Accidents in bathrooms can happen, and often with severe consequences. We take the ability to use bathrooms safely for granted. However, the disabled and those with mobility issues need aids. Bathroom aids for mobility are now common in households with members with mobility issues. Many products in the market facilitate safer and easier washing in the bathroom. Read on to learn about the ones that are the best fit for your needs.
How do I Make My Bathroom Accessible and Easier to Use?
If you or a member of your household cannot locomote and face mobility issues, then the bathroom is one place in the house that must be accessible and safe.
Technology has made it possible to design bathrooms with enhanced safety and comfort for the disabled. Handicap-accessible bathrooms have features and fixtures to ensure usability for all, including the physically challenged.
Bathroom doors for the mobility impaired should be wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through. If the bathroom is situated off a hallway or a passage, then the entrance must be slightly wider than usual to accommodate turning wheelchairs.
Handicap-accessible bathroom doors should open outward. The doors must have door lever handles that do not need to be grasped and rotated. Light switches in bathrooms must be easily accessible for wheelchair users. Switches with motion sensors are another alternative.
Toilet bowl rims must be around one and a half feet from the finished flooring. The most comfortable toilet seat height for wheelchair users is one that is level with the height of the wheelchair. Toilet seat risers are an alternative, especially for those with limited mobility. Many such seats are available with padded arms to assist those who need help sitting down and a push when rising.
Wall-mounted toilets allow for space on the floor to facilitate more effortless movement of wheelchairs.
Bathroom Mobility Aids for Independence
Mobility aids engender a sense of independence and confidence in users who must cope with impaired mobility, either due to age or accidents. The following bathroom mobility aids for independence foster safe and secure bathroom use.
- Bathroom Grab Rails – Grab rails help people with weak legs and arms maintain balance and move from one place to another. In the bathroom, these mobility aids allow for safer movement, sitting, and rising. The rails offer a choice in designs, sizes, and grip surfaces that ensure a clean grip even in steamy, wet conditions. You may want to consider folding grab rails for bathrooms that are less spacious. These rails can be folded against the wall when not in use. The rails, made from sturdy epoxy-coated steel, are helpful for seniors who need support shifting their weight up, down, or sideways. Removable grip bars allow easy placement and removal near toilets and in the bathing area.
- Bath Lifts and Transfer Benches – Bath lifts are an essential piece of equipment along with transfer benches to get the user into position for easy access into the bathtub. Bath hoists are an option. Bath lifts available in the UK are sturdy devices capable of transferring weights of up to 140 kg. These feature adjustable seats to allow for access into shallow or deep baths. The movements of the lift are easily controlled by brightly colored buttons that can be seen even by those with impaired vision. Battery-powered elevating bathing cushions raise and lower a person into a bathtub safely. The device is not fixed and can be placed or removed easily.
Best Bathroom Aids
The best bathroom aids are those that address the specific concerns of the user, be they infirmity, mobility, or vision. Users can go about the tasks in the bathroom without undue stress or strain.
- Bath Steps – Bath steps help people get in and out of baths; these mobility aids may be equipped with handrails for extra support. A plastic-coated tubular steel frame on step stools provides a slip-resistant grip. The steps on the stools can vary in height and will bear different loads. Bathroom steps at the side of a shower or bath reduce the height of the climb into the cubicle and can be used with a bath board to help lift legs over the side.
- Bath Boards – Bath boards enable users to experience bathing comfortably and access bathing accessories safely. With bath boards, bathers with mobility issues can also get out of the bath and get into it safely. The boards can be slatted, molded, and adjusted to fit multiple baths. The boards are available in corrosion-resistant stainless steel and are designed to prevent water ingress while allowing for easy drainage.
- Hair Washing Tray – A hair washing tray with straps is used by the wheelchair bound. The tray can be used intuitively and facilitates easy shampooing. The raised edge of the tray prevents spillage.
- Walk-in Baths – Walk-in baths are a solution for those with limited mobility. These can be installed in a day. The low entry door and thermostatically controlled water temperature are two salient features of these walk-in baths. You can choose from different seat heights and move safely on the anti-slip flooring.
- Swivel Bath Seat – A rotating bath seat that fits most bathrooms, cubicles, and extra-wide tubs allow those with physical impairments to bathe with comfort. The swiveling motion allows you to reach out for soaps, scrubs, and towels without overbalancing or pulling a muscle. The seat can be locked in position for comfort and stability. It features a design for anatomical comfort and has drainage holes.
Top Bathroom Aids
Top bathroom aids in the UK market ensure safety at home and help enable feeble and disabled individuals negotiate slippery spaces, get out of the wheelchair, and stay safe. Easy functionality is the standout feature of top mobility enhancing products available in the market. The bathing aids in this category can be purchased for long-term use or short-term adjustments.
The bathroom aids available in the UK are helpful in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, incontinence, heart conditions, etc.
Bathing aids prevent falls that may otherwise lead to fractures. They are available in sizes and styles for various needs.
- Toilet Frames – Freestanding toilet frames do not need to be installed and provide a big measure of physical security and psychological comfort to elders who need support in the toilet. These frames provide support on both sides and ensure independence for users. Toilet frames are usually made of aluminum because its lightweight and does not rust.
- Shower Seats – Shower seats and shower stools are a choice for those with conditions that preclude standing for long periods. The seats may have three or four legs and are available in models that fold against the wall. Such wall-mounted stools are ideal for smaller bathrooms.