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Title:
SHOWER CHAIR APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/130805
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A shower chair apparatus (10) is provided which comprises a shower chair frame (12) including at least a seat support element (16); and a toilet seat module (14) which is engagable with the seat support element 16 and which includes a seat body (22) having an aperture (18) therethrough. The toilet seat module (14) includes at least one removable body portion (46, 48) which is engagable with the seat body (22) to alter a dimension of the aperture (18) suitable for different users of the apparatus. A toilet seat module (14) is also provided, as is a method of providing a shower chair apparatus (10) suitable for a plurality of different users having different body sizes.

Inventors:
TOBI, Webber (Niann House, The Street, Grundisburgh IP13 6TD, IP13 6TD, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/053876
Publication Date:
July 19, 2018
Filing Date:
December 22, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FORMAL GROUP LTD (33 Knightsdale Road, Ipswich Suffolk IP1 4JJ, IP1 4JJ, GB)
International Classes:
A47K3/28; A61G5/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014124650A12014-08-21
Foreign References:
JP2009247412A2009-10-29
US1894387A1933-01-17
CN201005591Y2008-01-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOCKING, Adrian et al. (Albright IP Limited, County HouseBayshill Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 3BA, GL50 3BA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

A shower chair apparatus (10) comprising: a shower chair frame (12) including at least a seat support element (22); and a toilet seat module (14) which is engagable with the seat support element (22) and which includes a seat body (16) having an aperture (18) therethrough, the toilet seat module (14) including a removable body portion (46, 48) which is engagable with the seat body (16) to alter a dimension of the aperture (18) suitable for different users of the apparatus.

A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 1, wherein the aperture (18) includes at least a central aperture portion (36) corresponding with a rectal position of a seated user, the removable body portion (46) being engagable with the seat body (16) at the central aperture portion (36) to alter a dimension of the central aperture portion (36).

A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 2, wherein the removable body portion (46) is or is substantially horseshoe-shaped.

A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the removable body portion (46) has a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body (16) in an interference fit.

A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 1, wherein the aperture (18) includes at least a front aperture portion (32) which extends to a front edge (34) of the seat body (16), the removable body portion (48) being engagable with the seat body (16) at the front aperture portion (32) to at least in part bridge the front aperture portion (32).

6. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 5, wherein the removable body portion (48) engages with the seat body (16) so as to be flush or substantially flush with the front edge (34) of the seat body (16).

7. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6, wherein the removable body portion (48) has a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body (16) in an interference fit.

8. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the removable body portion (46, 48) includes at least one locator (50) which is engagable with a complementary engagement element (52) on the seat body (16).

9. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 8, wherein the or each locator (50) projects outwardly from the removable body portion (46, 48).

10. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 8 or claim 9, wherein the or each engagement element (52) is formed as a locator recess within which the complementary locators (50) are receivable.

11. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein an upper surface (20) of the seat body (16) is ergonomically formed to the posterior of a user. 12. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the toilet seat module (14) includes at least one secondary drainage aperture (30) through the seat body (16) which is spaced apart from the said aperture (18).

13. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the toilet seat module (14) further comprises at least one snap fit engagement element engagable (40) with the seat support element (22) of the shower chair frame (12).

14. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one armrest (24) upstanding from the shower chair frame (12) at or adjacent to the seat support element (22). 15. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 14, wherein the or each armrest (24) is actuatable relative to the toilet seat module (14) when engaged with the shower chair frame (12) to increase a usable width of the toilet seat module (14).

16. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the or each armrest (24) is pivotably actuatable relative to the toilet seat module (14).

17. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of claims 14 to 16, wherein the or each armrest (24) includes a frame element and an armrest element, the frame element defining an opening within which a lateral edge of the toilet seat module (14) is receivable.

18. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the seat body (16) includes a skirt connector for toollessly engaging with a skirt of an automated toilet system.

19. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising an additional seat module, the toilet seat module (14) and the additional seat module being selectively interchangeably engagable with the seat support element (22).

20. A shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a commode and commode mounting means for supporting the commode at or adjacent to the aperture of the toilet seat module (14).

