Do You Need a Shower Wheelchair?

Do You Need a Shower Wheelchair?




A shower wheelchair is designed for elderly who use a wheelchair as their primary means of moving around and have an accessible shower.

Maybe your aging parent or elderly loved one is using a wheelchair and is having difficulty transferring onto a shower bench or seat in the shower.

Maybe there isn’t enough room to safely complete the transfer – whether they can’t get their wheelchair at the right angle or there isn’t anything to grab on to.

This type of wheelchair can be a great solution as it is easier to use than a shower bench or seat in the shower.

Elderly can undress in the bedroom, transfer into the shower wheelchair, cover themselves with a towel and roll into the bathroom to shower.


Overview of Shower Wheelchairs


A shower wheelchair is basically a waterproof wheelchair designed to get wet.

Instead of having to transfer onto a shower chair or bench in the bathroom, the elderly can transfer into the shower wheelchair in another room and roll to the bathroom.

This opens up the option of using a transfer pole or lift to transfer into the shower chair in another room, which makes it safer and easier than trying to transfer onto a chair/bench in the bathroom.


Who Should Use a Shower Wheelchair?


Elderly that will benefit from using one will already use a wheelchair as their primary method of mobility and have an accessible shower.

Many models can also be used as a rolling commode so the elderly can also use it to roll over a toilet to go to the bathroom.


Do You Need a Commode Opening?

A commode opening is a cut out space in the seat that can be used to relieve yourself or wash your entire body while showering. Shower chairs are sold with solid seats or with the commode opening. Some even have seat plugs available so you can switch back and forth as needed.



  • The seat cut out makes it easier to wash personal areas without having to stand
  • Incontinence poses less of an issue
  • The chair can double as a commode and is easily rolled over the toilet or the integrated pan can be used.



  • Requires good sitting posture to avoid falling into opening
  • Can make some people self-conscience
  • Less comfortable than a full seat



Example:  This Enshey Shower Commode Mobile Chair  is a multi-use 3-in-1 commode/shower chair.  It can be used anywhere as a standalone commode thanks to the included pail. It can also be used directly over a toilet for safer toileting or as a safe and comfortable shower chair. It weighs only 22 pounds and supports up to 330 pounds.






Recommended Features of a Shower Wheelchair


A good shower wheelchair will be:


Waterproof to ensure durability and that it dries quickly


Rust proof,  ensuring long term durability


Lightweight, portable and easy to use


Compactespecially important for small showers



Other Good Features: 


A commode option (see above)

This makes it possible to use the shower wheelchair as a portable rolling commode


Flip up or removable foot rests 

These allow for safer transfers


If your elderly parent has poor upper body and trunk strength (difficulty maintaining an upright position in sitting), they will also likely need the tilt option.


Shower Wheelchair Accessories


There are a few accessories available:


A padded waterproof cushion for comfort and to protect skin


A commode design to allow for personal care


A head rest (used primarily for models with tilt/recline)


Tilt Example:  EZee Life Tilt Shower Commode Wheelchair with Headrest



Waterproof calf support for elderly that need additional lower leg support


Finding the Right Fit for Your Shower Wheelchair


Fit is not as important as a light weight wheelchair as the senior will not be in it for as long. However, you want to get the best possible fit so that it’s comfortable and easy to use.


There are three basic measurements used in fitting:

  • Hip width – This is used to determine the width of the seat
  • Thigh length – This is used to determine the depth of the seat
  • Knee to ground height – This is used to determine the seat height and leg rest length
  • Back height – To determine back rest height


How to measure:

  1. Have the senior sit in a kitchen chair
  2. Measure hip width at widest part
  3. Measure from back of knee to lower back/bottom (keep measuring tape parallel to floor)
  4. Measure from back of knee to floor (have them wear their regular shoes)
  5. Measure from lower back/bottom to base of neck


Also, be sure to check the weight limit of the chair.  Larger seniors will require a bariatric shower chair.


Example:  This EZee Life Bariatric Shower Commode Wheelchair has a 22″ wide seat, large 5″ castor wheels, and can accommodate up to 425 lbs.



Using Your Shower Wheelchair


They are similar to using a regular light weight wheelchair.

Remember to put the brakes on when transferring in/out of the chair and when showering.


Example:  This aluminum shower chair from Healthline Products has a padded seat, locking wheels, a commode pail and cover and a weight capacity of 300 lbs.






Example:  This NOVA Medical Products shower commode has a comfortable padded seat and a weight capacity of 250 lbs.  There are some terrific reviews of this chair on Amazon.



Final Thoughts


Bathroom wheelchairs (also known as shower wheelchairs) are designed to make hygiene maintenance easier for those who find it difficult or impossible to make it to the lavatory. These chairs typically feature an opening in the seat — to allow users to toilet themselves. 

Because the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, especially for those with limited mobility, its certainly worth thinking about purchasing a  shower commode chair for anyone with mobility issues.




Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some helpful information. 

I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

Detailed Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

How to Find the Right Mobility Scooter

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Guide to Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

How to Choose the Right Medical Walker

How to Choose the Right Transport Chair

Guide to Power Lift Chairs

Tips for Easier Senior Car Travel

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Coping With Incontinence – A Guide for Caregivers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Heavy Lifting Guide for Caregivers – Save Your Back!

Create Your Own Blog

About Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *