Showerbuddy is not just another shower wheelchair. It is a New Zealand-designed, uniquely patented system that eliminates the often stressful and backbreaking work of shower time for individuals and their caregivers. With its own built in commode, Showerbuddy allows caregivers or users to easily transport individuals straight into the restroom or shower unit.
The ability to quickly hop in the shower is considered an enjoyable, daily ritual for many people. However, for injured or disabled individuals, or those battling diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), taking a nice, relaxing shower is a huge challenge. There are countless injuries caused from falls in the tub or shower every year. Often, a fall for an older adult can result in a hip fracture or other serious injury, even death.
One solution for those who have let their fears of slipping in the shower or on the wet bathroom floor keep them from enjoying taking a shower is the Showerbuddy®. Showerbuddy® is not just another shower wheelchair. It is a New Zealand-designed, uniquely patented system that eliminates the often stressful and backbreaking work of shower time for individuals and their caregivers. With its own built in commode, Showerbuddy® allows caregivers or users to easily transport individuals straight into the restroom or shower unit. Its lightweight and water and rust resistant components, along with a unique swivel system, make it one of the most convenient and versatile wheelchairs on the market.
"Our slogan really says it all: The buddy that helps maintain your independence," says Israel Gamburd, Director of Research and Development, Showerbuddy®. "Often, when individuals are disabled due to an injury or debilitating disease, they end up receiving sponge baths from caregivers due to the challenges of transporting them into a shower or tub. With Showerbuddy®, individuals can maintain their sense of privacy, independence and pride, despite their physical challenges."
The original Showerbuddy® made its debut in New Zealand in 2003, following a stroke suffered by Showerbuddy® Founder Danny Cancian's grandfather, Mr. Florence. After the stroke, Florence lost much of his mobility and soon required assistance for his basic needs such as bathing and toileting. The medical products available at the time were not suitable for the cause. Shower chairs in the market were stationary and commodes had to be purchased separately. Furthermore, the shower chairs available had no safety features.
After a fall in the shower and a significant injury to Florence, Cancian figured that there must be a better solution for safety, comfort and dignity in the bathroom and shower. His vision evolved into the first version of Showerbuddy®. This first chair was a blessing for Florence and his caregivers. The system was constructed using a basic plastic garden chair bolted to a few pieces of lumber. This simple design allowed for the chair to be moved in and out of the shower without much difficulty, utilizing less transfers. Cancian saw the benefit to his grandfather and immediately began engineering a chair suitable for individuals with disabilities. The new chair he had in mind was lightweight, durable, easy-to-use, easy-to-transport and comfortable for the patient as well as the caregiver.
A few years, and a number of improvements, later the current version of the Showerbuddy® was born. The new model boasts a frame made of aluminum and stainless steel; features a 360-degree rotation to allow
the individual a more thorough shower experience; and has a removable bridge that attaches the chair to a track, allowing the patient to bathe behind closed doors. The chair also includes a commode and is capable of rolling over standard toilets.