What Should You Look for When Buying a Shower Wheelchair?
- What Is a Shower Wheelchair?
- What Are the Most Important Features of a Shower Wheelchair?
- How to Make Shower Wheelchair Transfers Safer?
- What Other Accessories Should Be Available with Your Shower Wheelchair?
- How Important Is Fit?
- How Do You Measure Fit for a Shower Wheelchair?
- What Type of Shower Is Most Ideal for Shower Wheelchair Users?
What Is a Shower Wheelchair?
Much like its name suggests, a shower wheelchair is a wheelchair that is designed for individuals with mobility issues and who require a means of getting in and out of the shower safely. Generally, wheelchairs are designed for those with mobility limitations to transport around their homes and communities. However, this wheelchair can be taken in and out of an accessible shower. It is especially helpful for those who find making a transfer to another seat or bench in the shower to be too difficult or dangerous.
What Are the Most Important Features of a Shower Wheelchair?
As you may have guessed, a shower wheelchair is made to be waterproof. Not only is it important that the wheelchair is durable, but it should dry quickly as well. Keep in mind that many users require the wheelchairs for regular use as well as for bathing. Naturally, a shower wheelchair should be rust proof as well to ensure its long-term durability.
Compared to standard wheelchairs, shower wheelchairs are generally lightweight and compact. This makes them a lot easier to get in and out of shower stalls as most bathrooms are not very spacious. A nice feature of most shower wheelchairs is the ability to also enable its user to use it as a portable commode. Its seat will be comfortably designed similarly to a toilet seat, and a pale is designed to attach underneath for easy cleaning. Finally, it should have a flip-up or removable footrests so that transfers can be made safely.
How to Make Shower Wheelchair Transfers Safer?
One of the best features to get when looking for a shower wheelchair is a drop-arm or removable arm. A drop-arm shower wheelchair slides the restricting arm of the wheelchair away so that you can position the chair directly adjacent to the surface they are transferring from. This allows the user to slide directly to the shower wheelchair without having to stand and then pivot around a built-in arm. The drop-arm wheelchair will be safer for the user and caregiver as well as reduce anxiety about bathing time.
What Other Accessories Should Be Available with Your Shower Wheelchair?
Especially for those who use shower wheelchairs as their chief source of mobility, a padded waterproof cushion is ideal. This is to promote both skin protection and overall comfort. Waterproof calf support is also important for users who require lower leg support. A headrest would also be ideal. This is especially useful if your shower wheelchair is designed to tilt or recline.
How Important Is Fit?
For individuals who require shower wheelchairs as their main source of getting around, getting the right fit will be of paramount importance. Naturally, they’ll want to ensure that the wheelchairs are comfortable and easy to use. There are some basic measurements that need to be considered including hip width, thigh length, knee to ground height, and back height.
How Do You Measure Fit for a Shower Wheelchair?
This is something you can actually do at home before going out to take a look at shower wheelchairs. Had your elderly loved one sit in a standard chair, wearing regular shoes, so that you can take his/her measurements. With measuring tape, measure the hip-width at the widest part, measure from the back of the knee to the lower back making sure to keep the measuring tape parallel to the floor, measure from the back of the knee to the floor, and finally from the lower back to the base of the neck.
What Type of Shower Is Most Ideal for Shower Wheelchair Users?
At Forward Day, we’re very proud of our Shower Bay portable showers because they make the bathing experience incredibly comfortable. Its freestanding design eliminates the need for a contractor or plumber, and the Shower Bay can be assembled in any room inside the house. It connects right to the faucet; so if you have a sink, you are able to have a safe wheelchair-accessible shower!
First Published on: Feb 2, 2017
Updated on: May 17, 2022