Shockingly, around 36 million seniors fall each year, with about 32,000 elderly passing away from their fall-related injuries. While not every fall is preventable, there are equipment and care strategies available to help prevent most falls from occurring in the first place.
One of the places people fall most often is in the shower. And a shower chair is a crucial aid for better and safer shower mobility for seniors.
But when it comes to choosing shower chairs, not every chair is made equal. Read on to learn how to select the best chair to keep your or your loved one on their feet.
1. Select Your Size
There are options for chairs in all sizes.
Take a look at the size of the shower you need the chair for. If it’s on the smaller side, look for sturdy yet compact off-the-shelf chairs. If you need a chair for a bathtub or a bariatric-sized chair, you may need to consider custom-made options.
2. Consider the Style
Alongside different chair sizes, you also need to work out which chair style is best for your needs.
A swivel shower chair or a chair with wheels isn’t going to be suitable for someone who has little control over their movements. However, for someone more mobile, they will allow them to move around the bathroom while safely seated.
3. Lie-Flat or Sit-Up
Shower chair manufacturers understand that not all seniors can sit up on their own. While fixed-back seats are usually cheaper, reclining or recumbent shower seats, often fitted with a leg rest, can help seniors with a disability enjoy their time in the bathroom.
4. Do You Need a Commode?
A commode, or toilet, is helpful for seniors who find their bathroom routines challenging and their caregivers. When comparing chair prices, consider whether you need a commode. Chairs with this feature are typically more expensive due to the additional manufacturing and material costs.
Remember, if you don’t need a commode, don’t shell out the extra cost. A well-constructed shower chair with a solid seat is suitable for most older adults.
5. Paying for Your Shower Chair
You might be wondering how best to pay for your swivel chair.
If you have private insurance, you’ll need to check with your provider whether or not the cost of this essential aid is covered. Sometimes they only cover specific shower chair designs. Shower chairs are also typically not covered by Medicare because they don’t fit the policy’s “durable medical equipment” standards.
Despite this, you’ll be relieved to learn that shower chairs are among the least expensive pieces of senior aid equipment out there. You can get a simple, sturdy shower chair for well under $100.
Choosing Shower Chairs: Shop Around
If you’ve been tasked with choosing shower chairs for yourself or someone you know, it may seem a bit daunting at first. This is because there are so many brands and styles on the market. Narrow down your selection by making a list of your needs, then compare that with what’s on the market for your budget.
For more advice on living your best senior life, read the other articles on our website.