One of the most dangerous home environments for an elderly person is in the bathroom. In fact, it’s dangerous for people of all ages, with the American National Safety Council estimating that 70% of accidents that take place in the home occur in the bathroom interior. Another rather disturbing figure is that 75% of slip-and-fall deaths that take place in the home occur among people over 65.
The shower and bath areas are particular dangerous for the old and infirm due to the unavoidable wet and slippery surfaces. However, shower and bath time need not be a dangerous time for elderly relatives with a few simple safety additions. One of these is a shower chair, which can be installed into just about any type of shower stall and bathtub. A chair of this type will allow the older person to sit while cleansing their body and thus reduce the strain and possibilities of slipping and falling.
Most shower chairs are made from strengthened plastic seating with a strong and sturdy metal framework. The plastic material is comfortable against the bare skin and is smooth to the touch, thus providing ease of manoeuvrability. Some shower chairs are built in much the same way as a bench and are designed to span the rim of a bathtub or shower stall, thereby allowing the elderly person to gently glide over into position. These are called shower transfer benches.
Another benefit of the plastic and metal combination is the lightweight nature of the chair. This means an elderly relative can move the shower chair themselves, into whatever position they so desire, before and after the washing session. Of course, the light weight also helps family and/or professional caregivers who might help with the showering or bathing process and reduces the amount of lifting and moving often associated with caring for an older person. Some chairs even come with wheels.
Many elderly people live very active lives, even when frail and suffering from disabilities. Folding shower chairs provide an easy way to take the chair on vacation, whether by plane, car or even cruise ship. They can simply be placed in the back of a car and taken with the family when visiting friends or travelling to faraway lands. Foldaway shower chairs are also beneficial for smaller bathrooms as they can be collapsed and placed into a cupboard or against a wall.
If you are an elderly person and are increasingly worried about showering and bathing, then a shower chair is going to be a highly beneficial aid for your bathroom needs. For relatives of elderly and infirm parents who are continually worried about their mother or father slipping and falling when washing, a shower chair is going to put your mind at ease and will also help you during any caring activities.
About the author: Edward is a professionally trained Interior Designer with a special interest in making the home interior safe for young children and the elderly. One of his websites is Shower Chairs for the Elderly which highlights the varieties and benefits of shower and bath seating.