21. A toilet seat module (14) for a shower chair apparatus (10), the toilet seat module (14) comprising a seat body having an aperture (18) therethrough, the toilet seat module (14) including a removable body portion (46, 48) which is engagable with the seat body (16) to alter a dimension of the aperture (18) suitable for different users of the toilet seat module (14).

22. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 21, wherein the aperture (18) includes at least a central aperture portion (36) corresponding with a rectal position of a seated user, the removable body portion (46) being engagable with the seat body (16) at the central aperture portion (36) to alter a dimension of the central aperture portion (36).

23. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 22, wherein the removable body portion (46) is or is substantially horseshoe-shaped.

24. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 22 or claim 23, wherein the removable body portion (46) has a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body (16) in an interference fit.

25. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 21, wherein the aperture (18) includes at least a front aperture portion (32) which extends to a front edge (34) of the seat body (16), the removable body portion (48) being engagable with the seat body (16) at the front aperture portion (32) to at least in part bridge the front aperture portion (32).

26. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 25, wherein the removable body portion (21) engages with the seat body (16) so as to be flush or substantially flush with the front edge (34) of the seat body (16).

27. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 25 or claim 26, wherein the removable body portion (48) has a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body (16) in an interference fit. 28. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 27, wherein the removable body portion (46, 48) includes at least one locator (50) which is engagable with a complementary engagement element (52) on the seat body (16).

29. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 28, wherein the or each locator (50) projects outwardly from the removable body portion (46, 48). 30. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in claim 28 or claim 29, wherein the or each engagement element (52) is formed as a locator recess within which the complementary locators (50) are receivable.

31. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in any one claims 21 to 30, wherein an upper surface (20) of the seat body (16) is ergonomically formed to the posterior of a user.

32. A toilet seat module (14)as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 31, further comprising at least one secondary drainage aperture (30) through the seat body (16) which is spaced apart from the said aperture (18).

33. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 32, further comprising at least one snap fit engagement element (40) engagable with a shower chair frame (12).

34. A toilet seat module (14) as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 33, wherein the seat body (16) includes a skirt connector for toollessly engaging with a skirt of an automated toilet system.

35. A method of providing a shower chair apparatus (10) suitable for a plurality of different users having different body sizes, the method comprising the steps of: a] providing a shower chair apparatus (10) as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20; and b] selectively inserting or removing the removable body portion (46, 48) to alter the dimension of the aperture (18) according to a body size of a given user.

Description:
Shower Chair Apparatus

The present invention relates to a shower chair apparatus, and in particular to a toilet seat module for such a shower chair apparatus. The invention further relates to a method of providing a shower chair apparatus suitable for a plurality of different users having different body sizes.

A shower chair is a chair, typically for an elderly or physically less able-bodied individual, which can be used in a shower environment. Often, the shower chair will be provided as a wheelchair, to allow the user to be manoeuvred into the shower environment. In order for a carer to provide full cleaning to a user in the shower chair, it is often advantageous to provide a commode associated with the chair, and providing the shower chair so as to have a toilet seat which has an aperture therethrough, rather than a fully solid seat. This allows the user to both relieve themselves into the commode and use the shower, all whilst utilising a single chair apparatus. Particularly where the user of the shower chair has severe physical and/or mental disabilities, there may be very specific requirements which the shower chair apparatus must adhere to, and as such, the chairs are often bespoke to a user and/or to a particular sub-group of users. This is specifically true for users having different body sizes and/or shapes, and therefore a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate. The provision of an aperture in the toilet seat can be dangerous if limbs become stuck in the aperture, especially where the user does not have the correct body size and/or shape for the shower chair.

The present invention seeks to provide a shower chair apparatus which is suitable for use by different individuals having different body sizes and/or shapes. According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a shower chair apparatus comprising: a shower chair frame including at least a seat support element; and a toilet seat module which is engagable with the seat support element and which includes a seat body having an aperture therethrough, the toilet seat module including a removable body portion which is engagable with the seat body to alter a dimension of the aperture suitable for different users of the apparatus.

