Users actually spend a great deal of cumulative time in a shower trolley, which means they need to be comfortable and supported so carers can wash them easily and safely.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right product. Prioritise these 4 to help simplify your decision-making process.
The primary concern should always be the user’s safety.
Opt for a shower trolley with safety rails that are high enough to keep the patient supported. We often hear carers comment that rails are too low, leaving the patient feeling vulnerable and the carer nervous.
You should also consider the trolley’s stability. If it rocks or wobbles when moving, it could injure the user and cause difficulties for the carer. You want a trolley that’s heavy enough to be stable but still easy to manoeuvre.
There’s also the question of mobile vs. wall-mounted. Generally speaking, mobile trolleys are safer because you can have a carer on each side, and they can easily move around the equipment to support the patient during washing.
Think carefully about the size of the shower trolley. It’s easy to underestimate the size of your room and end up with a trolley that’s too wide or difficult to manoeuvre around the space. You need to be able to get the trolley in (and out) and still leave enough room around it for carers to work.
Equally, you need to make sure that the trolley isn’t too narrow, as carers need to be able to turn and roll the patient to access all sides.
3. Ease of use
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this consideration. A prime example is the braking system. Most trolleys have a caster lock on each side, which means the carer has to walk around each corner to put the brakes on.
It’s now possible to get shower trolleys with a central braking system operated with one pedal. This allows the carer to put on the brakes without leaving the patient’s side or putting them in a vulnerable position.
My colleagues and I talk about adjustability a lot on this blog and when we’re speaking to OTs, carers and loan store managers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to care equipment. Every user is different and has different requirements, especially when you consider the complex medical conditions they have. Equipment that is easily adjustable not only allows for a higher standard of care, but is also more cost effective because you can carry on using it even as needs change.
You want a trolley that can tilt on the platform, so it can lie flat for bed-to-trolley transfers, but also tilt up to allow the water to drain away. Tilt is also important if your user is an active child. Trolleys that are fixed in a tilted position can cause children to slide down to the bottom, making the carer’s life a lot harder.
Height adjustability is also important. You want to be able to alter the height depending on the activity you’re carrying out – whether it’s transferring, cleaning, drying or dressing.
If you can afford it, you should also consider opting for a trolley with an electric tilt rather than a hydraulic one because it makes adjusting height easier and smoother. If you don’t have budget for an electric tilt, choose a hydraulic one with pedals on both sides so you don’t have to keep moving around the trolley to adjust the height.
Here at Wealden, we have a range of shower trolleys to choose from. For help selecting the right one for you, contact us today on 0845 658 8411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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