Remaining independent when using the bathroom can be the key to vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, disabled, and mobility restricted, to keep their self-esteem intact. However, the bathroom can be a difficult place to maneuver when someone has these vulnerabilities. With slippery surfaces, hygiene and frequently moving between seated and standing positions, the bathroom is one of the first places that will become difficult for these individuals to use. With the help of safety aids, however, the independence of the elderly, disabled, and mobility restricted can be maintained without compromising their safety in the bathroom. Bath and shower stools are an excellent aid to take care of users in the bathroom – below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the use, functions, and specs of bath and shower stools.
What are bath and shower stools?
Generally speaking, a bath chair or a shower stool, (sometimes simply referred to as 'bathroom stools'), are seats that can be used in wet areas, and most often don't have a backrest on them. This is what differentiates them from other bath and shower seating such as chairs. Stools are also a great tool for users who may not be completely independent anymore, as they allow room for a helper to reach parts of the body that they need to.
What can I use my bathroom stools for?
Bath and shower stools can be used to remain seated while bathing. They are designed to provide relief to users who may not be able to stand for prolonged periods of time in the shower, or cannot necessarily put the strain on their body to get in and out of the bath. Stools with different functionalities can be used for different things – for example, a stool with a rotating seat can be helpful to move around the shower or bath without fear of slipping.
What are the different types of bathroom stools available for purchase?
There are many different types of bath stool designed to suit the different needs of each user. Shower and bath stool's often come equipped with adjustable height legs, and non-slip, rubber feet, to ensure that the aid can be used in both bath and shower areas, regardless of the user's height. Stools with added functionality are also available for purchase. For example, a rotating seat stool allows the user to remain seated whilst moving around the shower or bath, making it easier to reach for products or simply to reach different parts of the body. If style is a concern of your user – solid acrylic bath stools can be purchased that look great in any bathroom space, while maintaining its core function.
Should I consult an occupational therapist or independent living consultant before purchasing a bath or shower stool?
Talking to an occupational therapist or independent living consultant isn't essential, however, it can be helpful to consider the input of these professionals. They will be able to help you understand your user's needs and the exact kind of things they made need to create a supportive bathroom. If you're already aware of the needs of your user, doing independent research can be adequate – especially with an aid like a bath or shower stool, which does not have rigorous installation procedures.
How much weight can a bath or shower still withstand?
The weight capacity of any aid, including bathroom stools, will depend on the aid itself, and the manufacturer. Generally speaking, these aids are designed to hold the weight of an average, adult body – so the weight capacity should not pose an issue. However, it is always best to seek out the weight capacity from the manufacturer of the aid.
What do I need to consider before purchasing a bath or shower stool?
First of all, you must assess the needs of your user to ensure that a shower or bath stool is the correct aid for them. With similar options on the market – such as bath steps, shower chairs, and bath chairs, it is important to know that the bath or shower stool is the perfect option for your user. To make sure of this, get the user to test the aid before purchase where possible. Bathroom stools are often adjustable in height – so the dimensions of your bathroom don't need to be so carefully considered, but ensuring that the aid will fit comfortably will be best.
How do I install a bath or shower stool?
Most bathroom stools are freestanding and come equipped with non-slip, rubber feet. This means that no real installation is necessary beyond placing the aid where you'd like it to be and setting the right height for your user.
How can I clean a bath or shower stool?
Cleaning your bath or shower stool can simply be done with household cleaning products and a damp cloth. Disinfectant liquid or wipes are useful to ensure that the hygiene of the aid is maintained. It is essential to ensure that the aid is properly rinsed after using cleaning products on it to maintain the safety and comfort of the user's skin.
What other safety aids are useful in conjunction with bathroom stools?
The kinds of aids that will be helpful to use with bathroom stools simply comes down to the needs of your user. Someone who is elderly may not have the same safety needs as someone who is mobility restricted. However, generally speaking, grab bars are an excellent way to ensure that a user is supported when using the bathroom by providing them with something to grab onto to prevent slips and falls. Other than grab bars, non-slip mats may be a great way to ensure that your user can remain safe and independent in the bathroom.