The provision of a toilet seat module for a shower chair which has at least one removable body portion which can be inserted to change the dimensions of the aperture in the toilet seat advantageously allows for the size of said aperture to be altered in order to meet the requirements of users having different body shapes and/or sizes. This eliminates the need for, for instance, hospitals to maintain large stocks of shower seat apparatuses, since a wide range of patients having different body shapes or sizes can safely and effectively use the toilet seat module. Preferably, the aperture may include at least a central aperture portion corresponding with a rectal position of a seated user, the removable body portion being engagable with the seat body at the central aperture portion to alter a dimension of the central aperture portion. Said removable body portion may be or substantially be horseshoe-shaped. Furthermore, the removable body portion may have a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body in an interference fit.

The dimensions of the central aperture of the toilet seat module can be changed in diameter and/or width. This allows users of different girths to straddle the central aperture without risking accidental sliding into the aperture, if they are too slight, for example, whilst also allowing for larger individuals to have sufficient clearance in order to adequately use a commode beneath the aperture. A horseshoe shape advantageously enables a diametric alteration of a substantially circular aperture, whilst a tapering of the depth of the removable body portion allows it to snugly and wedgingly engage with a correspondingly shaped portion of the seat body, to ensure that the removable body portion does not fall through the aperture in use. Optionally, the aperture may include at least a front aperture portion which extends to a front edge of the seat body, the removable body portion being engagable with the seat body at the front aperture portion to at least in part bridge the front aperture portion. Said removable body portion may engage with the seat body so as to be flush or substantially flush with the front edge of the seat body. Furthermore, the removable body portion may have a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body in an interference fit.

One potential danger of the toilet seat module is that, if the aperture extends to the front edge of the shower chair apparatus, then there is a risk that a person having relatively narrow limbs could become caught in a channel defined by the aperture. Whilst this is not an issue for larger-bodied individuals, the provision of a front removable body portion provides a bridge to prevent the user from accidentally or intentionally inserting their limbs through the front aperture portion. This minimises the risk associated with the toilet seat module. The front removable body portion, when forming a flush front edge, can also make the shower chair apparatus more comfortable to be seated upon.

Preferably, the removable body portion may include at least one locator which is engagable with a complementary engagement element on the seat body. The or each locator may project outwardly from the removable body portion. Furthermore the or each engagement element may be formed as a locator recess within which the complementary locators are receivable.

The provision of locators on the removable body portion which are engagable directly with the seat body ensures that unintentional displacement, in particular in a downwards direction towards the commode and/or lateral displacement of the removable body portions, relative to the seat body is restricted as much as possible. In one embodiment, an upper surface of the seat body may be ergonomically formed to the posterior of a user. To assist with water run-off, the toilet seat module may include at least one secondary drainage aperture through the seat body which is spaced apart from the said aperture.

Contours in the surface of the toilet seat in order to ergonomically match the user' s posterior may improve the overall comfort of the shower chair apparatus. Contouring may, however, result in residual water accumulation on the toilet seat module, and therefore secondary drainage holes can assist with removal of any pooled water.

Preferably, the toilet seat module may further comprise at least one snap fit engagement element engagable with the seat support element of the shower chair frame. A snap fit engagement between the seat body and the shower chair frame advantageously allows the ready replacement of the toilet seat module for a different type of seat. This may advantageously mean that a multifunctional shower chair apparatus can be provided for a user, which can be used in several different environmental conditions. The snap fit engagement may make this alteration to the configuration of the toilet seat module very efficient for a carer of the user of the shower chair apparatus, for example.

Optionally, there may be provided at least one armrest upstanding from the shower chair frame at or adjacent to the seat support element, in which case the or each armrest may be actuatable relative to the toilet seat module when engaged with the shower chair frame to increase a usable width of the toilet seat module. Preferably, the or each armrest may pivotably actuatable relative to the toilet seat module. Furthermore, the or each armrest may include a frame element and an armrest element, the frame element defining an opening within which a lateral edge of the toilet seat module is receivable. Armrests may be necessary for persons who are less able-bodied, in which case, these may be provided so as to be adjustable for the specific user in the shower chair apparatus. However, it may be more beneficial to provide armrests which can be actuated out of their normal configurations in order to provide greater width for the user in the shower chair apparatus. Preferably, the seat body may include a skirt connector for toollessly engaging with a skirt of an automated toilet system. An additional seat module may be provided, the toilet seat module and the additional seat module being selectively interchangeably engagable with the seat support element. Furthermore, a commode and commode mounting means may be provided for supporting the commode at or adjacent to the aperture of the toilet seat module.

