Safety in the Bathroom: Products to Assist with Bathing Bath Seats

Table of Contents:

 

INTRODUCTION

More household accidents occur in the bathroom than in any other room. In a series of publications entitled Safety in the Bathroom: Products to Assist with Bathing, the national Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Aging at the University at Buffalo provides an overview of available products for improving safety in the bathroom. While many items have been designed to assist people with disabilities, it is important to note that many of these simple modifications can benefit all.

When adapting a bathroom to accommodate someone with a special need or disability, you should consult with an occupational therapist as you plan. A professional consultant will help you:

  • develop a routine for using the bathroom;
  • understand how to avoid certain dangers in the bathroom;
  • map out a cost-effective plan for changing needs.

BATHSTOOL

Economical and light weight, the bathstool is suitable for persons of slight to medium built. The 15″ plastic seat rests on anodized legs that are rustproof. The rubber-capped legs prevent slipping. With no backrest, the stool allows easy access to the person’s back for easy washing. Compact in size, the bathstool provides an ideal solution for narrow tubs, and it can be easily stored when not in use. However, its small base contributes to poor stability.

BATHCHAIR

The bathchair is good for persons who like to bathe in leisure and comfort. With a contoured seat and backrest, the chair is helpful for those with poor back strength. The chair is strong and can support persons up to 400 pounds. With anodized aluminum legs and plastic seat, the chair requires no maintenance. While stability is enhanced by rubber-capped legs and a wide base, the bathchair may not fit inside a narrow tub. The backrest hinders easy access to the person’s back and other parts of the body.

PADDED BATHCHAIR

The bathchair with a soft padded seat adds greatly to the bathing comfort, and is easier on those with sensitive skin. The vinyl covered seat is waterproof and durable. A vinyl seat can be cold when a person first sits down. As a padded seat can become very slippery when the body is wet and soapy, it is not suitable for those who are unable to maintain a steady seated posture. The backrest restricts easy access to the back and other parts of the body.

HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE CHAIR

With variable seat and backrest heights, this chair accommodates persons of different stature and provides custom seating conditions. While there are various mechanisms for adjusting seat and backrest heights, the most common is the twist mechanism. Located on each of the legs, these mechanisms are easily locked and unlocked by hand. Constant adjustment, however, tend to loosen them, which can cause the chair to collapse unexpectedly.

HORSESHOE BATHSEAT

Because of its unique shape, the horseshoe bathseat is suitable for those who have difficulty accessing and cleaning their underside when sitting on the tub floor. Only six inches in height, the seat enables the person to soak in the tub. The maintenance-free bathseat has a plastic seat and rests on rubber-capped aluminum legs that prevent slippage. Appropriate for short duration bathing. This seat is not good for those with weak backs or who have difficulty sitting down and getting up.

HORSESHOE BATHSTOOL

This bathstool is appropriate for those who have difficulty sitting on the tub floor and who need to have easy access to their underside. The stool is stable, lightweight, maintenance-free, and easy to remove from the tub when not in use. Using twist mechanisms on each of the four legs, the seat adjusts from 16 to 23 inches. The wide base makes it unsuitable for narrow tubs. Because it has no backrest, it is not good for those with poor back strength.

HORSESHOE BATHCHAIR

This bathchair, with its unique shape, is suited for large persons who need to have easy access to their underside. The contoured backrest adds to the bathing comfort. Maintenance-free, this bathchair has a plastic seat and backrest, and rests on rubber-capped aluminum legs that prevent slippage. Some models are height-adjustable. As they can be heavy and wide, some of these chairs can be difficult to handle and too large for narrow tubs.

HAND – GRIP BATHSTOOL

This bathstool has hand-grips which provide support to those who have difficulty maintaining balance in a sitting position. Offering an easy grasp, the hand-grips increase safety and allow easy removal of the bathstool when not in use. The contoured seat adds to the bathing comfort. The plastic seat of the maintenance-free bathstool rests on rubber-capped aluminum legs that prevent slippage. The bathstool may be too wide to fit in some tubs. For persons with very wide buttocks, the seat is not wide enough to grasp the hand-grips.

HAND – GRIP BATHCHAIR

The hand-grip bathchair is ideal for leisurely bathers who need assistance in maintaining an upright position. The hand-grips are useful to provide support while reaching various parts of the body. The contoured seat and backrest add comfort to the bathing. The plastic seat and backrest are maintenance-free and rest on rubber-capped aluminum legs that prevent slippage. As they can be heavy and wide, some of these chairs can be difficult to handle and too large for narrow tubs. For persons with wide buttocks, grasping the hand-grips may be difficult.

TUB BOARD

The tub board is suitable for people, with strong backs, who have slight to medium builds. Made from two pieces of vinyl-coated steel that slide into one-another, it fits into tubs of various widths and provides a wide seat surface. To prevent scratching the tub, the underside of the board is padded. The 8 pound tub board is portable and can be stored easily. Because it simply rests on the tub rim, it can be unsteady.

PORTABLE SHOWERSEAT

The showerseat is appropriate for those who need to sit when showering. It is lightweight, and hangs from a grab-bar mounted to the wall. The seat surface and backrest, made from stretchable, non-slip nylon strips, flex to accommodate persons of various size. The vinyl-coated stainless steel structure is rust-free. The showerseat is non-porous, easy to clean and maintains mild temperature during bathing. Because it is simply hooks over the grab bar, this showerseat has a tendency to swing.

ADJUSTABLE SHOWERSEAT

This showerseat is good for those who require customizing their seating and standing conditions. The seat and backrest are easily adjusted using the manual controls. If it is folded upright, the showerseat may be used as a back support for persons who have difficulty standing. For wheelchair users, the seat can be leveled for easy transfers. The shape of the vinyl seat allows easy cleaning of the underside. The padded backrest and the nylon-coated stainless steel tubular structure are rust-free. This showerseat requires installation by skilled professionals.

FOLDABLE SHOWERSEAT

This showerseat is appropriate for persons, of slight to medium build, who may need to sit while showering. The non-intrusive showerseat mounts on the wall. As it folds against the wall when not in use, this type of seat saves space in the shower stall. In its folded position, the seat is automatically locked. Some foldable showerseats are height adjustable. The showerseat requires installation by skilled professionals.

SHOWER WHEELCHAIR

The shower wheelchair transports non-ambulatory persons into the shower. It is lightweight and is constructed completely from rust-resistant hardware and materials. The vinyl covered foam seat is waterproof, and minimizes skin irritation. The seat�s horseshoe shape enables easy cleaning of the underside. The swing-back arms simplify transfers in and out of the wheelchair, and the swing-away footrests adjust to various positions. The chair is usable only in shower stalls accessible to wheel-chairs.

Also see our web page on benches for the bath.