Shower boards are great tools to increase safety getting into and out of the bathtub.
They span the width of the bathtub and require a fair-sized lip on either side of the bathtub to use them safely.
The shower board sits on these lips and then can be secured with dials.
Some bath boards do not have adjustable securing mechanisms but are built to slip into a bathtub.
They can be very useful for an elderly person at risk for falls when stepping into and out of the bathtub as the bathtub is accessed in sitting.
They are also helpful for a senior who needs a bathtub seat to sit on while taking a shower.
Bath boards are relatively easy to install and are fairly affordable. They are great for reducing the risk of falls in the elderly population.
Seniors who have difficulty stepping into and out of the bathtub, putting them at risk for falls. A shower board is also beneficial when the elderly need to sit while showering.
They should not be used if:
In this case, they should consider something height adjustable that also spans the complete width of the tub such as a shower bench.
Most bath boards I have seen are either plastic or wooden.
Some have handles and other do not.
They have different ways of bracing themselves against the bathtub.
Many bath boards have a handle on the far side that provides a hand-hold for helping the senior move into the bathtub in sitting.
Many bath boards have securing mechanisms that slide up and down to adjust to different tub widths. Once adjusted, they are then tightened so the padded securing mechanisms stay in place and keep it in place.
The materials should be hardy for being wet often.
Some bath boards are wooden and do not have securing mechanisms. This can put a senior at higher risk of having a fall as they might slip out of place.
That being said, I have seen many elderly people use wooden shower boards with great success.
Though the wooden types do quite well, the plastic version is more durable over the long term and puts the senior less at risk for falls.
Some of the accessories that might come on a bathtub board:
First check your bathtub to see if there are lips on both sides that would support a bath board.
Before you place the board in the bathtub, loosen the securing mechanisms and move then as far as you can towards the middle of the board.
Then, place the bath board as far as it will go against the far wall.
Once the board is sitting in the right position, move the securing mechanisms to the outside until they are up against the inner side of the tub.
Tighten the securing mechanisms so that the board won't fall down into the bathtub.
Weight Capacity: Don't forget to check the weight capacity so it will properly support your loved one.
The elderly person approaches the bath board and turns to sit on the outside edge of the board.
They sit down on the edge.
Once they are feeling secure, they turn their body and lift one leg over the side of the tub (while still sitting) and into the tub. Then they lift their other leg up and over the tub.
Once both legs are inside the bathtub, they can move their bottom over towards the middle (still in sitting). They can use the handle on the far side to assist if one is available.
Before turning the water on, they should pull the curtain from the taps up to the board on the inside of the tub. Then they should tuck the shower curtain under their bottom and a bit behind them in order to avoid water going outside of the shower.
They generally cost between about $50 - $125.
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