The provision of a modular shower chair assembly advantageously means that a user can amend the configuration of the shower chair apparatus for different purposes, which may be of particular use in situations in which there may be a single user who needs to use the chair in lots of different contexts, or where there are lots of different users, each with their own specific needs from the shower chair. The modular arrangement addresses each of these particular issues.

According to second aspect of the invention, there is provided a toilet seat module for a shower chair apparatus, the toilet seat module comprising a seat body having an aperture therethrough, the toilet seat module including a removable body portion which is engagable with the seat body to alter a dimension of the aperture suitable for different users of the toilet seat module.

The provision of a standalone toilet seat module beneficially allows the present invention to be potentially retrofitted into existing shower chair apparatuses, which may vastly reduce the cost for a facility having a plurality of shower chair apparatuses when upgraded their collection.

Preferably, the aperture may include at least a central aperture portion corresponding with a rectal position of a seated user, the removable body portion being engagable with the seat body at the central aperture portion to alter a dimension of the central aperture portion. Said removable body portion may be or substantially be horseshoe-shaped. In this case, the removable body portion may have a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body in an interference fit.

Optionally, the aperture may include at least a front aperture portion which extends to a front edge of the seat body, the removable body portion being engagable with the seat body at the front aperture portion to at least in part bridge the front aperture portion. In this case, the removable body portion may engage with the seat body so as to be flush or substantially flush with the front edge of the seat body. Furthermore, the removable body portion may have a tapered depth so as to engage with the seat body in an interference fit. Preferably, the removable body portion may include at least one locator which is engagable with a complementary engagement element on the seat body. The or each locator may project outwardly from the removable body portion. Furthermore, the or each engagement element may be formed as a locator recess within which the complementary locators are receivable. Preferably, an upper surface of the seat body may be ergonomically formed to the posterior of a user. Furthermore, at least one secondary drainage aperture may be provided through the seat body which is spaced apart from the said aperture. At least one snap fit engagement element may be provided which is engagable with a shower chair frame. Preferably, the seat body may include a skirt connector for toollessly engaging with a skirt of an automated toilet system.

According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method of providing a shower chair apparatus suitable for a plurality of different users having different body sizes, the method comprising the steps of: a] providing a shower chair apparatus in accordance with the first aspect of the invention; and b] selectively inserting or removing the removable body portion to alter the dimension of the aperture according to a body size of a given user.

By allowing different users to readily use a single shower chair apparatus safely, the overall equipment burden for facilities, such as hospitals or residential or nursing homes is significantly reduced.

The invention will now be more particularly described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a front perspective representation of an embodiment of a shower chair apparatus in accordance with the first aspect of the invention; Figure 2 is a perspective representation from below of the shower chair apparatus of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a side perspective representation of the shower chair apparatus of Figure 1, with the front and central removable body portions having been removed; and

Figure 4 is a partially-exploded front perspective representation of a front portion of the shower chair apparatus of Figure 1, indicating the front removable body portion having been separated from the seat body.

Referring firstly to Figures 1 and 2, there is illustrated a module of a shower chair apparatus, indicated globally at 10, and which is engagable with a support structure of a shower chair. A shower chair ordinarily comprises a plurality of legs, a seat back portion, and a seat base portion; the depicted shower chair apparatus 10 is intended to be a seat base portion which can be releasably engaged with separate legs and back portions in order to form a complete shower chair apparatus. It will, however, be apparent that the shower chair frame 12 shown could be integrally formed and/or attached to the remainder of a shower chair frame, for example, the framework of the legs, and therefore the present apparatus need not be provided solely as a module. Furthermore, the shower chair apparatus 10 could be provided as either a stationary chair or as a wheelchair. Therefore, the terms shower chair apparatus 10 and seat module are hereafter used interchangeably.

