Assistive devices for seniors can come in various shapes, sizes, and different options. In many situations, seniors need multiple assistive devices to get through a typical day. Especially when mobility is limited, and safety is a primary concern. Avoiding falls, and injury is priority number 1. Today, I wanted to touch on an assistive device that seems to be growing in popularity and that individuals often have questions about. What is a transfer bench? Here is what I can tell you about this topic.
So, what is a transfer bench? A transfer bench is most frequently referred to as a shower bench or showering bench. A transfer benches primary purpose is to provide safety and assistance for individuals with limited mobility who need additional help and support to place themselves into the bathtub.
Transfer benches come in several different options that are all unique. It’s essential that you understand the differences and have the full knowledge necessary towards choosing the correct transfer bench to serve your needs and provide assistance for years to come.
Let’s take a closer look at the transfer benches and break down the different options you can consider including accessories, size, and sliding vs. stationary options.
Transfer Benches and How They Work
Transfer benches are simple in nature. Three main pieces and components make up the entire device. You have the backrest, a long seat, and four legs. That’s it. The legs and the design of shower chairs are built to provide stability and safety and also reduce any sliding of the bench itself.
In most cases, the legs are rounded out with a rubber grip that’s specifically designed to reduce sliding and grab traction with the surface of the bathtub. This will work well when the bath is dry and when the bathtub is wet.
Additionally, transfer benches are often custom made for patients with unique needs and circumstances or varying levels of mobility issues. The sizing can usually be adjusted or customized, and widths for the shower chairs can also vary greatly depending on which transfer bench you opt to purchase.
Who Are Transfer Benches the Most Ideal For?
Transfer benches are most ideal for individuals with either minor, intermediate or severe mobility misuses. In most cases, the individuals who need a transfer bench have some form of disability due to an illness or injury.
The actual transfer bench you elect to purchase due to your disability will also vary, they can range in price, size, and durability. In most cases, your primary physician can help guide you towards selecting the correct transfer bench that will reduce your total effort needed to get in and out of the bathtub.
Using a Shower Bench and How it Works
Like we stated previously, shower benches are going to be the most useful for individuals who struggle to get in and out of the bathtub on their own. When putting a transfer bench to use, you will merely have a bench that extends past the exterior of the bathtub (into the center of the bathroom) that is connected to the primary chair.
The primary chair connected to the bench is what rest in the bathtub. This is going to be the part of the transfer bench with the specialized grips to prevent the bench from sliding during the transfer.
How to Make A Transfer Bench Even More Helpful and Comfortable
Everything good in life allows for accessories. Am I right? Well, transfer benches are no different. A transfer bench is going to have additional options that can be added to the bench itself.
Be warned, however, usually, the higher end transfer benches are going to charge more of a premium to get your transfer bench to become more comfortable and versatile to use.
Some of these options include a commode opening on the seat (the ability to use the restroom with a pan beneath the transfer bench), padded seating for your buttocks and adjustable and swinging armrest to provide additional comfort. Lastly, you can even opt to purchase a transfer bench that comes equipped with the padded backside as well.
These transfer benches would then be providing cushions or padding to your buttocks and back while resting in addition to the arms rest. This is more of a recliner being placed into your shower at this point. Nothing to complain about from this standpoint if you ask me.
However, I do like the fact that the options seem somewhat broad with transfer benches appealing to a wide variety of individuals with varying levels of mobility issues and different needs and concerns.
The Sliding Transfer Bench (Rolling Transfer Benches)
Transfer Benches also come with the option to purchase a sliding transfer bench. This is also simple in nature. Once seated on the transfer bench, you are going to have the options of either manually scooting yourself down the bench into the “chair portion” of the bench that’s placed in the shower or you can simply purchase a sliding transfer bench.
Once seated, you will be able to slide your body on the plastic seat into the bathtub or “chair position” where you can complete your daily shower or “bath.”
These also cost slightly more than your basic transfer bench. It really comes down your preference and needs, so it’s important to consider which transfer bench will genuinely work the best for you.
Final Word, Transfer Benches Are A Great Assistive Device That Can Serve Many Individuals
Many people always believe that these “assistive devices” are always geared towards the Senior Market. While this may be true in some fashion, it’s not the case. Individuals may be facing mobility issues that consist of injuries, illness or full-blown disabilities at any age.
Transfer benches just happen to be one of the devices that can provide relief, comfort, and simplicity back to your everyday life. Not to mention that transfer benches are relatively cheap devices.
What’s your take on transfer benches? Do you have any that you recommend in particular? Be sure to drop a comment below.