When senior people, as well as those with infirmity, are on the lookout for a piece of disability equipment like a wheelchair, their natural tendency is to look for an item that they think is comfortable to use or have functionalities and features that fit into their needs. While there is nothing wrong with that, they tend to lose sight of another important aspect — their toileting and bathing needs!
What is a Mobility Shower Chair?
Mobility shower chairs are a kind of waterproof wheelchairs. They are particularly designed to be of aid to the user in getting by on his own when taking a shower or when using the toilet. By empowering the user, we are reducing the number of times he needs to make transfers just so they can carry out such day by day essential tasks.
For us who are not in their position, getting off and transferring oneself from a wheelchair to the toilet is easy, there is nothing to argue about that. But for the infirmed and older people, simple actions like those can be physically taxing for them. They tend to get exhausted quickly.
This is where a mobility shower chair comes into the picture, it can empower the user despite his physical frailties. Such a piece of disability equipment can help reduce the number of movements or needed transfers, consequently conserving the user’s valuable energy for the day. The energy he saved can be used instead of several other more meaningful activities.
Should you feel there is a need to customize the functionality features of your mobility shower chair, you can do so but we will encourage you to collaborate with your trusted occupational therapist for this. Here are some of the important characteristics of a mobility shower chair that you should take into consideration:
Seat Depth and Width
See to it that the shower chair width matches the dimensions of your hips. Otherwise, it will run the risk of putting into compromise the physical support that your upper body will require while the shower chair is in use.
The aperture pertains to the shape of the seater and the amount of space that will allow the user to carry out his toileting needs. A padded seat is sometimes necessary here to help in minimizing the risk of breaking down the skin with a horseshoe opening. The correct size and shape of the aperture are essentially important, otherwise, it will not serve its intended purpose.
The backrest can come either in at an angle position or in an upright direction. Determining the right height of the back support feature is of utmost importance in the ordering process. It will help you decide whether you will need to have it padded or not.
It is okay for the armrests to come at an angle position or vertical position. Or you can opt for something removable or foldable. This will help the shower wheelchair user decide or identify the best position that will bring him the most comfort.
Footrests and footplates
Footrests and footplates usually come in removable or detachable types, which helps facilitate faster transfers. As for the footplates, you can flip them up instead. To keep the wheelchair user’s feet from getting caught up in the wheels or sliding, you may take advantage of the heel or calf straps.
Tilt in Space
This usable feature would be necessary when the wheelchair user himself is having difficulty or finding it too challenging to keep or maintain his balance in an upright position. However, it is important to bear in mind also that tilts in some wheelchair models could get in the way of the user’s ability to utilize this disability equipment over the toilet.
There is a manifold of benefits that elders and the people with infirmity can enjoy if they will take advantage of a mobility shower chair in addressing their toileting and showering concerns. Basically, it will provide your body the physical support that it needs while it is in a seated position, you feel safe and are comfortable.
Besides, optimum comfort level, it will also keep your transfers to a minimum. It will also serve as a valuable aid for the personal caregiver or to the member of the family who oversees/assists the user.
Regardless of the situation, we are encouraging you to get some assessment or advice from your trusted occupational therapist for this.