Can You Use a Transfer Bench While Keeping Your Bathroom Floor Dry? [Yes, Here’s How]

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Tub transfer benches are an excellent bathroom tool for individuals at risk of falls. And in this article, we will be your guide on how to use a transfer bench while keeping your bathroom floor dry.

Can You Use a Transfer Bench in Shower
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Shower or tub transfer benches help people at risk of falling due to poor balance, weakness, fatigue, or other musculoskeletal issues. 

However, even the best tub transfer benches can be messy because the bench straddles the bathtub wall, making it hard to fit the shower curtain in place. This position allows water to escape past the shower curtain, creating a slipping hazard. 

Here are some tips on how to not only set up and use a shower bench but also how to keep your bathroom floor dry.

How Do You Set Up/Install a Transfer Bench in the Shower?

Disclaimer: Note that the steps below provide a general reference. It would be best if you abide by any directions and cautions given by the manufacturer of your particular bench.

1. Assemble the Bench

Depending on the manufacturer, different benches have different assembling procedures. We’ll not delve into that here, but check your transfer tub bench manual for a step-by-step guide.

2. Check That It’s Level and Stable

Examine the transfer bench before each usage to ensure it is level and stable.

If you find the bathtub floor and bathroom floor unequal, adjust the tub bench’s legs to ensure the bench is as level as possible. An uneven or shaky bench poses a significant risk to your safety.

can you use a transfer bench in shower no obstructions
Remove any obstruction that will hinder a strong and reliable suction grasp.

3. Ensure That There Are No Obstructions

For a strong, clean suction grasp, take off any floor mats or sticky grips that may be present. For maximum safety, you should use the suction cups on the tub bench’s legs to hold the bench in place.

4. Set the Tub Bench in Position

Place the bench in the tub with the suction cup feet inside it and push it down, so the cups are in place. When it comes to position, it all depends on the user.

For instance, a person with a damaged knee might require additional space to fit their legs into the tub. As a result, the bench ought to be positioned far back.

On the flip side, people who can bend their knees can have them set right in the middle.

5. Perform a Safety Check

Now that the bench is ready to go, it’s time to check whether it’s safe. Make sure it’s level, the cups are in place, as it can hold your weight comfortably.

If you have some mobility issues, it would be wise to ask someone with good mobility to test it out beforehand.

6. Extras

The first five steps will have a tub bench ready to use. You could also install a handheld shower head with a long hose for maximum safety. You could also install a shower head holder at this stage.

7. Removal

You could leave the bench in place if it’s not a tripping hazard or takes up too much room. If it crumples up the space or obstructs a person using the toilet, remove it and place it in the shower or tub until the next usage.

How to Use a Transfer Bench to Take a Shower

  • Conduct a safety check. You could also cover the bench with a bright fabric to increase visibility for your senior and warm up the bench.
  • Stand in front of the bench, ensuring you can feel the bench at the back of your legs.
  • Lower yourself gently onto the bench. If you have a grab bar or wall rail, use it to maintain control.
  • Carefully slide across the bench towards the tub wall until you can’t move further without lifting your legs.
  • Lift one leg at a time, sliding a little to provide room for the second leg once the first is in position.
  • After both legs are in the tub, slide further until you are comfortably seated inside the tub.
  • Enjoy your warm bath! Once you’re done, reverse the process to get out.

How Can I Keep Water in a Bathtub With a Transfer Bench? [3 Proven Ways]

BenchMate Split Shower Curtain for Bath Transfer Benches - Beautiful Designer Fabric, Premium Quick-Attach System, Designed Specifically to Help Keep Water Off The Floor. (Chamonix White)

1. Split Shower Curtain for Bath Transfer Benches

$69.11
as of October 4, 2022 3:12 am

Ordinary shower curtains do not work with transfer benches. You could, however, go for a split design curtain that keeps water inside the tub for maximum safety from slips and falls.

Note that different split curtains are made for different designs of transfer benches, so make sure your choice is compatible with your chair.

2. DIY and Modify Your Shower Curtain

The Best Way to Keep Water Off of the Floor When Using a Bathtub Bench with a Shower Curtain

You could also cut the shower liner at the section where the bench sits so that a portion of it slips down between the crack in the transfer bench into the tub.

To do this, cut the area into a “V” shape so the person using the tub bench can insert the flap into the slit in the seat. This way, the flaps droop or hang inward over the chair, keeping more water in the tub.

3. Stuff Things Up [Temporary Solution]

You could simply bunch the shower curtain liner up and stuff it into the gap on the transfer bench. Since the liner doesn’t go all the way down, some water may still escape, so this should be a temporary solution.

Final Thoughts

Bathing is vital for comfort and skin maintenance, but it’s also one of the riskiest daily activities for the elderly.

While using a tub transfer bench increases safety, it may increase the risk of falls when water splashes on the bathroom floor.

With the help of this manual, however, you may resolve this issue and make the best use of a shower bench!

Sources:

  1. https://homecarehospitalbeds.com/5-things-to-know-shower-transfer-benches/
  2. https://www.exmed.net/Transfer-Bench-Safety-Tips-Buyers-Guide
  3. https://www.agingcare.com/questions/shower-transfer-bench-so-water-doesnt-go-onto-the-floor-166847.htm
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSWYuMzWso0
  5. https://www.equipmeot.com/install-tub-bench/#remove-bench
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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