Tips for Buying Shower Chair & Trolleys
In many cases, showering is preferable to bathing as it is easier for both the patient and carer, surpassing the need to get in and out of a low bath.
There is a broad range of chairs and trolleys that can be used to assist in the showering process, leading to a complicated decision-making process.
Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your options and buy the best equipment for your needs.
Consider Your Needs
There are several main factors that will affect your choice of shower chair or trolley best suited to you. These include:
- Available space: some chairs and trolleys take up more space than others, which can be an issue in small showering spaces.
- Required mobility: difficulty in transferring patients from a wheelchair to the shower can promote the use of mobile showering equipment.
- Patient independence: the reliance of a patient on a carer to help in the showering process affects the best choice.
Source Suitable Models
There are many different shower chairs and trolleys available, so it is necessary to consider which models suit your needs best. The most common models available include:
- Mobile shower trolley: mesh over a metal frame with four wheels for stable showering in a semi-reclined position.
- Shower stool: free standing and mobile but offer less support for the back.
- Shower chair: free standing and may be static or mobile, with varying support for back, arms and feet.
- Wall-mounted shower seat: may be fixed or hinged to fold away when not in use.
Look for Specific Features
Finally, there are some features that may be required in some cases, which you should consider before making a purchase. These include:
- Height adjustability to suit different patients
- Stability of chair or trolley
- Safety straps
- Drain outlet
- Back support
- Armrests and footrests
- Foldable for storage
Finally, there are a few other tips that might help when buying a shower chair or trolley.
For chair models with legs, it is important that you ensure the strength of the shower tray is suitable to withhold the weight of the patient, as they can lead to cracks in the floor in some cases.
For mobile chairs, the size of the wheels makes a notable difference in the ease of movement. Larger wheels are easier for either the patient or carer to push, whereas small wheels can be difficult to move over bumps in the floor.
The best way to know for sure is to give it a test run: move the chair or trolley around the bathroom and into the shower with sitting a patient on the chair and look at the space available. If it's the right fit for you, you can make the purchase.