Tips for getting the most from a shower chair – Showerbuddy

Tips for getting the most from a shower chair

Tips for getting the most from a shower chair

Showerbuddy |

A shower chair can make life much easier in the bathroom when mobility is a struggle. The equipment is just part of the puzzle however, and there’s a number of things to think about when using shower chairs that will ensure you get the best possible experience from it. In this article, we’ll explain how you ensure you or your family member (or client) can maximise their use of the shower chair.

Learn the features

Before using a shower chair, it’s important to understand all the features and functionality of it. Taking the time to do so will help make for a better bathing experience. For example, do the shower chair’s footrests adjust to different heights? Can the back rest be elevated? Is there a tilting function? How do you use these features? Read up and practice these without the user in the chair. With more information about how the chair works, the bathroom experience will be greatly enhanced. All features on Showerbuddy are designed to make both the user and carer’s lives easier.

If you’re not sure how a feature works, chat with the manufacturer, mobility equipment retailer or an OT familiar with the equipment for more help. If you’re working with a Showrbuddy chair, you’ve got many resources to learn the features, including BathCheck (our mobile app), our YouTube channel, through a demonstration or training session with our team, directly via email or social media with Showerbuddy, or through your distributor.

Set up the chair according to instructions

When you set up the chair, remember: this is a piece of mobility equipment that supports the safety of a person. Whilst it may be okay to skim over instructions for some products, this equipment must be set up exactly as instructed. Pay attention to the orientation of parts, lining up holes, ensuring fixtures are fastened tightly, and the frame, seat and backrest all fit. Depending on the shower chair you choose, the setup time and difficulty may vary. Showerbuddy is designed to be very easy to assemble with some basic instructions, but even our products must be installed correctly to offer the best experience.


If you’re ever unsure about setting up your shower chair with the instructions provided in the box, jump online to see videos of the assembly process; this can help better illustrate how certain parts go together and what ‘right’ looks like in context.

Make adjustments to suit the user

Once you understand how the chair works, it’s important to make the necessary adjustment to the chair to provide the best possible bathing and toileting experience. If your shower chair allows height adjustment, make note of the users’ own height and raise (is a better word because in the industry the word elevate on footrests means a hinged swing up – varied angle type footrest which we do not yet offer) or lower the seat height and feet rests to suit their body type. Adjusting the chair around the user helps to maintain their comfort over a long period; with toilet use, bathing and transfer in and out of the bathroom, this process can take a while, so it’s best to provide as pleasant a seated position as possible.

Utilise accessories if available

If your shower chair has other parts that can be added on or swapped out to make for a better experience, consider the benefits to the user and whether they’re right for you. Showerbuddy’s systems are compatible with a range of accessories, each designed specifically to solve particular challenges some users and their OTs have. For example, we can deliver a custom bridge length for getting over a bathtub in case the space is too tight to work with the standard one. Some users need neck support, in which case our neck rest can be added on. A really common accessory that we provide is the PetiteBuddy – this brings down the seated dimensions of Showerbuddy to better accommodate smaller users – ensuring that a user can grow with the same equipment without buying an entirely new chair.


Explore all the options available for your chair and consider adding these to make the process of bathroom use easier for both user and carer.

Make sure the bathing position is optimal

Shower chairs work their best when placed properly inside the tub or shower base. Too close to the shower head and the user can feel cramped and stifled. Too far away from the source and the user can get cold or need to reach out too far. As the shower chair is installed, take note of where in the bath or shower allows easy proximity to the shower head, soap and shampoo and where the carer can easily support bathing. For example a fixed shower screen might prevent the carer from easily accessing the user, in which case the shower base may be better positioned towards the open space of the shower and combined with a detachable shower head for hand-held bathing support.


With a solution like Showerbuddy that offers 360 rotation, there are less restrictions around positioning the user, although it still should be in a logical, safe part of the (gives the impression the bath units rotate ???)shower. Being able to swivel the user makes life much easier for both carer and the user.

Adjust to ensure no loss of stability when bathing

A shower chair needs to have multiple points of grip on the shower unit or bath tub to keep in place during bathing. The uneven weight distribution combined with slippery surfaces really create a hazard for users if the chair isn’t securely fastened. Make sure to regularly review the grips and stabilisers of your shower chair and place pressure on the top of the chair in all directions to monitor for any give. Movement, even slight, might lead to accidents later when moisture is introduced.


With our solutions, we provide both floor and bathtub side stabilisers giving multi-directional support – but do take care to ensure they are flush with each surface with no play.

Develop a bathroom routine

Finally, and maybe most importantly to getting the most from bathroom mobility equipment is to have a good plan in place. Occupational therapists are experts in designing a bathroom plan, outlining everything from preparing for bathing in the bedroom to transferring into the bathroom, using the toilet and how a carer is involved in supporting the user. No matter the shower chair you use, it’s important to have a routine outlined and understanding on how each task is to be carried out.


Once there’s a routine in place, good shower chairs will make the process that much easier and safer.

Find a Showerbuddy distributor today

The Showerbuddy network of distributors are made of committed mobility equipment suppliers who are expertly trained across the entire range of chairs and accessories. Explore our distributor map and find out who to talk to about getting a demo.

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.