About Durable Medical Equipment: Shower and Bathtub Accessories

This information will help you decide which type of durable medical equipment will be most helpful for you to use in your shower or bathtub. It will also tell you how to use and where to buy durable medical equipment to use in your shower or bathtub.

Handheld Shower Heads

Figure 1. Handheld shower head

A handheld shower head is a removable shower head that you can hold (see Figure 1). It can be useful for people who can’t stand up to shower or who need help with showering.

Handheld shower heads:

  • Make it easier to shower while sitting down.
  • Make it easier to shower with help from a caregiver.
  • Give more control over the water direction and flow.
  • Can be used to avoid getting certain body areas wet (for example, an incision (surgical cut) site or a cast).

A handheld shower head is also useful because it’s safer. It makes it easier to get into the shower while it’s still dry, which lowers the risk of falling.

How to use

Usually, a handheld shower head can attach to your existing shower fixture. To install it, remove the existing shower head and replace it with the handheld shower head. Follow the directions that come with the handheld shower head you choose for your bathroom.

Where to buy

You can buy a handheld shower head at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Home supply stores (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Handheld shower heads aren’t usually covered by insurance plans, but it’s best to check with your insurance provider to see if it will be covered under your plan before buying one.

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Shower Chairs

A shower chair is an aluminum or plastic chair that’s used in the shower. The chairs usually have rubber or suction cups on the bottom of the legs to keep them from sliding.

A shower chair can be useful for people who can’t stand for a long time because it allows the person to sit down while showering. This makes showering easier and safer. However, shower chairs don’t always fit in narrow showers or tubs.

There are 3 common kinds of shower chairs:

  • Shower chair with arms and back (see Figure 2)
  • Shower chair with back (see Figure 3)
  • Shower chair without back or arms (see Figure 4)
Figure 2. Shower chair with arms and back
Figure 3. Shower chair with back
Figure 4. Shower chair without back or arm

How to use

A shower chair doesn’t need to be installed. To use it, just place it in the shower. If it has suction cups, make sure they stick to the shower floor before using the chair.

Where to buy

You can buy a shower chair at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Home supply stores (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Shower chairs aren’t generally covered by insurance plans, but it’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers. If your insurance provider covers the equipment, you can submit a prescription from your doctor after you purchase the equipment.

 
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Transfer Tub Benches

Figure 5. Transfer tub bench

A transfer tub bench is a seat used to help you move in and out of your shower or bathtub safely and easily (see Figure 5). It is helpful for people who may have trouble lifting their legs to step over the tub. The bench has rubber caps or suction cups at the bottom of each leg to keep it from moving in the tub.

How to use

To use your transfer tub bench, position it with 2 legs inside your tub and 2 legs outside of your tub (see Figure 6). Place the bench so that a little more than half of it is in the tub. Check to see that each leg is secured in place so that your bench doesn’t slide. Be sure to leave enough space in front of the bench for your legs.

Figure 6. Transfer tub bench in tub

Once your bench is in place, you can sit on it and lift your legs in or out of the tub without having to step over.

Transfer tub benches cannot be used with showers that have glass doors. However, you can temporarily take off the glass doors of your shower and replace them with curtains so that you can use a tub bench.

Where to buy

You can buy a transfer tub bench at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Home improvement supply stores (such as Home Depot)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Transfer tub benches aren’t generally covered by insurance plans, but it’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers. If your insurance provider covers the equipment, you can submit a prescription from your doctor after you purchase the equipment.

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