Benefits of a Shower Commode for Bathroom Safety and Independence
Bathing isn’t just about getting clean. We all know the joy of a warm shower when it’s cold outside, or the way falling water helps to soothe aching muscles and joints.
But for people with mobility issues, showering can present problems. The combination of standing for a length of time, with the risk of a slip or fall can mean showering is no longer a pleasant experience.
A shower commode can provide the support you need to shower safely and confidently by giving you somewhere safe to sit.
There are many different styles of shower commodes, including standard shower commodes, attendant-propelled wheeled shower commodes, self-propelled wheeled shower commodes, and tilt-in-space shower commodes. While the features may vary, there are numerous general health and therapeutic benefits for the shower commode user.
Improve safety in the bathroom
The smallest room in the house can often be the most dangerous. While research varies, studies have shown that up to 80 per cent of falls at home occur in the bathroom (2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report).
The combination of a confined space and wet areas means slips and falls occur frequently. And as we age, the risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom increases due to decreased mobility and health issues.
According to research, most falls occur while:
- Getting in and out of the bath or shower;
- Sitting down and standing up from the toilet; and,
- Walking and using towel bars, sink tops and walls to support balance.
A shower commode can provide stability for anyone with difficulty standing or moving about in the bathroom. Shower commodes offer a secure and seated position to shower and toilet and they help minimise the risk of slips and falls linked to the most common bathroom tasks.
For many, the bathroom is a symbol of independence – the place we can carry out those personal tasks in private. For people with decreasing mobility, the loss of this privacy and independence can be difficult to deal with.
Mobility aids, and in particular a shower commode, can help to return some of this independence to the user. It allows you to bathe with minimal assistance by providing sturdy support that can be wheeled around the bathroom.
For people with good upper-body strength, a self-propelled shower commode allows you to move around the bathroom without assistance. For people requiring carer support, a shower commode can be moved in to place and then you may carry out personal tasks in private, without the aid of a carer.
Lightweight and portable
Travelling can be difficult for people with reduced mobility. Whether you’re staying at a hotel or a friend’s house, you want to feel confident you can shower safely.
Your own shower commode is a convenient and hygienic solution to aid showering and toileting. About the size of a standard chair, most shower commodes can be easily transported in the boot of a car and brought out when needed.
Two mobility aids in one
Space is at a premium in the bathroom and few of us have room to store multiple mobility aids. A shower commode offers many uses, making it an economical solution when you’re looking for a mobility aid.
A commode can be used as a shower chair when bathing and as an over toilet aid to minimise the effort needed to sit and stand.
The addition of a commode bowl means a shower commode can be placed in the bedroom for times when mobility issues make getting to the bathroom unaided difficult.
And commode chairs reduce the need for transfers, which can be particularly difficult in the confined bathroom area. Thanks to the wheels, transfers can be done in a safe, spacious area then the user can be wheeled (or push themselves) into the bathroom.
Looking for a shower commode for yourself or a loved one? Read our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide to Shower Commodes to help you find the right one to increase independence and improve bathroom safety.