When it comes to time in the bathroom, we want to be able to care for ourselves as much as possible, in some circumstances the elderly and those with limited mobility find some of their daily bathroom routine more challenging. That’s why we’ve developed a guide to the most useful bathroom aids, to help your loved ones continue to enjoy their bathroom at home without having to compromise on the design of the room. Here are some of our favourite and most useful bathroom aids.
Bathroom aids for elderly and disabled
One of the biggest challenges for elderly people and those with disabilities is the accessibility of their bathroom. Whilst a modern bathroom aesthetic is something we all desire, we also need the functionality of a bathroom to suit our needs. The goal is to ‘future proof’ a bathroom, so it enables comfortable living for years to come. Disability aids do not necessarily mean big overhauls and changing a rooms layout. In many cases, it may only require changing the handles on the bathroom taps or perhaps adding a shower stool to ensure comfort and stability. No matter what their situation may be, there are things you can do to make your elderly or disabled relative’s bathroom a little easier by implementing some great disabled bathroom aids. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
1. Bath Lifts
When it comes to elderly people, a bathroom lift is a valuable, if not indispensable, addition to any bathroom.
Whilst a bathroom lift can provide a viable solution for this problem, you need to make sure it’s installed in the right place. Bath lifts are especially helpful for people suffering from arthritis or other mobility restrictions.
What are the different types of bath lifts?
Bath lifts range from being a seat or reclining chair that gently lowers and raises you into the bath to a hoist that is fitted from the ceiling of your bathroom. While bath lifts come in a range of designs and sizes, they all tend to be battery operated with a remote or pendant for the person to control the lift.
Bath lifts are generally cost effective and in cases where a heavier bath lift is required you may be able to receive a government grant for funding help. Bath lifts promote independence and access to personal care for those who are reliant on a friend, family member or carer and even those without the option to wash at home. When it comes to purchasing and installing a bath lift, we recommend that you research a reputable provider that can asses your property and needs as well as showing you how to use the bath lift post installation.
2. Toilet safety frame
A toilet safety frame is a simple and effective way of reducing the risk of falls that can occur in the bathroom by providing a safe support when moving around the toilet to make it’s more accessible.
Toilet safety frames are brilliant as they require no installation, and can typically be bought already assembled. However if you are purchasing them online bare in mind that you may have to assemble the frame upon arrival. Alternatively a local provider would be able to build the frame for you at zero cost.
Toilet Frame Designs
Toilet frames also have different design features some made from aluminium and some from a plastic material, these can also be available with arm rests and installed with a raised toilet seat if required.
3. Grab rails
Grab rails, are arguably one of the most essential and simple bathroom aids. They’re easy to install and can aid mobility around your home for years to come, without taking away from your homes design.
As well as being able to be used for assistance with on stairs and corridors, grab rails can also be used for support during dressing changes for people with minor injuries or disabilities. When considering grab rails in the bathroom these can be placed in multiple locations. What makes grab rails so versatile is that they can be placed wherever needed. For example you could place them either side of the toilet for those who struggle with getting up after being sat down, they could be placed within the shower area as a rail to hold on to whilst washing, and they could also be placed alongside the bath to prevent slipping.
4. Walk in bath or walk in showers
Walk in showers & baths are ideal for those who struggle getting in and out of the bath by lowering them, or for those who find it difficult to fit into smaller shower cubicle spaces. If you have limited mobility in your legs, a floor level walk in shower may be your best bet, as you will not require to step in and out of the shower.
You could also include a shower chair in your walk-in shower for added comfort and security. However when considering this installation you must consider the time it will take to install alongside the cost, however as previously mentioned, with a disability adaptation like this you may be accepted for a local government grant which would cover some or in some circumstances most of the cost.
An additional factor to consider would be the design of your bathroom. A walk in bath or shower would likely change the structure of your washroom and may require a further redesign after the installation is complete such as painting, redecorating etc.
5. Shower chair & Bath Stools
Shower chairs and stools have an extendable frame and a fully adjustable seat. They are a simple aid that enables older or disabled people to sit comfortably under the water.
Other benefits of shower chairs and bath stools include:
- Posture support
- Increased circulation
Most chairs and stools also have handrailing to help those who may be unable to stand.
Why it this useful? The chair might help someone with bad arthritis or muscle weakness to retain their strength, while also preventing a slip or falling. Shower chairs and bath stools can typically be fitted into any standard shower and often come in a variety of sizes and styles. More recent designs have also been shaped to blend into your bathroom design, some even fold away for storage purposes.
To Sum Up, Having a number of bathroom aids, doesn’t mean you have to compromise design & style of your home washroom. In fact you can design a perfectly modern disabled friendly bathroom with all the necessary functions you and your loved ones will need for the future and still have a say in the overall aesthetic of the room.
Our top 5 bathroom aids can help with mobility and accessibility in your bathroom, without costing too much money. You can typically source most of the products online and with the help of family or friends have them installed within minutes. However with the largest installations such as walk in showers and bath lifts we recommend contacting a trusted local mobility providers.