Choosing the Right Shower Wheelchair
Choosing the right shower wheelchair can be a difficult task because the options on today’s market are very limited. That is why we at Go! Mobility Solutions are here. We design and manufacture the latest equipment in the mobility industry to improve your life and independence. Our founder’s frustration with the existing products on the market is what led him to manufacture the GO! Anywhere® Portable Shower Chair. That same inspiration goes into each of the models we currently offer.
Being able to take care of your daily needs can vastly improve your quality of life. Just about every portable shower chair available today offers the dual functionality of being a commode/shower chair. This is a great feature, but at the same time it can be embarrassing and difficult to manage while traveling or using it outside of the home. You want something that is functional, but at the same time comfortable and safe.
Finding the right shower wheelchair can be tedious. Your doctor or therapist may not know the best one to recommend for you because the latest models have only been on the market for a little over five years. You may find yourself doing your own research and finding the best one to meet your needs through trial and error. We understand that, and that is why we offer a 30 day trial-use period. Before you purchase a commode/shower wheelchair, here are five things to consider to help choose the right one for you.
Above all else, the biggest concern is safety. You want a wheelchair that is sturdy that you are able to maneuver in various situations. Tasks such as bathing or using the toilet can pose serious health concerns to those who are disabled. Injuries that seem minor can lead to other complicated health matters. A chair that you are not confident using isn’t going to do you any good. You want to make sure your commode/shower chair has the necessary equipment to keep you safe. Stability is the key to maintaining your safety. You want a chair that has a low center of gravity, but at the same time can fit in tight areas and clear objects such as toilets and tubs. You may want to consider one that is easy to adjust to accommodate different areas. A big thing to look at are the brakes. Will they easily and effectively lock the chair in place? You want to ensure the wheelchair remains stationary as your weight shifts inside it. You also want to make sure the wheelchair is equipped with non-skid surfaces. Keep in mind that the chair will be used in places that are often wet and slippery. You don’t want to find yourself slipping onto a hard surface or into a position that restricts your movement. Safety is the primary goal, and a big part of that is the chair’s construction, which leads to the next thing to consider.
Every aspect of the wheelchair’s functionality comes back to construction. This is the main thing you want to compare when choosing the right shower/commode wheelchair. You want to make sure it is made with high quality materials that are going to last. The first thing to look at is what type of metal it is constructed out of. Remember the chair will be used in a wet environment. Will it be safe and comfortable? Will it be rust or corrosion resistant? How easy is it to clean or travel with? Painted or powder-coated steel is going to be sturdy, but also heavy and will rust over time. Stainless Steel is extremely rust-resistant, but can be heavy and awkward to carry. Aluminum is light weight, but can be flimsy, and if not properly treated it too will corrode over time. We have found that anodized aluminum provides the best of both worlds. It is light weight, but at the same time sturdy and more resistant to chips, scratches, and corrosion. You also want to make sure the seat, backrest, and footrests are made out of a non-slip waterproof material. These surfaces need to be durable, but at the same time comfortable and easy to clean. We have found attaching our waterproof foam cushions with Velcro® to be the best solution. We want to improve your quality of life and construct our shower wheelchairs with that in mind. We strive to make our chairs safe, comfortable, portable, and easy to maintain.
As mentioned above, we believe a good shower/commode wheelchair needs to be portable. Again, a primary thing to look at is how it is constructed. How convenient is it to store and carry along with your other necessities? You want to see how compact it will be when disassembled, and make sure it will be able to fit into all the areas you intend to use it. You want to avoid purchasing a chair that is bulky or unmanageable, which will only make your life more difficult. On the flip side of that, you want to make sure it is easy to reassemble. You want a shower chair that you or your caregivers can assemble quickly without much difficulty. We believe portability enhances our customer’s quality of life and we strive to offer products that are convenient, non-embarrassing, and easy to manage when not in use.
Just like a chair that is unsafe, you are going to dread using a wheelchair that is uncomfortable. You want to make sure it has enough room for you to maneuver around in. At the same time you don’t want a chair that is too large and does not offer good support. Some things to look at to ensure comfort are how the cushions are constructed and how adjustable the chair is. You also want to make sure it has sufficient support such as armrests and footrests. Everyone is different, so you want to look at what has been comfortable for you in the past and try to find that in your shower chair selection.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Another big thing to consider when selecting a shower wheelchair is how easy it is to disassemble, clean, and maintain. Again this goes back to the construction of the chair. You will be using it to clean yourself, so it will need to be cleaned from time to time as well. You want to spend your time using your chair, not maintaining it. So look at the materials it is built out of. Are they virtually maintenance-free, such as anodized aluminum? Make sure the seat cushions, backrest, armrests, and footrests are easily removed and constructed out of materials that are easy to wash. Avoid materials that are easily soiled, or may be prone to rust and corrosion. Also inspect how the pieces attach to each other. Velcro® that is not properly adhered or sewn on may easily detach. Snaps could accumulate dirt and rust over time. These are import things to consider because they could become a safety hazard over the life of the chair. Also, be sure that any parts that are prone to wear out over time can easily be replaced. Again you want to make sure your shower/commode wheelchair stays safe, and that requires regular cleaning and maintenance.
Choosing the right shower wheelchair can be daunting given the limited selections available. However, we here at Go! Mobility Solutions believe the proper shower wheelchair is essential to improving our customer’s mobility and quality of life. We design and manufacture the latest equipment in the mobility industry to improve your life and independence. We hope that these five points will help you decide what chair best suits you. We strive to design and manufacture chairs that are comfortable, portable, and easy to maintain. Above all else, we manufacture our chairs out of the best materials we can find to ensure your convenience, and most importantly your safety. We hope that as you consider the various options on the market you will also consider a wheelchair from Go! Mobility Solutions.
Thank you to Nina Wells who wrote this article. Nina is a guest author from Steam Shower Store and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.