Shower Transfer Benches for Individuals with Disabilities

Woman sitting and holding on to shower bench

How Shower Chairs Can Make Showering Easier For Seniors

Woman sitting on shower bench and holding handles

You may have heard that a transfer bench can greatly increase the level of safety within the bathroom. This article explains more about this useful safety accessory and how it can make a huge difference in helping seniors and those with disabilities access the shower.

What are Transfer Benches?

The shower transfer bench is not as well-known as the more popular shower chair, but its usefulness as a bathroom safety aid is undeniable. Its main purpose is to help seniors and others with mobility issues safely enter and leave the tub or shower stall. This type of bathroom bench is beneficial for those using a cane, walker or wheelchair to get around the home. When it’s used with a tub shower, the transfer bench sits partially inside of the tub and partially outside the tub. When there is only a shower stall without a tub, the entire bench may be able to fit within the stall. Ideally, the individual is able to easily transfer from their mobility aid to the bench.

Are Transfer Benches Shower Chairs?

A transfer bench and a shower chair may seem similar, but they are distinctly different. Shower chairs designed for handicapped persons and seniors are popular, and work well for many who need to sit down while cleansing. However, there are instances where the bench, or shower transfer chair, is the better option for safety. One thing to consider is the bench design offers more seating room than a standard chair created for sitting in the shower. The wider seating area and the ability for the bench to extend beyond the inside of the tub can help avoid potential falls when entering or leaving the tub.

Adjustability is Important

Adjustability is one of the key factors to keep in mind when choosing a quality shower transfer bench for an older or disabled person. The bench should have a way to easily adjust the height, since tub heights can vary. Adjust the height so that the seat sits evenly above the tub rim. Some transfer bench models have a sliding feature where the seat glides from side-to-side. This style is also known as the sliding shower chair.

Construction Must Be Sturdy

It is essential to choose a shower transfer chair bench made from strong materials, and construction must be of the highest quality for durability. Also, keep an eye out for safety features such as a built-in handle, back support and non-slip feet. Each bench has a weight capacity, so make sure you make a note of how much weight it can bear before settling upon a bench style.

Getting the Most Out of Your Transfer Bench

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your transfer bench.

Test first. Before letting a senior or disabled person use the bench, test it for stability. There should not be any wobbling, which is a safety hazard.

Make showering easier. Cleansing aids such as long-handled bath sponges can help reduce muscle strain. A handheld showerhead with an attached hose makes rinsing a breeze.

Enhanced safety. Install a grab handle within the shower to provide stability. A non-slip bath rug absorbs splashed water.

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