7 signs it may be time to investigate a shower chair or other bathroom – Showerbuddy

7 signs it may be time to investigate a shower chair or other bathroom mobility aid

7 signs it may be time to investigate a shower chair or other bathroom mobility aid

There’s a tricky period that many people go through; it’s the transition from being independently mobile to needing assistance. This help with movement may come in the form of equipment and/or other people, but the recognition that there’s an issue to be resolved is sometimes hard to identify. Many of us live with pain or restrictions and figure out a way through it until it becomes impossible to do so. This isn’t the best way forward; instead regular and open dialogue with a doctor can help assess where things are at, and indeed if some additional help is needed.
Whilst we’re not experts in the space of general personal health and mobility, we do know a lot about bathroom mobility specifically. At Showerbuddy we have users across the globe who arrived at our product line through hundreds of different conditions, injuries, ages and needs. We take pride in the fact that our products are the choice for so many different types of situations.


In this article, we’re going to offer seven indicators that we commonly see cause people to seek out bathroom mobility assistive equipment. We suggest that if you have any concerns over your mobility to seek advice from your local healthcare provider.

1 – You’re unable to remain stable during bathing

Stability in the bathtub or shower means that you are able to stay standing and achieve all movements of bathing without losing footing or having to grab the shower head, shelf or rest against the wall.
Clearly, stability in the shower is a really important thing to have, lest one slips and falls. In a wet environment a lack of good stability presents a major risk of injury. Loss of stability can be due to various parts of the body failing, be it lower back or core strength, knees giving out, hips being in place or even neck mobility loss which can reduce full visibility and balance.


If simply staying upright and having a shower seems difficult, you may want to look at a shower stool or other assistive options.

2. Getting into and out of the shower is proving difficult and/or painful

As with stability to bathe, entering and exiting a shower needs to be done accurately and without fear of trips or slips.
A bath edge requires clearance of around knee height, and for safety may benefit from being able to grip the edge of the tub with no pain or stiffness to bend down. Our footing on both bathroom floor and the bottom of the shower or tub has to feel stable, with the weight we shift across the bath edge being easy to control.


When the entrance to the shower starts to feel like a long, hard process, it could be a sign that the loss of mobility is starting to affect your overall bathroom safety. Could you steady yourself away from a slight slip? Could you prevent an awkward fall and injury if you had to? The difficulty of transfer might be a sign that the answer is no, in which case assistive technology can help take care of some of these things.

3. Carer or loved one is struggling to provide manual assistance

If you’ve already started living with a mobility impairment that has a care plan in place but are finding elements of the care difficult, equipment may need to step up and play a bigger role.
For example, one may have a basic shower stool inside the bath or shower, but gets help to access the shower from a carer or partner. If that person starts to struggle to safely get you into the shower onto the chair, then it may be time to look at a solution that does the transfer too.


The other element of manual assistance with bathing is the bathing itself. Some individuals opt for a bath and a carer to help steady them and clean them at the same time. This can be very awkward and even unsafe if the carer is inexperienced, not strong enough or fatigued. Introducing equipment that keeps the individual in place without manual input relieves stress on everyone. The individual with the mobility impairment may even be able to bathe themselves with the right solution.

4. The shower or bath is not designed to support your mobility

Showers and baths come in so many different designs, and plenty of them are style over substance when it comes to support for a mobility challenge. If you’re starting to find the floor is too slippery in the bathtub, or there are some tricky angles or edges to navigate whilst moving around, then you don’t have to immediately get a full remodel quoted up. In many cases remodelling of a bathroom isn’t even possible (due to a rental, or simply budget restrictions).
Luckily with systems like Showerbuddy, you can install equipment that doesn’t need a single hole drilled and will work with most baths and showers. The bathroom stays in tact, but bathing becomes a whole lot safer.


Attempting to negotiate a shower that isn’t safe to use with reduced mobility may need some temporary measures like a good anti-slip mat on the floor of the shower. Ensure that the floor of the shower or bath is clean and dry, and the mat has good grip (online reviews are good for this exercise!).

If the stability needs go beyond simply floor grip, have a chat to your health provider as to whether proper assistive equipment is needed.

5. You require back, neck, leg support for comfort

Are you looking for chairs, beds and car accessories that provide various parts of the body with more support to reduce pain and make things more comfortable? This could be a sign that the bathroom needs the same assessment, too. Any loss of mobility across these core areas of the body could present a risk should you need to quickly steady yourself in the bathroom.
Exactly the assistive equipment you need for support of back, neck and legs will need to be assessed by a qualified health professional. They may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist to identify the best support for you.

6. You want to enjoy longer, more enjoyable showers

Some owners of shower chairs don’t outwardly have mobility issues for short bursts of activity – walking, washing up, showering, walking down the stairs etc. But they do end up struggling with activities for durations of more than a few minutes. Instead of cutting short activities that are part of their daily routine, assistive equipment like a shower chair can provide that extra support as needed. Some users may start standing and then rest on their shower chair for the latter part.
Longer showers might just mean 5 minutes, but removing fatigue from the equation with bathing gives the individual more freedom to decide how they manage their bathroom activity.

7. You’re approaching an age where other movement is starting to become more difficult

Sometimes a shower chair is worth acquiring before mobility has reduced significantly. This can help support someone seamlessly from solo showering to dependence on assistive technology and care from another person.
Getting ahead of mobility loss is a great way to stay ahead of things and ensure that at no point you’ll be caught out with insufficient help to conduct daily life. If you require an occupational therapist to routinely visit and assess your mobility, they will be able to make tweaks to your plan and equipment. They can also help you source the right equipment for certain jobs, based on your home, bathroom, and your own preferences.


There’s no reason to tough it out when it comes to mobility and the bathroom. Showering is a time to relax and enjoy some time out. Make sure you have the support in place to continue doing this!

Further reading

Enjoyed this article? You may be interested in these resources online:

The information in this article is intended as general information only and is not a replacement for official health guidance by your local medical providers. Please always consult an occupational therapist and/or local healthcare for more specific guidance.