Mobile Shower Chairs For Special Needs & Disabled Adults

A comprehensive guide to Mobile Shower Chairs

Shower safety is an important concern for elderly and disabled individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter million people in the United States go to the emergency room for bathroom-related injuries every year, and the odds of serious injury increase with age and the presence of a disability or mobility impairment.

Fortunately, there are a variety of products available to make bathrooms safer and more accessible. One such product—the mobile shower chair—offers unique and versatile solutions to bathroom hazards. In this article, we'll talk about the varieties of mobile shower chairs available, their benefits and uses, and how they can increase safety and independence for disabled and elderly individuals and their caregivers.

Mobile shower chairs and changing tables on wheels & with armrests

Types of Mobile Shower Chairs with Wheels

Our bodies and needs are all unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all mobile shower chair. Whereas some individuals will require only a very basic place to sit while showering, other may require more secure devices or chairs outfitted for special needs. Here are a few different types of mobile shower chairs.

Basic Mobile Shower Chairs

A typical shower chair features an ergonomic seat and seatback with four lockable, slip-resistant wheels for easy mobility. Most models also have adjustable arm and head rests, though customized models without them or with removable options are available if these features impede care for a patient's needs. Models with adjustable leg rests are also available.

Height-Adjustable Chairs

Chairs that can be adjusted for height are a sound option for caregivers who otherwise may have to strain to assist an individual, or for care facilities that may use one chair to assist multiple patients of different body sizes. Height-adjustable chairs are also often crucial for patients who require assistance with perineal care (or “pericare”). Inadequate pericare can lead to a number of problems, including itching, burning, and infection.

Tilting Chairs

Chairs that tilt in place can be useful for caregivers who strain to assist patients with special hygiene needs.

Hydraulic Chairs

Caregivers of larger individuals may prefer these products, which feature hydraulically operated bases for ease of adjustment.

Shower-Toilet Chairs | Commode Chairs

There are many varieties of mobile shower chairs that are outfitted with a toilet seat for the safety and convenience of users with continence problems.

Bariatric Chairs

These include sturdier models that can accommodate users who weigh upwards of 600 pounds.

Chairs with Front-Locking Arms

As we mentioned, most models of mobile shower chair feature armrests, but for individuals who are at risk of sliding or falling out of the chair, models with safety arms that lock in place around the user are available.

Children's Mobile Shower Chairs

A typical adult chair is not safe for smaller individuals, who may be prone to fall out of them. Specially designed models are available to fit the needs of children and smaller adults.


caregiver assisting patient into a mobile shower chair with wheels

Who Uses Mobile Shower Chairs?

Many individuals can benefit from mobile shower chairs. Here are some.

Elderly Individuals
The most at-risk demographic for shower-related injuries are the elderly. Though most of us take showering for granted for most of our lives, as we age we slowly lose strength, balance and motor function, and slips and falls become more likely. A mobile shower chair is a safe and convenient option for aging individuals who are at risk of accidents in the shower.

Disabled Individuals
For anyone who cannot safely bathe themselves, whether as a matter of strength or motor control, or because of a chronic infirmity, a mobile shower chair can greatly increase independence, dignity and safety. This can include individuals with physical disabilities, as well as intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Caregivers
It's not merely the user who benefits from a mobile shower chair, but anyone who cares for them. Caregivers may find themselves straining and putting themselves at risk of injury while helping their patients or loved ones bathe. A shower chair can greatly reduce that strain.

caregiver assisting patient to mobile shower chair with wheels

Facilities that Use Mobile Shower Chairs

There are a variety of places--large and small, public and private--that see the value of having one or more mobile shower chairs on premises.

Homes

Naturally, any weakened or disabled person who lives on their own or with family can benefit from having a mobile shower chair. Mobile chairs, as opposed to fixed or mounted chairs, are especially desirable in homes where not all residents require them.

Hospitals and Care Facilities

Places that see a high volume of disabled or elderly patients, such as hospitals and doctor's offices, as well as assisted living homes, find mobile shower chairs to be a valuable asset. While many such facilities may have specially designed bathrooms with shower chairs installed, they may still see a benefit in the independence and sense of dignity that mobile options provide their patrons/residents.

Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Group Homes

Though we often think of physical disabilities when we think of shower assistance, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities also often require assistance while bathing. Facilities that care for such patients can benefit greatly from the safety and convenience of mobile shower chairs.

Hotels

Hotels, lodges, and B&Bs can all benefit from having mobile shower chairs. While many newer and larger hotels will need them in order to meet ADA compliance, even places that are exempt will find that having them will send a strong message to potential guests that they take accessibility and special needs seriously.

facility with adult changing table

The Benefits of Mobile Shower Chairs

Mobile shower chairs are safe, hygienic, and cost efficient. Here are some of the many benefits that they can provide to users, caregivers and facilities.

They Prevent Injuries among Users

Mobile shower chairs provide a comfortable source of stability for weakened, elderly or disabled users. Moreover, models with added safety features, such as front-locking arms, can greatly reduce the risk of injury among special needs users.

They Prevent Injuries among Caregivers

Inadequate shower solutions can cause caregivers to strain while assisting their patients, potentially leading to injury or discomfort. Shower chairs, which are designed for accessibility, ergonomics and ease of use, can eliminate that stress and make a caregiver's job significantly easier and safer.

They Increase Quality of Life

Aging, recovering from an illness or injury, or living with a disability can be a difficult and sometimes humiliating experience. By increasing privacy and safety, mobile shower chairs allow many users to enjoy greater independence and dignity.

They Prevent Infection

Mobile shower chairs are designed to be easily cleaned, which can prevent dangerous infections and the spread of viruses. Urinary tract infections and C. diff—a serious bacterial infection of the colon—are often transmitted by unhygienic bathroom equipment. Having an easily cleaned and sanitary shower chair can be crucial for preventing these kinds of infections.

They Save Money

The cost of just one injury can easily surpass the price of a mobile shower chair. For care facilities, shower chairs can also reduce labor costs, by saving the time and effort of its employees and preventing caregiver injuries. Certain brands, such as Lopital mobile shower chairs, are designed to be especially easy to clean, allowing caregivers to be more productive and saving facilities money.

Mobile Shower Chair FAQs

Why should I choose a mobile shower chair over a fixed or wall-mounted chair?

While fixed chairs can be a good option for users with specific needs, mobile chairs provide more flexibility. In homes they accommodate residents who need them while staying out of the way of those who don't. In care facilities they provide independence for users who don't require a caregiver presence when showering. In places of public accommodation they can be provided on demand to users who need them.

What options are available on mobile shower chairs?

Mobile shower chairs can be modified to meet most special needs. Locking armrests, adjustable head and leg rests, height-adjustable bases, and toilet seats, among other modifications, are available.

electronically adjustable adult changing table

Mobile Shower Chairs

Mobile shower chairs provide safety and comfort for users and caregivers alike.

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