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shower chair ???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Which type is the best? One that sits across the bath (shower over the bath), or a free standing chair to put in the bath?

There are so many things we 'pre-surgeries' know nothing about.


  • I found the ones that are placed into the existing bath or shower do real well. They all have no-slip feet, so they don't move on you or shift.

    Here's one that I find to be very functional and comfortable. image
  • and, the legs are adjustable so you can raise or lower it as needed. They come in very handy, as does a raised toilet seat. Perhaps this depends on the patient's height, but as a tall person, it was invaluable...that and my satin sheet. If you end up having surgery, you'll find that it is difficult to reposition yourself right after surgery. In the hospital, in a cotton gown and robe, in a bed with cotton sheets, I felt like I was stuck with velcro to the bed. The satin sheet allows you to slide a bit without the need for another sheet.

    I preferred a satin sheet to silk or satin pjs, but it is the same principal. It was cold when I had surgery and I needed warmer clothes. I didn't feel like changing clothes several times each day, so I just wore "lounge clothes" that looked presentable --like you'd wear to yoga class...loose pants and a baggy T-shirt was just perfect for me. You will despise having anything with a tight waistband. I still get a bachache if I put on anything that pulls around my hips or waist. I think the nerves are all highly sensitized still.

    Sounds like you're leaning toward having surgery?

    xx Gwennie
  • Are very useful and best to have 2. After surgery I had one and then one day dropped it, and couldnt pick it up so was without it till hubby came home. That made me rethink things and have two. Now one is in the laundry room and one in the kitchen. I recently bought a third one as I rely on them so much I wanted a spare in the closet.
    Like Gwennie said the toilet riser is almost crucial. I had one with arms and still use it, as well as my elderly relatives when they come to visit. Gwennies thoughts on the sheets are good also. I was often cold and the sweats or tshirt type lounge wear works better for me. I now get so sweaty at times from meds, that a long sleeve tshirt works well, as I sometimes get up at night and have to change to be comfortable. Also extra pillows to prop yourself in bed or put between knees when you lay on your side.
    I actually have a hospital bed that I sleep in, as I couldnt lay flat prior to surgery and stilluse it for the same reason. Sometimes your Dr can order one, especially if you have upstairs bedroom. It makes it nice to be able to lay in the family room or whatever when you are recouperating and be among your family and also makes it easier to take care of you as well. That is just something to think about.
    I hope if you have any questions, that you feel free to ask me. Gwennie is has so much knowledge that her insight is invauluable to me. Good Luck, Love, Robin
  • I had a toilet seat raiser that doubled as a shower seat and a walker (both given to me at discharge)and a grabber they saved me the first few weeks. I did not have the silk, but many times wished I did. I still use the grabber 5 months post op.
    I have a stand alone shower so the seat was fine except I had to have it moved all the time, however when my mom needed one she had one that extended over the edge of the tub, she was not able to step into the tub so she could sit down on the outside of the tub and lift her legs over the side with her arms then slide to the other side to take her shower. you have to have a "flexible" shower head as you will not be able to close the curtain around the chair to keep the floor dry.
    I almost forgot, I had a back brace for the first 3 months. I still use a walker but I bought a rolling walker with a seat, it comes in very handy if I find myself somewhere that I have to stand in line, I can sit.
    Good luck,
    God bless and keep you,

  • C - the one in the picture looks great. I'll have to research if I can get one like that in the UK.

    Gwennie - I was thinking about a satin sheet last night while I was struggling to turn over.
    How soon do you manage to get the t-shirt over your head? I've heard that you can't lift your arms above your head, at first.
    I've tried looking for loose joggers in town, but the amount of time that I can shop is so short, that I never manage to find any. I'm trying to find some on-line.
    I don't like to admit that I am leaning towards surgery, but am certainly thinking about it a lot!

    Robin - I've thought that I would need 2 grabbers (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs?)
    I already use lots of pillows in bed at night and have to have one between my knees as I sleep on my side.
    I like the idea of a bed in the family room, but in the UK our houses are much smaller to it would take up a lot of space.

    Shirley - I've thought that a toilet seat raiser sounded very helpful. Your comment about not being able to draw the shower curtain with the edge of the tub type, has been very helpful, and made me think I need a stand alone type. Thanks.

    Has anyone found the toilet paper holder for wiping helpful? That is something that I worry about.

    Also, how did you get on washing your hair?

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.
  • Hi Jelly!---Let's see----I have very short hair,so I either wash it in the shower or wet it down with a washrag,add a bit of shampoo,and scrub with the hot rag until all the shampoo is out---standing at the sink.I haven't had problems raising my arms,so luckily this has worked for me.Yesterday I tried on a pair of jeans and several skirts to see if I could wear them-no!My stomach is still a bit swollen,and it is so true about not wanting anything touching or binding you.Having sweats,jogging pants,etc.really is important.I used a squeeze bottle filled with warm water to help after going to the bathroom-then I wiped.---I will keep thinking!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    The one they've always given me is a three way seat. Toilet seat riser with arm rests. It's a must have. It has legs goes over the toilet and light weight. So it goes right into the shower. Or it will work as a bedside toilet with a removable bucket. Its the only way to go.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • how are you doing? I forget when your surgery is? Did they move it to the beginning of March? I have 9 days left and the stomach ache and teary-ness is starting.
    I have to call the doctor and ask his office a schedule question and while I'm at it I am thinking of asking for an anti- anxiety medication.
    I know my husband took atavan when we flew to Japan, but he said it didn't do anything for him.
    I have never taken one before, but I'm thinking of it.
    I hope you are doing o.k.!!??
  • I heard so much about the satin sheets, that I went shopping with my mom to get some. I couldn't find any and went home without :( so then my mother called and said she had found some onlin and ordered me two sets!
    I'll let you know how they work out! :)))
  • Jen -- You may find that using the top and bottom sheet is a bit too much slipperiness!! I ended up just using the bottom sheet as my blankets kept slipping off with the satin top sheet...but you'll be very glad you have them. I think I might treat myself to a new set for my new surgery!!

