A shower bench is great for reducing the risk of falls when getting into and out of the bathtub.
It is one of the bathroom products for the elderly that I recommend quite a bit.
Though often called a shower bench, this device is used in the bathtub to take a shower and is also called a bath bench.
They are set up with two legs outside of the tub and two legs inside of the tub.
The legs inside the tub need to be shorter than the legs outside the tub to make sure the top of the bench is level.
This allows elderly to sit down from outside the tub, swing their legs into the bathtub in sitting, and shift over into the bathtub in sitting as well.
Voila, they are in the bathtub without having had to lift their legs up and over the edge of the tub in standing - a major cause of falls in the bathroom.
Elderly with balance, strength or endurance issues.
Bath benches are helpful for people who feel unsafe when lifting their legs up and over the side of the tub when getting into and out of the bathtub.
This position of balancing on one foot while lifting a leg over a high surface is very risky for seniors.
Quite a few falls in the bathroom are caused during this movement.
Seniors with small bathrooms often find shower benches too large. They might even interfere with moving on and off another surface safely, such as the toilet.
In this case, a shower board might do the trick.
Elderly with limited ability to bend at the knees or hips sometimes find a shower bench difficult to use.
In this case, I've still had success with them by removing the backrest as this gives them more room to lean backward and lift a straight leg into the tub.
The main benefits of bath benches over shower boards are that they have backrests and are height adjustable. Having a taller surface makes getting up from sitting easier. Backrests can provide a bit more support to people that fatigue easily.
A bath bench is usually made of plastic and a metal such as aluminum.
A bath bench is set up for a specific bathtub, depending on whether the taps are on the right or left. Having a bathtub bench where the handle and backrest can be moved around means that it can be used in different bathtubs if the set-up is different.
This can be handy if it will be used at another relative's house when visiting or if a senior moves.
As mentioned above, most benches can have the handles moved from side to side by removing bolts. Or the backrest can be pulled on and off and put on the other way.
Bath benches might also have the following accessories:
Bath benches fit the best in the standard rectangular shaped bathtubs.
I have had a few instances when they did not fit in bathtubs including the very tall spa-like bathtubs or those of an odd shape such as an oval. They also don't fit if there is a large built up space beside the tub edge.
Fitting the bath bench:
Weight Capacity: Check the weight capacity to make sure it will best support your elderly parent.
Have your elderly parent:
How to manage the shower curtain:
My best advice on managing the shower curtain so the bathroom doesn't get wet is to bring it up to the bath bench, pull it across the bench and tuck it under the senior's bottom. It can still usually be pulled back a little bit and this works to keep the water in the tub.
Some elderly have purchased two shower curtains and will pull one up to the front of the bench and then pull another from behind and tuck this one under their bottom.
Shower benches range from $50 - $200.
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