06 Jul 2018

Bath Chairs 101 : All You Need To Know

Bathing or taking showers are always a pleasant and relaxing task. But, for some people it is as difficult as it comes. So many people suffer from bathroom related injuries every year. This is when bath chairs come into the picture. Bath chairs, as the name suggests, are the chairs that can be used while bathing by elderly people, disabled people or by the ones who have recently been injured or are recovering from a surgery. They are basically four legged chairs; the legs are made from aluminum and have rubbers in the end as to prevent slipping, and a seat which is made from plastic. These chairs provide a sense of independence to those who need assistance in bathing. Different types of chairs have different features.

Who All Can Use Bath Chairs?

Bath chairs can be used by everyone from kids to elderly but it comes in very handy and useful for people with disabilities, post-surgery or injury and older people.

People with disabilities or other health issues: those with difficulties or those who have problem standing up for too long, or suffer from dizziness can benefit hugely from resting on these chairs.

Post-surgery or injury: people who have undergone a surgery recently or have suffered from an injury and cannot put too much weight on their lower bodies can rely on this chair to make bathing an easier task.

Elderly: older people mostly depend on other people to help them with the simplest of tasks. Bath chairs will make them more independent and will reduce back strain of the users and their caregivers.

How to Use Bath Chairs?

Using bath chairs is not very difficult. It is very easy to use. It is especially designed for the ones who have difficulties in simple tasks. Here’s how you can use it.

  1. Adjust the legs of the chair to the height so it is easy to sit down or stand up from. Make sure that all legs are of the same height.
  2. Place the chair in the bath tub or the shower. Ensure that all the four legs are placed firmly on the floor. If not, then adjust properly.
  3. Put equal weight on both the armrest while sitting so as to avoid tipping.

Precautions to take while using bath chairs:

  • Do not proceed on your own if you are unsure or scared to do so. Take assistance from your caregiver or a family member.
  • Carefully inspect the chairs for damage or defects before using.
  • Use non-slip shoes to avoid slipping on the wet shower floors.
  • Use a slip resistance bath mat for extra precautions.
  • Users with limited mobility are advised/recommended to use the chair under a supervisor or assistant.
  • Test the stability of the chair before use. Make sure that the legs are evenly adjusted and firm on the ground after placement.
  • The correct height of the chair should be: knees just below hip height with a person’s feet flat on the ground.
  • Make sure that you exert equal weight while sitting on the chair. Uneven weight exertion can lead to tipping of the chair.
  • Assist the person to dry off completely including the bottom of the feet.
  • Mop off any excess water on the floor before assisting the person to get up.
  • Regularly wipe the chair with mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners. Replace the chair immediately if you see any kind of rusting.

Types of Bath Chairs

Transfer Bench – These chairs are designed specifically for the people with extremely limited mobility. It is designed in such a way that the two rubber feet are placed outside the bath tub while the other two remain inside it. This allows the user to transfer from wheelchair onto the bench and then slide across over the tub or into the shower.

Standard Shower Chair – it has rubberized feet, back support, handgrip and a wide plastic seat.

Folding Stool Style – these stools are foldable and are the most cost effective and simple. It has the standard rubberized feet, a seat with no back support and handgrips for moving into and out of the shower. The absence of back support provides limited support while bathing.

Fold-Down – this chair is specially designed for permanent installation in the shower. It has two rubberized feel and a back support that is mounted to the shower wall for stability.

Rolling – this chair comes with rubberized wheels and locking mechanism. Some models feature seat that can be flipped up providing with multiple functions like shower and commode chairs.

Baby Shower Chairs – there are many different types of baby shower chairs in the market but all of them perform the same function; providing comfort and stability for your baby and making it easier for parents to bathe their child without back strain caused by excessive bending.

Choosing the Best Bath Chair

With so many options available in the market for bath chairs it becomes an overwhelming task to buy one. To make it easier to purchase one, keep these points in mind:

Weight Capacity: check for the chairs that can handle your weight easily.

Safety Features: see for the additional safety features like proper grip, seat stability, safety belt, drainage holes etc.

Seat: a good shower seat must have drainage holes, be slip resistant and should be wide enough to fit its user properly.

Dimension: measure the dimension of your tub or shower and make the purchase accordingly.

Legs: Legs of the chair must be steady and have good grip. Make sure they are adjustable and are made out of good material.

Durability: purchase a chair that is made with good and durable material to ensure long life of the product.

Investing in bath chairs provide the user with both physical but also psychological benefits. It not only makes the user feel less helpless and also less dependent but also reassure them of independency.