Although bath chairs and bath stools or seats are relatively inexpensive items, we have a few money tips to help your patients or clients save a few dollars.
These Sage Money Tips will come in handy if you are helping a:
- Senior pro-actively making their home safer;
- Family caregiver planning a safety upgrade for aging parents; or a
- Son or daughter who has just been given some hospital discharge instructions, including a list of products to buy immediately.
Below you will find both specific tips about buying a portable bath chair, bath stool or bath seat in addition some more general advice.
1. Safe choices don’t cost more
Our number one safety tip is to get the measurement of the flat surface where the bath chair or bath stool will be used, particularly if the bath seat will be used in a bathtub with curved side panels.
If you are helping someone shop on-line, use a website that provides full product details.
In your local area, a Medicare retailer will have a selection of bathing chairs with various leg widths to fit within most flat spaces in a range of prices.
Consult your doctor for other safety factors that you might want to take into consideration, such as:
- chairs with backs,
- chairs with backs & arms,
- rotating stools
- bath stools with handles.
2. Financial help for bathroom safety
Our general advice when looking for financial assistance for bath safety products follows:
- In order to be covered by Medicare or other government programs, a prescription from a healthcare professional is required. Consult your family doctor or speak to any specialist healthcare professionals, such as occupational and physical therapists, for more specific information. Medicare suppliers are also good resource – See Tip 5.
- Some insurance companies have programs and incentives for safe homes after hospital discharge and for Aging in Place.
- Across the United States, programs offered by Not-For-Profits, community groups and other organizations for equipment rentals, subsidies and donations vary by State. Your Local Area Agency on Aging is mandated to be knowledgeable about local resources.
3. Used, pre-owned products are available
One aspect of working with Amazon Marketplace that we LOVED was that Amazon includes retailers that specialize in second-hand products (when available) such as used bath chairs.
When we originally published this post, we reviewed the sanitization and product inspection process of a few of these retailers and were impressed.
However, revisions to the Amazon website make it harder to find used items. One place that often sells used equipment is the Re-Store. Click here to go to their website and local directory.
Remember, advice your money conscious patients or clients to make your choices for safety rather than buying whatever is available on a used or second hand basis.
4. Beware of bargains and shipping charges!
If you are going to help someone make a purchase online or look online for price comparisons, use a reputable retailer and make sure that you know the return policy.
And, of course, take the total cost (including shipping and taxes) into account.
Online may not be a really be a bargain!
5. Local retailers – good network partners
In our directory of retailers you will find Medicare Suppliers who sell bath safety products and are very knowledgeable about product features as well as Medicare programs.
A good Medicare Supplier will have at least three bath chairs or bath stools in stock. Typically, they offer three price points – Good, Better and Best – in one brand, but many offer more choices. In addition, these local product experts may offer:
- Free returns (for their merchandise)
- Assembly and/or delivery
- Information about reimbursements.
A Medicare Supplier or home-health retailer will inform your patient/client whether a product is covered for reimbursement. If a product isn’t covered, they can suggest alternative products, such as a transfer bench, that may be covered. They typically have a good network of occupational and physical therapists who can help with safe product use.
Please do not use these professional retailers as a showroom and then buy on the internet. And, please don’t ask them to accept returned goods purchased on the internet from another retailer!
If you like their products but feel the price is too high, consider asking them to match the Amazon Prime price, which typically reflects a competitive price with some allowance for shipping costs.
Other posts about Bath Chairs:
- Top 5 Sage Tips
- a summary blog with our favorite tips
- Top 5 Safety Tips
- best to know these if you are helping someone pick out a shower chair, particularly if they have mobility challenges or ease of use concerns
- Comfort promotes use
- ideas to help get the conversation going about adding a shower chair or other bath safety aids.