The 10 Best Shower Chairs
Making Showers Safer For Seniors And The Disabled
If one cannot hold onto a grab bar, they won't be very effective.
Grab bars with a contrasting color to the wall and that feature a non-slip surface are best.
The majority of falls within a house result in relatively minor injuries, but falls in the bathroom are often more serious. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011, using data from 2008, found that almost 200,000 Americans a year are treated in the emergency for bathroom related falls. This is because bathrooms present a number of additional hazards over most areas of the home; the surfaces are slippery and there are very few well anchored items to grasp onto.
While it is certainly possible than anyone can slip and fall in a bathroom or in the shower, the elderly and disabled are particularly susceptible. Having poor balance or muscle strength makes it harder to catch oneself when falling, increasing the risk of injury.
Bathrooms can be made safer by installing a few safety features, which can significantly reduce the risk of falls. One or two strategically placed grab bars can greatly assist a person when stepping into or out of the tub. They can also assist a person when moving from lying in a tub to a standing position. Grab bars should be installed in easy to reach places, ideally where one would naturally reach for when stepping in or out of a shower.
Grab bars with a contrasting color to the wall and that feature a non-slip surface are best. Suction cup grab bars should be avoided, instead look for ones that can be be securely anchored to a stud. Grab bars are only suited to people who have sufficient upper-body strength to support themselves. If one cannot hold onto a grab bar, they won't be very effective.
For these people, a shower chair is a better choice. They can provide stability for those who have impaired balance or trouble standing for a long period of time. If used with a hand-held shower head, they allow a person to remain seated when bathing.
A non-slip mat should be placed in all bath tubs to reduce the chance of slipping while bathing. One should also place a bath rug just outside the bathtub to catch water that drips off a person as they exit the shower. Good safety options for those who have trouble getting on and off of a toilet seat are raised toilet seats and toilet seat rails.
Choosing A Shower Chair
There are a number of factors one should consider when choosing a shower chair. Ask yourself if you need back support, and how much. Some may need full back support, while others who don't need back support may find that it gets in their way when scrubbing certain parts of their body.
Some models feature hanging baskets or compartments to hold soap and other toiletries, which can be very convenient for those who cannot stand at all or choose not to.
Some models feature hanging baskets or compartments to hold soap and other toiletries, which can be very convenient for those who cannot stand at all or choose not to. If you have difficulty stepping into and out of a tub, consider a shower chair that doubles as a transfer chair. Some models are wide enough to extend out of the tub and can slide back and forth. This allows you to avoid stepping into or out of a tub. Instead you can sit down on the chair while it is outside of the tub, and then slide it into the bathing area.
Height adjustable chairs are also a good choice. A chair that is too high and doesn't allow you to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground may be uncomfortable and cause feelings of instability. On the other hand, one that is too short can interfere with bathing and cause the user to sit in a hunched position.
The seat itself should be wide enough to comfortably fit the user and have a non-slip surface. Those with drainage holes on the seat are best as they dry quicker with less chance of bacteria build up. No matter which shower chair you choose, it should feature non-slip feat to keep it from sliding around on wet surfaces.
Keeping Shower Bacteria At Bay
Most of us have seen that pink slimy material build up on our shower curtain or in the corner of a tub, but did you know that it is actually a form of bacteria known as Serratia marcescens and not mold? What's worse, is that once it begins to colonize, it is extremely difficult to get rid of and will often com back again and again. Luckily it rarely causes diseases, but it is not unheard of, so it's best if you eradicate completely.
The holes allow excess water to drain away, letting the chair's surface dry quicker.
Serratia marcescens prefers to live in damp areas, and its growth is also aided by soap scum. Ideally one should do their best to prevent it from ever forming. This is why shower chairs with holes are a better choice. The holes allow excess water to drain away, letting the chair's surface dry quicker.
If you already have some pink slime in your shower, you can attack it with a few common household items. You can mix together a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. This solution should be sprayed directly onto the areas with pink slime along with surrounding areas, as there may be the beginnings of a colony that is not visible yet. Let it soak for 10 minutes to break down the bacteria before scrubbing it away.
Tea tree oil is also very effective at getting rid of the bacteria that causes pink slime. It is actually even more effective than vinegar as it has anti-bacterial properties. The key to using either other these products is to let it sit. If you wipe it away too soon, it won't kill all of the bacteria, allowing it to recolonize quickly.