Practical tips for making your Bathroom more Disability Friendly

It’s one of the most important rooms in any property but, if you are elderly, disabled or have mobility issues, the bathroom can become a bit of a challenge to navigate safely.

The good news, however, is that there are so many different bathroom aids to help make life easier if you are getting into difficulty. At Out and About, we have the answers!

So, if you live close-by to our Alton showroom or further afield in areas like Winchester, Basingstoke, Guildford or Farnham, here are some practical suggestions as to how you can make your bathroom that much more accommodating.

Toilets

If you find it a problem bending to sit down on the seat and/or an effort to get up again, a raised toilet seat could be the answer. They come in 3 different heights – 2”, 4”, and 6” – as well as in various designs and are popular for those with arthritis or those who have had a hip op.

Toilet frames make it much easier to get up from the toilet as you can push up from the frame. They are usually height adjustable and some are even width adjustable – and we have various designs available from which to choose. There are also toilet frames and surrounds available with integral seats.

Sinks

Tap turners:  If you have limited dexterity and/or arthritis, turning taps on and off can be tricky. Depending on the type of tap, we have a number of different options available, to make it easier to operate the taps. They can also be used for bath taps.

Perching stools: These are useful for anyone that can’t stand for long and might need to sit down to brush their teeth etc. Usually height adjustable, they are available in plenty of different styles.

Baths

Bath steps:  If you need assistance getting in and out of the bath, bath steps can be an enormous help by reducing the height you have to raise your leg. Depending on the style and requirement, they can be positioned as one step or as a series of steps.

Bath mats:  If you have thin skin or are not too well covered, bath mats are great padding if you are sitting or lying in a hard bath – making bathing as comfortable as it was always meant to be! They also greatly reduce the risk of slipping.

Bath boards: These are very popular for those who have a shower over their baths, as they enable you to sit over the bath and wash yourself.

Bath seats:  They sit securely inside the bath and help you ease yourself in and out of the water – making it less of a drop when you sit down and less of a struggle when getting up.

Bath rails: These rails can be fitted onto the side of the bath without the need to drill holes; they simply tighten on with a clamp.

Bath lifts/bathing cushions: If you are no longer able to lower yourself in or out of the bath – but are reluctant to give up having a bath altogether – then a bath lift or bathing cushion could be the answer. Both are designed to lower you slowly into the bath and back out again. Bath lifts are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have core strength. Meanwhile, bathing cushions inflate to assist you getting out of the bath and deflate to get you in, but are best to use if you already have pretty good core strength. One advantage of a cushion over a lift, however, is that you can adjust how much air you want for comfort and you can also get lower down into the base of the bath than is possible with a bath lift, which sits two inches above the base.

It’s also worth remembering that both these options are a lot cheaper than remodelling your bathroom as a wet room…
Long handled sponges/brushes/toe washers/wipers:  If you aren’t able to reach or bend your arms or hips sufficiently to reach behind or below you, any of these extra long-handled saviours could be just the job. Reaching parts you never thought possible!

Showers

Rails:  Rails are extremely versatile, as they can be used both inside or outside the shower – in suction format or screwed into position. There are plenty of different lengths and styles you can go for. Be aware that suction rails need to be fitted on a smooth, clean surface and are more geared towards steadying and balance rather than for taking your full body weight. Nevertheless, they are great if you don’t want holes drilled into your bathroom and are also handy for travelling.

Shower stools

Shower stools are designed for having a sit-down shower. Available in a variety of designs reflecting different levels of disability, they are generally suited for anyone who can’t stand up for long.  Some are just basic circular stools that don’t take up as much room, some have handles to hold onto and help you push up to a standing position, whilst others have swivel tops to help with manoeuvring.

Shower mats and stickers:  Shower mats can be important to prevent slipping and are available in various shapes and sizes. As an alternative to a mat, we also supply non-slip stickers to stop your feet slipping, by positioning the stickers where you would otherwise have placed a mat.

Wherever you live in Hampshire, when it comes to bathroom aids, our extensively Alton stocked showroom, along with our support and advice is the best place around for mobility equipment!  Whatever your requirement or current concern, we’re confident of finding you a cost effective and practical solution. If you need any help, why not call in. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will always be pleased to help you. Or call us on 01420 549481.

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