Shower chair assessment - your clinical considerations

When purchasing a shower chair, it’s critical to determine the user’s level of mobility and support needed

An assessment of their physical abilities and carer needs in the bathroom will create a better understanding of necessities. Considerations of the end users current and future mobility conditions and the support that will be needed is key to your equipment choice.

Everyone’s needs are slightly different. Ideally finding a shower chair that offers multi functionality and can adjust to various settings is the most cost effective.

We’ve devised a list of considerations to help with your shower chair purchase, considering both the individual and environment needs.

All this information is also available in our shower chair clinical considerations PDF.

The individual: diagnosis and prognosis (current and long-term needs)

  • Clinical measurements and postural changes of the person will determine the set-up of the RAZ and the correct size frame

  • The persons transfer ability/method will determine the function (tilt in space/upright) height of the seat, type of seat and adjustments to the RAZ

  • The persons physical ability to maintain their hygiene needs, bladder and bowel routines will indicate which seat configuration is required. This could be a side or rear access seat

  • The persons current and long-term pressure relief needs will indicate pressure relief in the seat. Another consideration would be how long the person spends in the chair. If this normally exceeds 40 minutes, then higher pressure relief will be required

  • The persons physical presentation, transfer method and required access to the lower body regions will differentiate between when a bridged seat and open fronted seat is required. A sliding transfer or someone who’s legs adduct will likely require a bridge front

  • Cognitive and behavioural needs may affect the safety of the person, the risks will need to be assessed in connection to specific set up or accessories required. This could include a pelvic belt or chest harness

  • What support is needed to transfer the individual onto a chair

  • Check if the client’s weight fluctuates as the equipment will need to take the load

 

The environment

  • Height of the toilet, toilet projection, space in the bathroom (specifically toilet/shower area, turning circle, door widths, corridor widths, flooring, and thresholds)

  • Further consideration of the frame will need to be complete when using a wash dry toilet. This includes the brand of toilet, the seat height and if there are any restrictions to the chair going over: boxing/soil pipe etc.

  • Is there sufficient room in the shower alcove and will the shower chair fit through the door of the shower alcove?

  • How will the shower chair or stool be positioned?

  • Will there be enough room for the client to move safely in the shower alcove with the chair in position?

  • What other environments might the client be using the chair in & will it be safe in these other environments – enough space etc? We hope you've found this information helpful.

 

We've devised a PDF version as an extra tool for you to use as you wish. 

 

Download your clinical considerations checklist

 

For a detailed overview of our showerchairs, we highly recommend booking a video demonstration with our equipment sepecialits or call 01634 813388.


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