Shower chairs

blitzc

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So experts out there, tell me about shower chairs: Love 'em, hate 'em, or can't get by without them?

I was hoping to wait until the shower gets remodeled (any day now I'm told), to get a shower chair. But with two falls this week, Marc went out and got one. I can't get out of it without help and everything is a reach to get. I will appreciate it, right?
 

KimT

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Right now I have a pull-down chair as my shower chair. It works fine for me at this stage. In the future, it can be used by a caregiver to sit on while bathing me. My remodel is roll in and has a shower head at one end and a hand-held "shower" at the other end, right by the bench. When I get a shower chair, I'll buy a combo commode/chair that tilts. I made sure the shower was big enough to accommodate both this type of chair and a caregiver. I think the ability to take a shower for as long as possible, no matter how, is important.

I'm glad you got it, Cathy and I do think you'll be glad, too.
 

KarenNWendyn

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When we did our remodel, we had grab bars installed in the shower. Up until about a month or so ago, I was able to stand and hold onto the grab bars and bathe myself. It worked as long as I always had a hand on a grab bar. And I had my walker waiting for me just outside the shower. The problem with shower benches is I have yet to find one tall enough for me to arise from because my quads have gotten so weak. 😬

Now I am using an “Etac Clean” shower/ commode chair, and my CALS has to bathe me. It was very hard for me to accept that someone else would need to bathe me. But I don’t want to fall! The Etac chair also slides over my toilet and gives me extra height needed for me to get up off the toilet (there are grab bars on each side of the toilet that I use to help me push up off the commode). The only downside of the Etac chair that I see is that it doesn’t have a recline option or headrest. If/ when I get to that stage, I would need another kind of shower chair if I am still bathing in the shower.
 

Doglady

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Blitzc - Shower Chairs are great! Basically you need help using most of them as you’ll not be able to push yourself into and out of the shower. I’m wondering why you need help getting out of it though. Can you transfer in other locations? I’ve had a couple of different models on loan from the ALS Association and contemplating my third one. The current on is ok but PT says unsafe because my feet don’t reach the footrests.

Mine doesn’t recline either. That’s down the road but there are a number of options when that is needed.
 

Jrzygrl

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When we did our bathroom remodel, I had 7 grab bars put in it as the shower is approximately 6'x6'. I also had a wand shower head put in. Unfortunately, by the time the remodel was complete, my DH could no longer stand long enough to shower.

Shower chair #1 was a stationary model. He could still stand for transfers.

Shower chair #2 came as a donation from the ALS loan closet. It was a rolling/tilting shower commode chair that was just a little too small for DH, but we made it work. By then, we were using a transfer board.

Shower chair #3, the current one is also a rolling/tilting shower commode chair. The brand is Aqua Tec. My aunt had a friend who's husband was a disabled vet, so the VA provided it, but he preferred bed baths, so we got the chair brand new. It is by far the best, and thank God. We now are 100% hoyer lift for transfers. DH uses it not only in the shower, but as a commode too. His trunk and neck support have weakened to the point where he cannot sit up straight alone. I find it easier to position him in the chair because it can recline so that he sits back far enough. For showers, we get him in the chair then roll it into the shower once the water is warm. The shower is big enough for me or his aide to be in there with him in the chair. For toileting, we position the chair with the brakes on and get him in with the hoyer. Then I can tilt it slightly forward so he can "go".

I would strongly suggest one that tilts/reclines as it may be needed as things progress.
 

ARCG

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Rather than remodel the bathroom, we found it more cost effective to invest in a Shower Buddy that slides into the shower (or they have a bathtub model). We also use it as a commode chair. It has been great for us, easy to turn, has a headrest, a harness when we need it and they have tilting models as well. Has a foot rest too. We have a shower hand held spray and it is east to slide my pals into the shower, clean him up using a long handled brush, hose him off, slide him out and dry him. Then back to the bedroom where we have a lift to move him into his wheelchair. It is not inexpensive but less expensive than a whole bathroom remodel, which we would have had to do without it, our clinic recommended it,
 

lgelb

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We used a ShowerBuddy also, but know that there may come a time when it does not provide enough support, in which case he will likely have to toilet in a sling (which can actually make it easier to go), and forego showers. Possibly a tilt model might have prolonged its usefulness, but our shower in a rented apt. did not have room. We used bathtub pillows as makeshift lateral supports.
 
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