Shower seating comprises of shower chairs and shower stools can be an excellent way to ensure that a bathroom space is inclusive and accessible for all users, even those who may struggle with some form of vulnerability. Vulnerable users include those who are elderly, disabled, struggling with mobility restriction, chronic pain or joint and muscle pain. For these users, the bathroom can be a high risk area due to factors such as slippery floors, extended periods of standing when showering, or even the amount of moving between seated and standing positions. To avoid injury, and ensure that all users can continue to use a bathroom space with independence, and without compromising on their safety, shower seating is available to purchase.
What to look for when purchasing a shower seat
- Height – the height of the aid must be comfortable for your user. Often, these aids will come equipped with the ability to adjust the height of the seat, however it is always best to check that each aid can perfectly seat your intended user before purchasing. If trying the aid out is an option, it is always recommended to do so.
- Seat space – the actual space that a user has to sit down on can heavily impact the comfort and safety of the aid. If your user is wider, they may require a larger seat to remain comfortable while using the aid. For smaller users, perhaps they need the extra space to be able to sit comfortably and move themselves around. Smaller seats can be an excellent option if saving space is an important factor for you and your user.
- Weight restrictions – shower seating aids are designed for users to be able to put their whole body weight onto them, this means that bearing the weight restrictions of the aid in mind is essential. The aids often can hold up to 250lbs, however if your user is larger than this, they may need to seek out a different aid.
- Grip – when choosing your aid, especially if it is the kind that does not need installation, you must ensure that the grip is of excellent quality. Ensuring that the feet of the aid will not slip on your tiles, and that your user will not slip off of the seat itself is extremely important. Before purchasing, consider anything that would make it difficult for the aid to grip to your shower, and decide which aid will be best equipped to eliminate that difficulty.
- Size – the size of your shower seating can be important, showers can often be quite confined spaces, so knowing the measurements of your existing shower, and knowing how much space you are willing to take up with the aid is important. It is also essential that the user can comfortably get on and off of the aid while it is in the shower, so making sure you have enough room surrounding the aid within the shower is also important.
Who should be using shower seating
- Elderly People – the elderly can use shower seating to provide a more comfortable bathing experience for them. Standing for prolonged periods of time, or simply moving on the wet, slippery tiles can be an issue, shower seating can eliminate some of these risks
- Disabled People – depending on the individual disability, standing for prolonged periods of time may not be an option, so shower seating can aid those users with an option to remain seated while carrying out daily hygiene tasks
- Mobility Restricted Individuals – those who have restrictions on their mobility, whether it be from old age, chronic pain, or a recent injury, could all benefit from shower seating. Taking the pressure off of their bodies when in the shower so it remains a relaxing experience is important to maintain quality of life.
Checklist to follow when purchasing shower seating:
- This aid will fit my users needs
- This aid can fit into my shower
- This aid is the right height for my user
- This aid can grip onto my floors
- My user will not be able to slip off of this aid
- My user will be able to adequately clean themselves while using this aid
- My user can comfortably sit on the surface of this aid
- My user does not exceed the weight limit of this aid