately, the height adjustment relies on screw twist mechanism, and if you use this chair for more than one person, readjusting it all the time can be time-consuming. Also, its legs tend to unscrew and loosen up from the seat which can potentially cause injuries. The backrest is not secure enough, and once the mold gets caught in the cracks, it is hard to clean.
- It’s compact, fits smaller, narrow bathrooms with no problem.
- It can be assembled and disassembled easily.
- The height adjustments are simple.
- It doesn’t wobble.
- The back and arms provide added support.
- The height adjustment relies on screw twist mechanism.
- Legs tend to loosen up and unscrew from the seat.
- The back of the chair is not secure enough.
- Mold in the cracks is hard to clean.
Ez2care Adjustable Lightweight White Shower Bench
Whether you are helping an elderly or injured patient who is unable to stand in the shower, or you just need stable seating for personal grooming or assisted bathing, this shower chair will serve you right. Its anti-slip seat surface is comfortable and safe. It features slip resistant rubber legs as well, adjustable height from 12.5” to 18.5” and supports weight up to 250 pounds.
If you are looking for sturdiness, you will be glad to know that this chair has a thick, durable plastic seat and aluminum frame and legs, which are corrosion resistant. At the same time, its adjustable height will be useful to you, as well as the drain holes on the seat. You will get a comfortable shower experience with no risk of slipping.
However, this chair has some drawbacks too. It fits only standard tubs, and if you try to lean far back, it might tip over. Also, if you are a tall person yourself, or a nurse taking care of a tall elderly, you should be aware that this chair might not fit them. At last, you shouldn’t use it for people who need constant supervision during the bath time, because it is not stable enough and it doesn’t offer any back support.
- Metal legs and thick plastic seat make it extremely sturdy.
- The seat has plenty of drain holes.
- It is not slippery.
- The aluminum frame is corrosion resistant.
- Adjustable height is a nice feature.
- It fits only the standard tubs.
- If you lean too far back, the seat might tip over.
- If you are tall, this might not fit you.
- Made for people who don’t need supervision.
Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Adjustable Shower Chair Seat Bench with Removable Back
This Medical Deluxe Spa Shower Chair offers a safe and comfortable solution to injured people, elderly and other individuals who have problems standing while showering. It features a heavy-duty anodized aluminum frame, the weight capacity of 300lbs and a wide (19.5″x 12″) anti-bacterial, high-density, contoured, polyethylene seat. Angled legs with non-slip rubber tips are here to distribute users’ weight optimally.
The best thing about this chair is the fact you can assemble it within minutes, using only your hands and amazing, clear instructions that are provided. At the same time, once it is constructed, the chair is sturdy and weighs only four or six pounds depending on the fact whether you are using a backrest or not. Also, you don’t have to worry, because rubber feet will keep you safe from any injuries while showering.
Unfortunately, this shower chair is a bit expensive, and it has a shallow seat. If the surface underneath it is not flat, you can expect it to wobble. Don’t try to stand up using chair’s handles as support, because they are not strong enough.
- You don’t need any tools to assemble it.
- It is lightweight, nice looking and sturdy.
- The rubber feet keep it in place.
- It can hold 300 lbs.
- The directions for assembly are clear.
- The seat is a bit shallow.
- It is not very stable.
- It’s a little pricey.
- The handles are not strong enough to support you as you try to stand up.
Medmobile® Bathtub Transfer Bench / Bath Chair
Medmobile’s shower chair will offer you five different levels of seat height adjustment, with each increment measuring one inch. Its wide seat (24″ x 15″) will offer you easy transfer from wheelchair to a bath chair. This highly versatile shower chair can be assembled for the left or right-hand application. The overall dimensions are approximately 29” x 16” x 25” without the backrest.
This chair lets you chose among five different seat heights, to suit your needs as much as possible. Also, it has a comfortable backrest, and it is easy to clean. It will serve you for many years, as it is made of sturdy, thick plastic. At the same time, it is lightweight so you can easily handle it, and on top of all that, it is slide-proof.
However, once you unpack this shower chair, you will realize the assembly is quite complicated. It doesn’t come with any proper instructions, and you might have to buy additional hardware or drill a few holes to make it work. Also, it might be higher than your tub’s edge, which is a problem because water will pour everywhere.
- It offers five different levels of seat height adjustment.
- It has a comfortable backrest.
- It is easy to clean.
- It is incredibly sturdy and made of thick, durable plastic.
- The chair is lightweight and slide-proof.
- The assembly is a bit complicated.
- It doesn’t come with adequate instructions.
- You might need to drill some new holes or get more hardware to set it correctly.
- It might be higher than your tub’s edge.
Today, you’ve learned which factors to consider before purchasing or recommending a shower chair for the elderly, and you’ve seen the best models on the market.
Now’s the time to declare a winner.
According to our analysis, the best shower chair for elderly in this group is the Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Adjustable Shower Chair Seat Bench with Removable Back. It is lightweight, versatile, easy to assemble and it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds which is admirable.
Let us know if you have any other questions or an opinion you’d like to share. Do you agree with our choice? Do you have experience using some other shower chairs for elderly that we didn’t list here?
Don’t be shy and leave us a comment.