    I'm fine. I do have surgery scheduled for 2 March, and I wanted the second time slot....I didn't want to have to get up at 5 a.m.! Oddly enough, I don't get nervous for something like surgery. I feel like it doesn't do any good to worry, and things are out of my hands anyway. I've done my homework. I selected a good surgeon and now it's up to him! I probably would have been much more nervous when I was younger. Age has a way of putting things in perspective.

    Jelly -- I had no problems lifting my arms overhead to dress. It's not a good idea to be reaching for something up high, but you can raise your arms long enough to dress.

    We have a free-standing shower stall. I would sit on my shower chair in the shower and wash my hair. The hard part was then drying it and fixing it and getting dressed. By then, I almost needed a nap, I would be so exhausted for all the activity!! It took me several weeks at least before I could accomplish all that and then go out for some reason, like a doctor's appointment. I barely left the house for the first eight weeks -- but that was just me. I know others aren't as slow as I was!!

    I do almost all my shopping online. I even bought the dress for my son's wedding online!! My husband is quite sure I am the Queen of Online Shopping.
  • I am with you,Gwennie--I am not a big shopper anyway-so online is the way to go for me.----If anyone can't find a shower chair you can always have someone put a metal folding chair in the bathtub,or shower---they have the rubber covers on the bottom,and just put a towel on the seat to sit on.
  • You can order shower chairs online. I got my raised toilet seat online. If you can find a husband online, you can find a shower chair, right??

    Sorry, I'm getting silly. @)
  • :))( well that made me laugh!

  • Silly is good, Gwennie, it made me laugh too. :))(

    Thanks everyone for all your advice. It is so helpful to have some idea of the things you might need.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    My shower chair has been valuable over the years. Had some major knee surgery which is what led me to buy the chair and now I've used it again for other surgeries as did my husband. He had a tonsillectomy a few years ago and just felt weak so he could shower comfortably using the chair. And we both have elderly parents so when my parents visited last year and my dad had recently had a hip replaced he liked having the shower chair.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I didn't have a shower chair and, actually, as I had the wound infecion for so long and had to keep it dry I am not sure I could have managed to do it sitting down. Mind I only had one level fused so maybe it's not so bad. Also I didn't have a toilet riser but maybe something with arms to push up on would have been useful.
    I am not too bothered about people seeing me in my PJs and, while I had the infection and was pretty much banned from doing anything, I wore mine 24/7! For trips to have the dressing changed etc I wore joggers from the supermarket that Mr Oliver advertises! As I was leaking so much I didn't want to wear anything I cared about! The shop that doesn't just sell ordinary food has good casual stuff and they deliver. Maybe worth a look?
    It is so true about feeling stuck to the bed. I still feel like it some days now, 15 weeks later!
    The only thing I got off the list was the grabber and I used it loads! Maybe I should have done the slippy sheets and stuff but hey ho!

  • Thanks SpineAZ and nel (I 'got' the coded names!) :-

    Keep all these ideas coming everyone.
  • gwennie17 said:
    You can order shower chairs online. I got my raised toilet seat online. If you can find a husband online, you can find a shower chair, right??

    Sorry, I'm getting silly. @)
    I ordered everything I needed from Amazon, except my husband, I found him on another site.
  • I used mine with the back just to be steady getting into & out of the shower, but if your fusion is lower in your back - you will feel better standing>sitting.
  • It was strange to re-read this post that I started nearly a year ago.

    Wow! it brought back how I was feeling then. (Very nervous!! :SS

    I did have surgery! (Feeling much better now)

    I did get a shower stool like the one pictured in haglandc's post. This was helpful and even after a while, was useful when shaving my legs!
    I also had a bath board, which helped me to get into and out of my bath, which was necessary as our shower is over the bath.
    I did get the satin under sheet, which really helped me to turn over in bed.
    I had 3 grabbers; 1 upstairs in the bedroom, 1 in the bathroom and one downstairs in the lounge.
    I borrowed a toilet raiser seat, but gave it back as I didn't need it (I am only 5'2" - perhaps that is why.)
    I purchased soft and comfy joggers and larger size pjs, which were really comfortable.
    I purchased a Bottom Buddy to help with wiping, but didn't need it (Can you believe the information that we share on here!! :O )
    I bought a towelling turban to put on after washing my hair. I didn't need to bend to put it on and it meant I could go and lie down and recover from the shower and hairwash before drying my hair.
    No walker, no cane, no back brace.
    I did have a bed in the lounge so that I could lie down when I needed to without having to go upstairs and be away from the family. We left it there for about 2 months!! I couldn't sit for long in all that time, so I could relax around my family. We raised the tv up, so I could easily see it from lying down. We also placed a bird feeder where I could lie and watch the birds.

    Anyone buying a shower chair, measure that the span of the legs will fit into your bath / shower.

    Thank you to all of you for helping me prepare for this difficult surgery. I know a lot of you are no longer reading here, but in case you are (and for those that are still here), I am very grateful for your help. >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • I was STRONGLY encouraged to get a shower chair and use it. The chances of falling are just so great.

    Too bad I can't send you mine, I tried it once.

    oh well.
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