Getting into the bathtub can be, at times, an overwhelming task when you have a physical disability. Shower chairs are designed for individuals who require seating support when bathing or showering. The general idea is that these medical supplies allow someone who is unsteady on their feet the ability to shower without help. In most cases shower chairs are designed for the elderly or someone who may have been temporarily injured. Most chairs will fit into any standard tub or shower and are available with or without padding.
The legs or body of most shower chairs are usually made from a strong durable non-corrodible material such as PVC or Aluminum. Rubber is also added to the bottom of the legs and the seat to prevent slipping. Consideration must be made to the amount of space needed and to the maximum weight capacity of each shower chair.
Shower Chair Types
Large/Small wheeled shower chairs – these will enable you to propel yourself independently into a shower area or cubicle. They may also be used as an attendant-propelled chair where the floor surface is difficult to push across e.g. thick carpet, since large wheels offer a less rolling resistance and are therefore easier to push. They may be difficult to push over some floor surfaces e.g. thick carpet, since the small wheels offer more rolling resistance and are therefore more difficult to push.
Sani-chairs – some sani-chairs can be used in a shower although they are primarily designed as mobile chairs with an aperture or hinged toilet seat for use over a toilet. They are available with large and small wheels.
Shower trolleys – these are large wheeled platforms which will enable you to be pushed into a shower area in a lying or semi-lying position. However, because of their long length, they are not often used in a domestic situation. Most would not fit into a shower cubicle.
Showers incorporating a seat for transfer – These are specifically designed shower cubicles that have a seat that swings/slides outside the shower to enable you to transfer from your wheelchair directly onto it and can then swing/slide back inside. This feature will enable you to transfer independently. The cubicle should have built in grab rails to help you move along the seat.