A Shower Bench in the Home Benefits the Elderly and Disabled
For older adults and people with disabilities, taking a shower or bathing in a standard rectangular shaped bathtub can be a dreaded task. The fear of possibly falling makes it more difficult when it is supposed to be relaxing.
According to the National Council for Aging Care, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults, and the most frequent reason for non-fatal trauma. Falls in adults 65+ are also the leading cause of head injuries and broken hips. Approximately 30 – 50 percent of falls are due to environmental causes such as slippery floors and uneven surfaces. A National Institute on Aging statistic also indicates that a full 80 percent of falls occur in the bathroom.
Owning a shower or bath bench is a good investment for your safety, helps ease the fear of falling and provides relief for the caregiver. They are ideal for individuals with balance, endurance and strength issues or those who feel unsafe when lifting their legs up and over the side of the tub. Several reasons why you should have this bath aid are:
- It reduces the risk of falling when getting into and out of the bathtub.
- You can sit down from the outside of the tub, swing your legs into the tub in a sitting position and shift over in to the tub in a sitting position as well.
- It allows you to get into the tub without having to lift your legs up and over the side in standing position – a risk for seniors and cause of falls in the bathroom.
- You will boost your quality of life, especially if you are dependent on a caregiver.
Shower Bench Features
A shower bench is usually made of plastic and metal, materials durable in wet areas. It is set up with two legs outside of the tub and two legs inside of the tub. The legs inside of the tub must be shorter than the legs outside the tub so the bench is level and to avoid a fall. It also has a backrest and is height-adjustable, making it easier to get up from a sitting position.
Most benches come padded for comfort and with a handle on one side. Some models offer a cut-out for a hand held shower head, a slit to guide your shower curtain in place and a commode style open space for cleaning underneath.
Although shower benches are set up for a standard bathtub, they are versatile and can be used in different bathtubs that allow movement of the handle and backrest. This versatility can be handy when visiting another relative’s house or if you move.
A Shower Bench May Not Be Right for You
If you have a small bathroom, a shower bench may not be right for you. It may interfere with moving on and off another surface safely, such as the toilet. A shower board may be a better option. People who have limited ability to bend the knees or hips sometimes find a shower bench difficult to use.
When using a shower bench, make sure it is far enough from the faucet to allow movement of the legs in and out of the tub but close enough to reach the handheld shower head or faucet. Manage the shower curtains properly to avoid getting the bathroom wet and risking a fall as well. It is also important to check the weight capacity of a shower bench to make sure it will support the proper weight.
The Carmichael’s Difference
Carmichael’s offers excellent products and services, including quality bath aids and safety products that help prevent falls. Individuals who suffer from a fall are more likely to decrease their physical and social activities and are prone to fall again. Don’t be another statistic; we are here to assist you at any Carmichael’s retail locations in Crowley, Lafayette and Lake Charles.