Ergonomics: Bathtub, Shower and Toileting Activities

Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes

The following are examples of ergonomic solutions for nursing home workers.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

bathing chair

Description: Shower and toileting chairs

When to Use: Showering and toileting residents who are partially dependent, have some weight bearing capacity, can sit up unaided, and are able to bend hips, knees, and ankles.

Points to Remember: Ensure that wheels move easily and smoothly; chair is high enough to fit over toilet; chair has removable arms, adjustable footrests, safety belts, and is heavy enough to be stable, and that the seat is comfortable, accommodates larger residents, and has a removable commode bucket for toileting. Ensure that brakes lock and hold effectively and that weight capacity is sufficient.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

bath board

Description: Bath boards and transfer benches

When to Use: Bathing residents who are partially weight bearing, have good sitting balance, can use upper extremities (have upper body strength), are cooperative, and can follow instructions. Independent residents can also use these devices.

Points to Remember: To reduce friction and possible skin tears, use clothing or material between the resident's skin and the board. Can be used with a gait or transfer belt and/or grab bars to aid transfer. Back support and vinyl padded seats add to bathing comfort. Look for devices that allow for water drainage and have height-adjustable legs. May not be suitable for heavy residents. If wheelchair is used ensure wheels are locked, the transfer surfaces are at the same level, and device is securely in place and rated for weight to be transferred. Remove arms and foot rests from chairs as appropriate and ensure that floor is dry.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

toilet seat riser

Description: Toilet seat risers

When to Use: For toileting partially weight-bearing residents who can sit up unaided, use upper extremities (have upper body strength), are able to bend hips, knees, and ankles, and are cooperative. Independent residents can also use these devices.

Points to Remember: Risers decrease the distance and amount of effort required to lower and raise residents. Grab bars and height-adjustable legs add safety and versatility to the device. Ensure device is stable and can accommodate resident's weight and size.

Bathtub, Shower, and Toileting Activities

grab bars

Description: Grab bars and stand assists; can be fixed or mobile.

Long-handled or extended shower heads, or brushes can be used for personal hygiene.

When to Use: Bars and assists help when toileting, bathing, and/ or showering residents who need extra support and security. Residents must be partially weight bearing, able to use upper extremities (have upper body strength), and be cooperative.

Long-handled devices reduce the amount of bending, reaching, and twisting required by the caregiver when washing feet, legs, and trunk of residents. Independent residents who have difficulty reaching lower extremities can also use these devices.

Points to Remember: Movable grab bars on toilets minimize workplace congestion. Ensure bars are securely fastened to wall before use.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
www.osha.gov
www.dol.gov

Updated on: 09/07/12
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Ergonomics: Identify Problems and Provide Solutions in Nursing Homes
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Ergonomics: Identify Problems and Provide Solutions in Nursing Homes

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