The shower chair apparatus 10 comprising the shower chair frame 12 which is engaged with a toilet seat module 14 having a seat body 16 with an aperture 18 positioned therethrough, thereby allowing a user seated on an upper surface 20 of the toilet seat module 14 to relieve themselves via the aperture 18. The shower chair frame 12 is formed from a plurality of support members which form a rigid skeleton, and here define a seat support element 22 upon which the seat body 16 can be seated, and two, preferably vertically or substantially vertically upstanding, arm rests 24, respectively comprising a frame element and an armrest element. Each of the support members may preferably be formed from a rigid material, such as a plastic or metal tube, which is capable of supporting the weight of a person seated upon the seat body 16.

The seat support element 22 here comprises two side support members 26a, a rear support member 26b which interconnects the two side support members 26a, and a pair of front support members 26c which are aligned to one another and positioned either side of the aperture 18. Additional support members may also be provided at or adjacent to the seat support element 22 for additional structural support and/or rigidity.

The seat body 22 comprises left and right buttock supports 28 which are interconnected towards the rear of the toilet seat module 14. Preferably, the seat body 22 may be ergonomically formed, for example, having contoured leg and/or buttock supports on its upper surface 20. One or more secondary drainage apertures 30 may also be provided to allow for water run-off from any contouring of the upper surface 20; two such secondary drainage apertures 30 are here provided associated with each buttock support 28.

The seat body 22 is preferably formed from a comfortable yet waterproof material, such as a relatively rigid or durable foam which is encased in a plastics material, for example. The seat body 22 may have a rigid frame inside an encasing or cover, or could alternatively be provided from a unitary piece of waterproof material, such as a plastics material.

The main aperture 18 of the toilet seat module 14 may be preferably provided as a channel forming a front aperture portion 32 which extends from a front edge 34 of the seat body 22 towards a centre of the seat body 22, which may preferably open into a larger central aperture portion 36 which is aligned with a rectal area of a seated user. The fully opened aperture 18 can be most readily seen in Figure 3.

The front edge 34 of the seat body 22 may be contoured, as shown, and may extend so as to form an overhanging lip 38 or projection to at least partially cover the front support members 26c of the seat support element 22 when engaged with the shower chair frame 12.

The engagement between the seat body 22 and the shower chair frame 12 can be most readily seen in Figure 2. The support members 26a, 26b, 26c of the seat support element 22 may define a, preferably rectangular, bounded region. A plurality of snap fit engagement elements 40 may then be provided on the underside 42 of the seat body 22 which wedgingly engage with the support members 26a, 26b, 26c so as to secure the relative positions of the seat body 22 and the shower chair frame 12. These engagement elements 40 are here formed as triangular wedging members which are arrange to define a rectangle using their outermost vertices. Such engagement may preferably be highly- resistant to lateral displacement of the seat body 22, but may make vertical displacement straightforward, so that a user can readily replace the seat module for another seat module having a different function, such as an aperture-less seat. The overhanging lip 38 may assist with the reinforcement of the relative lateral position of the seat body 22 by acting as a stop against the front support members 26c. Whilst snap fit engagement elements 40 are described above, it will be appreciated that other forms of connection means between the seat body 22 and shower chair frame 12 will be available to the skilled person, releasable or otherwise, such as by using screw- threaded fasteners or by welding. The connection means is therefore not intended to be limiting to the scope of the present invention.

There may also be provided on the underside 42 of the seat body 22 a connector which is able to engage with a skirt of a drier of an automated toilet system which is commonly used with shower chair systems. In the present embodiment of the invention, this is provided as a substantially circular groove 44 into which the skirt can be inserted so as to be gently but positively held in position. Preferably, this may allow for toolless engagement between the seat body 22 and the skirt.

