Welcome to our in-depth resource on shower chairs.
With hundreds of thousands of mobility impaired people looking for ways to make bathroom use easier, shower chairs are a popular piece of equipment. But this product type varies greatly in its function, cost and long term quality.
Our Shower Chairs resource provides useful information about a number of factors as you research your options online. We have created this section for Occupational Therapists, Families and of course, the end user of the shower chair.
MODEL SB1: The modular chair and track system is designed to clear raised shower tray edges. Once the chair is locked in the shower position the front bridge tracks can be remove to aid carer access.
Finding a shower chair for an elderly user
A significant percentage of seniors worldwide will experience some loss of mobility as they age, with movement reducing progressively through the 70s, 80s and beyond. A shower chair can help both the user and their support person to make bathing easier. In this guide we’ll provide specific tips and insights around shower chairs for elderly users.
Shower chairs for disabled people – things to know
With hundreds of millions of people across the globe experiencing significant disability, there’s a huge demand for assistive technologies to make daily life tasks easier. Shower chairs are the choice for many disabilities ranging from paraplegia to multiple sclerosis. In this guide we share key considerations around showering with disabilities, to help you find a shower chair that suits a particular set of needs.
About Shower Chairs
Wheelchairs and bathrooms
Those looking for a shower chair solution may also have other assistive technology to help get through daily life. One of the most common is the wheelchair. In this guide we talk about navigating the bathroom with a wheelchair. We also cover the types of shower seat options that may suit someone used to propelling in their chair as well as safety considerations.
Shower transfers – advice for safe, comfortable bathing
Transferring into and out of the shower or bathtub presents the most risks of injury. When you introduce a wet, slippery floor to a physical disability there’s a number of moments where things can go wrong. Luckily with the right plan and equipment in place, both user and support people can reduce the risks associated with transferring. We cover this in our full transfer resource.
How a roll-in shower chair works
Open plan, or ‘wet room’ showers are popular with families that navigate a mobility impairment. There are shower chairs specifically designed for these kinds of showers. While roll-in showers may be simpler to transfer into, there are a number of considerations when choosing the right chair for this type of shower. Learn more about what to look for in our complete roll-in shower chair guide.
Difference between shower stools and chairs
It’s likely in your online research for shower chairs, you’ll have come across different looking products from small and lights through to more substantial equipment. While it’s tempting for some to choose an affordable option – this can be more expensive and even risky if mobility needs progress over time. We break down the core differences between a cheap shower stool and a proper assistive shower chair.
What’s the purpose of a shower chair?
A shower chair is a seat designed to help users bath in their shower with some body support. Depending on the type of chair or stool someone buys, they will get different amounts of assistance. The cheapest, most basic shower chairs might be a basic plastic seat with legs and grip to keep stable. These will largely rely upon the individual to have the core strength to maintain posture. This makes them less useful for anyone with a significant mobility challenge.
More sophisticated shower chairs are designed for those that may not have complete control over their body. Systems like Showerbuddy provide complete support to the user while they’re bathing and using the toilet. They will also support the transfer between different parts of the bathroom and out of the room itself.
A shower chair for anyone with significant mobility challenges should:
Provide comfort while bathing
Support sustained body positioned like sitting down or tilted back
Be safe inside a moisture filled environment
Kept gripped or locked down to the surfaces (i.e. floor and or sides of bathtub)
Provide ease of access for a carer or family member to assist
Come with excellent customer support
We provide more criteria in our dedicated PDF resource ‘Shower chair shopping checklist’ – find this further down the page.
What to Avoid
Top 5 mistakes when buying a shower chair
We talk to occupational therapists (OTs), families and users every day who have been on a journey trying different shower chairs. Here’s some of the most common mistakes people make:
1. Going too cheap
You will get what you pay for in most products, but it’s definitely true with shower chairs. Luckily in many markets, assistive technologies may be funded so you have access to great solutions.
2. Underestimating the users’ level of mobility support required
It’s important that occupational therapists and or health providers assess the individual’s ability to perform typical bathroom functions. They will then be able to accurately prescribe a daily plan, including the right assistive technology.
3. Not planning for evolving needs
One of the main reasons families buy multiple chairs over a period is because the user’s needs have developed beyond that of the current chair’s capability. This results in spending money on many options instead of one good one that can adjust with the user.
4. Not paying attention to build quality or materials
In a wet, hot environment like a bathroom, equipment needs to be built to withstand these conditions. The materials need to be water resistant over a long period of daily use.
5. Not having the right care plan surrounding the use of a shower chair
The equipment is only part of the puzzle. How the user will bathe, use the toilet and enter the bathroom all needs a process – and the user needs to feel in control of this.
Shower Chair Resources
Downloadable Product Details
Here you’ll find our downloadable shower chair resources to help your research, use and purchase of the next shower chair.
Shower chair shopping checklist
In a hurry? We’ve condensed our criteria for choosing a shower chair into an easy checklist format – download, print or complete on your device!