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Assisting a person to shower using mobile shower chair - SWI 007 2013


This information is a guide only for use by non-government organisations and service providers as a training tool (supplementary to training) and is not intended as medical or professional advice. Users must seek appropriate medical or professional service. The State Government of South Australia accepts no responsibility for the suitability or completeness of the information and expressly disclaims all liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any of the information.

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Stop, Think, Assess, Review

Stop before you begin, you must review the support plan of the client being assisted.

Think about the task, any equipment needed and the readiness of the client. Think about other options if this task cannot be done safely.

Assess the client by watching/talking to them to see if they are willing and able to participate in the task.

Review other options available if client not ready for task. Talk to supervisor/manager about other options.

Potential hazards

  1. Muscular, soft-tissue or skeletal injury to client from accidental fall.
  2. Muscular, soft-tissue or skeletal injury to workers from incorrect movement, posture, repetitive bending, leaning or reaching, or a slip on wet surface.

Safety provisions

To prevent risk of injury to workers or clients during this manual task:

a. Follow all steps of this Safe Work Instruction (SWI).
b. Be aware of movements during task, do not exceed your ability.
c. Wear rubber safety boots provided for the task. Avoid slips or trips.
d. One worker can complete this task unless stated otherwise in Support Plan.
e. Communicate with client and other workers at every step of this task.


Set up

  1. Check the mobile shower chair is in good condition. Ensure wheels move smoothly and frame is sturdy. If any faults, report immediately and do not use.
  2. Check the safety belt (if on model) for signs of wear or damage. If any faults, report immediately and do not use.
  3. Ensure familiarity with use of mobile shower chair. If unsure, review Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for this chair. Report immediately if SOP not available.
  4. Collect rubber safety boots provided onsite and put these on.
  5. Refer to client's support plan for specific information.
Illustration of a shower chair


  1. Assist client into mobile shower chair.
  • Ensure brakes are engaged on mobile shower chair.
  • If client is ambulant, stand beside chair and provide support if required.
  • If client is not ambulant, transfer them into chair by either:
    • a portable hoist
    • a stand lifter
    • a ceiling hoist.
  • In each instance, please follow steps on the relevant Safe Work Instruction.
1. Assist client into mobile shower chair.

  1. Move client with mobile shower chair.
  • Slowly push client in mobile shower chair into bathroom.
  • Do not twist or attempt to steer sidewards and report if there are steering issues. Some shower chairs may have a directional castor which allows directed steering.
  • If a sling has been used in transfer process, remove this when in bathroom.
2. Move client with mobile shower chair.

  1. Position mobile shower chair in shower recess.
  • Prepare client for shower. Assist client with removing garments if required.
  • Move mobile shower chair into shower recess, avoiding sudden movements.
  • When chair is in shower recess, apply brakes.
3. Position mobile shower chair in shower recess.

  1. Assist client with showering.
  • Does client require assistance with washing?
  • If yes, perform task with minimal bending and stretching. Do not strain, over-stretch or hold an awkward posture.
  • If insufficient space to access both sides you must reposition mobile shower chair to give access.
4. Assist person with showering.

  1. Remove client from the mobile shower chair.
  • Assist client out of mobile shower chair as per their Support Plan. Use relevant equipment and sling if required.
  • Make sure client is safe before removing equipment.


  1. Safely conclude task.
  • Make sure client is comfortable.
  • Put mobile shower chair away.
  • Place all other equipment in correct storage areas.
  • Document any incident and report to supervisor immediately.

Attribution: Department of Human Services, the Government of South Australia, "Assisting a person to shower using mobile shower chair - SWI 007 2013", Sourced on 23rd Oct 2021, ('

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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