What to Look for in a Shower Wheelchair
Now that you’ve seen a sample of what’s available let’s move on to discussing the features to consider. We’ll cover each one in detail along with some tips for making this essential purchase to support your independent living.
One crucial thing that you need to bear in mind is that you may have limited options when it comes to returning a toilet wheelchair. Some manufacturers may not take them back. Or they may charge a restocking fee or shipping both of which are quite costly. That’s why it’s essential for you to review the product descriptions and terms in detail.
Size and Specifications
Look for overall dimensions and those inside the frame too. Most models have seats that are at least 16 inches wide with many opting for 18 inches. That is the size of the standard toilet. We strongly urge you to measure it out, comparing it to a chair in your home so that you know what to expect.
Pay attention to the height of the seat. That can affect how quickly you can get up from it, especially if you have a medical condition that limits your mobility. Some products are adjustable which takes out the guesswork to accommodate a range of issues. Also, check to see if you can adjust the height of the footrests, backrest, and armrests. All can play a substantial role in your comfort and ease of use.
Materials and Construction
Assistive devices strike a balance between durability for the individual and maneuverability for the caregiver. Stainless steel exceeds when it comes to strength and affordability. However, these units are cumbersome and may pose difficulties moving it around on some surfaces, especially carpet. Aluminum frames are lighter and offer a decent compromise that you can use unassisted.
We prefer a toilet wheelchair that has armrests and footrests that you can swing out of the way to make transfers easier. Look for products that have padding throughout the construction to make it more comfortable for you or your loved one to use. Materials like polyurethane provide plenty of cushioning that is waterproof with no-fuss cleaning for better sanitation.
We also like to see removable backrests that make this task quick and painless. Take a look at the construction of the seat too. Less expensive models may lack the padding or have plastic or hard rubber instead. While still comfortable, they may not have the long-term durability that is essential for this purchase. It may also pose issues for individuals with limited mobility since it restricts its flexibility.
We made it a point to delve into the details that speak to the challenge they will help you overcome. We also focused on products that make everyday life comfortable with affordability in mind. We considered the ease of assembly to the adjustability the product offers to the stability it has to determine its value for both you and your caregiver.
Safety is another vital concern. Look for features such as locking caster wheels, anti-tip add-ons, and seatbelts. It’s also worth noting if the chair has slip-resistant components such as the tread on the tires. Seniors have a higher risk of falls and serious injuries that increases with age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these added features to make your home safer.
Most products are expensive with some costing well into the thousands of dollars. Our advice is to read the descriptions carefully, noting all the features we’ve discussed above before you buy. As we mentioned earlier, many of these items are nonreturnable. While understandable, it makes for a pricey mistake if it doesn’t work for you and your situation.
Bear in mind that it is an essential purchase nevertheless. So, don’t hesitate to get a costlier product if it has the specifications you need, especially if you anticipate heavy usage. The money spent up front is less than the price of a replacement. We strongly urge you to stick with manufacturers who offer warranties on their items to protect your investment.