How the Showerbuddy adapts to evolving levels of mobility

How the Showerbuddy adapts to evolving levels of mobility

How the Showerbuddy adapts to evolving levels of mobility

Showerbuddy |

Recovering from a traumatic incident like a car crash, sporting injury or serious illness means that from month to month things are changing. These changes might be in the care plan that the doctor or therapist puts in place, the daily activities that can be carried out and of course how much the individual can return to their preferred lifestyle. Rehabilitation is an evolving process, so it’s unrealistic to expect the way an individual interacts with their assistive technology to be the same at the start as it is at the end.
The problem with many assistive products designed for the bathroom is that they’re rigid and static in their design. The user needs to work around the function of the device, and there’s a level of mobility that the equipment is most suited to accommodating.

At Showerbuddy, the ethos of our product design has always been to best serve mobility impaired people to use the bathroom in the manner most comfortable and preferable. This can be exemplified in the breadth of our product range – accommodating wet rooms, bathtubs, and shower units. But it’s most evident in the level of adjustment and customisation of our products themselves.

Finding the right height, angle and seating position needs to be determined by the occupational therapist and the individual themselves. If a particular body position calls for one leg higher than the other, a neck support or even a tilt backwards, Showerbuddy’s range has the system and optional accessories to make this a possibility.

In this article we’ll speak to some of the benefits of a system like Showerbuddy, where the solution can be based around the user – not the other way around.


Foldable Armrests

Most of the Showerbuddy range is designed to have armrests that allow folding away for transfer into and out of the chair from the side.

The armrests on Showerbuddy are designed to be at a height that’s ideal for most adult sizes. But we know that for children or smaller adults, the space between arm rests needs to be reduced to accommodate this size. That’s why we also offer accessories to bring this gap in for better function, support and comfort.

Fold Away Footrests

Foot rests are included on Showerbuddy chairs to keep the user in place, comfortable and to take pressure off the legs while in use or during transfers. But some users may require foot rests to be removed or folded away for a front-facing dismount or mount. Also, footrests are height-adjustable to suit the user’s leg length (knee to foot).
Having the ability to fold away the foot rests also helps a carer dress or position the user’s foot and leg in the way that a certain situation may call for. A fixed footrest would assume that this situation never arises – and we know for a fact that it does daily for our Showerbuddy community of family members and carers.


The foldaway footrest is also ideal for a user who is reaching a level of mobility where they themselves can get out of the chair. When learning to stand and walk again, removable footrests allow a more free movement to plant the feet and post up off the (locked) chair to stand.

Backrest Height

With serious injury rehabilitation affecting all kinds of body types and needs, having a backrest that can be positioned perfectly for the user is absolutely paramount.
Showerbuddy’s chairs have backrests that can be adjusted according to what the user needs. Some users have more need for a lower-positioned lumbar support, while other taller individuals may need a higher back support for keeping a natural bathing position. We also offer a fabric tensioned backrest to accommodate users with an arched spine or slumped body position.

Optional Accessories

Our chairs have a number of add ons or swap out components that can transform the unit into a solution perfect for a user with additional needs. These accessories include:

Neck Rest Assembly

If the user is getting rehabilitation on a severe neck or spine injury, bathing may require secure support of the neck. The Neck Rest Assembly attachment is affixed to the frame of the Showerbuddy Transfer Range (standard on SB2T and SB3T, optional accessory on SB1 and SB2) and can be adjusted to lean forwards or backwards to achieve an optimal position for the user. The pillow is soft and comfortable without sacrificing support. And like all our accessories, it can simply be added or removed as the user’s mobility and support needs call for.

Seat Belt

When the user doesn’t yet have the body control or core strength to stay in a central seated position, seat belts can be used across the lap and chest to keep stable. Then, a carer can transfer and bathe the user without worry of an injury or suddenly needing to support a slumped over client or loved one. These seatbelts come standard with our Transfer range and can be ordered through your distributor as well.

Range of seat openings

The standard commode opening of Showerbuddy’s main chairs is a front-facing opening, with room for barrier-free toilet use. But we have a vast range of alternative commode openings to cater for carers and users who may have an injury, care plan or bathroom that is simply more compatible with an opening to the left, the right, smaller, larger or even an opening without a gap to any edge – meaning a closed seat with a hole in the middle. We also offer a full cushion overlay to close off the commode opening, allowing the user to sit comfortably for longer (after toilet duties).

We know that every physical rehabilitation is different, so offering these seat cushions in a variety of options ensures we can support as many people as possible.

The swapping out of these cushion covers is reasonably straightforward as well, so if a user’s evolving mobility calls for something different, it’s just a matter of ordering and quickly installing this for an OT or carer.

Transfer Bridge

One of the Showerbuddy Transfer Range’s most defining features is in its transfer bridge design. The SB1 and SB2 models consist of a chair the user sits on with wheels, a bridge that clears the edge of a bath shower unit and an in-shower base. The chair is connected up to the bridge, with the seated user able to be shifted off the wheel-base and across the bridge onto the in-shower base.

The standard length of our transfer bridge is designed to work in as many bathrooms as possible, but we know that some rooms call for a shorter bridge to fit the unit into the space. That’s why we offer smaller bridge accessories – and a tool called BathCheck to help measure up the bathroom in question.

If our standard shorter bridge accessories aren’t quite right, we can custom order a bridge to the desired length. This is all in the name of getting the benefits of Showerbuddy’s Transfer range to as many who need it as possible.

Further reading on the topic

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, you can find useful information via the following resources:

  • Browse the full range of Showerbuddy products
  • Read and watch reviews of Showerbuddy on our reviews page
  • Read more about customising the Showerbuddy product in our blog

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.