Shower chairs give people the ability to shower and use the bathroom facilities with comfort and dignity. People who need shower chairs on a day-to-day basis may require extra options and postural support.
Shower chairs to help people with poor posture are available; here are some things you might want to bear in mind when choosing one.
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The Ocean Range shower chairs are a good place to start when you’re looking to specify one for a client.
Shower chairs for people with poor posture should definitely include a tilt-in-space positioning option. With the person being tilted back (with the hip and knee angles maintained) it will help to encourage their spine to a healthy midline position, and it will stop them from slouching or slipping forward in the chair.
A good range of shower chairs that offer tilt-in-space abilities is the Ocean Range.
Something else you may want to include on top of tilt-in-space is a tension adjustable backrest. This means you can tighten or slacked off the material of the backrest according to the person’s comfort and support needed.
If you loosen the backrest a little, it allows the person to sink back into the chair meaning that they’re not completely upright (which can cause discomfort and poor posture), which encourages better positioning. You might also want to consider having an adjustable back angle that opens up the hips for additional comfort.
For a higher spec shower chair that offers more support to the user, the Raz Rehab range is excellent.
The aperture of a shower chair can also aid with postural management. Some apertures are contoured around the edge to help promote a healthier sitting position.
The aperture will cradle the person’s posterior to help guide them into a better-seated position. Getting the right curve will guide your client’s ischial tuberosity into a stable, sturdy position that set a good base for better spinal positioning.
We often recommend that you choose a shower chair that has built-in head support for people with poor head control or limited neck strength. This will help to keep the person stabilised and comfortable when using the bathroom.
A removable headrest is a good idea because it makes it a lot easier to wash the person’s hair. This means that you can simply take the headrest off and use the tilt-in-space function to position the person’s head over the sink.
On the topic of personal hygiene, you may also want to look at shower chairs that have flip-up arms to allow easier access when washing.
We strongly recommend that you use a shower chair with lap belts to keep the person securely positioned during showers. Having a lap belt will help to keep the person’s hips in position and it will help prevent them from sliding out of the chair.
A four-point belt will really help to give the person a good pelvic position when sat in the chair. Although belts and harnesses are sometimes frowned upon, we do recommend that you use one in a shower chair simply to keep the person in the chair when it’s wet.
In terms of extra support in shower chairs for people with poor posture, you may want to include thoracic lateral supports if needs be. This will help encourage a healthy midline position and will alleviate some discomfort for individuals with postural conditions like scoliosis.
Footplates should also be used to stabilise the person’s leg so they’re not just dangling from the chair. This will be a lot more comfortable for the individual and it will encourage a healthy pelvic position in the chair itself.
Foot straps might also be necessary if you have a client who has involuntary leg movements.
These are the main things you should bear in mind when you’re looking at shower chairs for people with poor posture. Getting a chair with the right features available will help to keep the individual comfortable and well-positioned whilst using the bathroom.