The toilet seat module 14 is provided so as to be safely usable by users of different body sizes and shapes without discomfort. To this end, the toilet seat module 14 is provided with at least one removable seat portion which is releasably engagable with the seat body 22 in order to alter the dimension of the aperture 18. The removable seat portions may be preferably formed from a rigid material, such as a hard plastics material, in order to provide sufficient structural support, or alternatively could be formed from a similar or identical material to the seat body 22.

Firstly, there may be provided a central body portion 46 which is engagable in the central aperture portion 36. The central aperture portion 36 is largely circular in shape, extending at a front edge into the front aperture portion 32, and therefore the central body portion 46 may preferably be formed as a horseshoe-shaped or broken ring shaped element which is receivable in the central aperture portion 36 to alter the radius thereof.

Changing the radius of the central aperture portion 36 may advantageously make a shower chair apparatus 10 which is suitable for users of a slighter build, such as children or the elderly, who might otherwise risk slipping into the central aperture portion 36.

Secondly, the front aperture portion 32 may be provided with a front body portion 48 which can be inserted so as to bridge the front aperture portion 32 to thereby prevent a user' s limbs from becoming inserted and/or wedged in the front aperture portion 32. Again, this is a greater issue for children and/or the elderly. Preferably, the front body portion 48 is engagable in the front aperture portion 32 such that a front of the front body portion 48 is flush or substantially flush with the front edge 34 of the seat body 22.

Either or both of the central or front body portions 46, 48, referred to collectively hereafter as the removable body portions, may be provided as part of the toilet seat module 14. The connection means of each with the seat body 22 may be the same or different in each case. In the depicted embodiment, and as can be seen in Figure 4, the removable body portions may be engagable with complementarily engagable locators and recesses with the seat body 22. Preferably, the locators 50 are provided so as to project outwardly from removable body portion, as can be particularly seen as a cylindrical projection extending from the front body portion 48 in Figure 4. Complementarily-shaped recesses 52 are then provided in the seat body 22, which may include a stop 54 at a lower end of each to prevent the corresponding locators 50 from falling through the toilet seat module 14.

To further improve the engagement between the removable body portions and the seat body 22, the removable body portion may be provided so as to have a tapering depth, therefore narrowing in a vertically downward direction, permitting an interference or wedging fit between the removable body portion and the seat body 22. This can be particularly seen for the front body portion 48 in Figure 4, which tapers and fits into a correspondingly tapered front portion of the seat body 22. The central body portion 46 could also have a similarly tapered depth in order to provide an interference fit with the seat body 22, however.

The shower chair apparatus 10 is designed so as to be usable by persons having different body shapes and sizes, thereby negating the need to provide different bespoke seats for individuals. It may therefore be possible to also provide for persons who are wider than would otherwise be provided for by the positioning of the armrests 24.

To use the toilet seat module 14, a commode is provided which is mountable at or adjacent to the shower chair frame 12. Specific mounting elements may be provided on the underside of the seat body 22, with which a commode may be directly couplable, or alternatively a secondary framework, such as a wireframe, may be provided which engages with the shower chair frame 12. The secondary framework may be arranged so as to hold the commode underneath the central aperture portion 36, allowing a seated user to relieve themselves. Whilst not shown in the depicted embodiments, it may be possible that the armrests could be actuatable relative to the main shower chair frame, for example by providing hinges or a similar pivotable axis to allow the armrests to be pivoting or moved away from the toilet seat module. The armrests could be lowered such that they are below a horizontal plane of the upper surface of the seat body, or could even be pivoted so as to lie in said plane so as to potentially provide additional lateral support to the flanks of the user.

It is therefore possible to provide a shower chair apparatus in which there is a toilet seat module which is suitable for users having different body sizes and/or shapes. This is achieved by providing at least one removable body portion of the seat body of the toilet seat module which can change a dimension of the aperture through the seat body. Such an arrangement advantageously allows a single shower chair to be used for a plurality of different users, which may be particularly advantageous, for example, in hospitals and/or residential facilities.

The words 'comprises/comprising' and the words 'having/including' when used herein with reference to the present invention are used to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub-combination. The embodiments described above are provided by way of examples only, and various other modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the field without departing from the scope of the invention as defined herein.




 
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