This blog aims to cover some of the different disability aids that can be used by the elderly and disabled users to assist them with bathing-related activities while helping them maintain their independence, self-esteem and most importantly safety.
So, What are Bath Aids?
Bath aids have been specifically designed for users with a disability and limited mobility. The main purpose of bath aids is to enhance the safety of the user within the bathing area as most of the slips and falls occur within the bathroom causing serious injury.
Right now, there’s a large range of options on the market within each category of bath aid. It is extremely important to make sure that the user understands their own needs, and what product will meet those needs in the best possible way. To help, this blog will explain the use of a range of bath aid products.
Bath boards have a few uses for the elderly and disabled. First of all, they allow the process of getting in and out of a bath much easier for the user by utilising helpful grips and non-slip surfaces. A bath seat is another excellent option to aid individuals who may have difficulty bathing independently. Bath seats create an elevated seating area on a bathtub and can be reversed to form a bath step. Both of these options can aid the elderly, disabled and those with restricted mobility with the task of bathing.
The key consideration for purchasing bath boards include the dimensions (width) of the bathtub and the exposed wall of the bathtub, the shape of the tub, presence of non-slip surface on the bath board, presence of handles on the bath board, the height of the user and the locking mechanism to hold the bath board in place.
There’s a large range of bath seating options available to assist in independent bathing. Freestanding bath and shower seats allow individuals to remain seated while they bathe, minimising the difficulty of prolonged standing, and reducing the incidents of slipping. All bath seating products feature non-slip feet to promote the safety of users. For extra mobility, rotating bath stools can be utilised. These bath seats allow the user to rotate in order to reach the products they may need to use – this option can easily be used in the shower too. Bath chairs are similar to bath seats, however, they offer back support for increased comfort and stability.
Key considerations for buying bath seating include the height of the user, the ability to adjust the height of the bath chair or stool, the presence of a backrest on the bath seat, the presence of non-slip surface on the bath seating, the presence of non-slip feet pads, the extra functionality that comes built into the bath seating e.g. soap holder and most importantly the weight-bearing capacity.
Bath steps allow for extra stability when entering and exiting the bathtub. Non-slip bath steps can be used to avoid slips in the bathtub, outside of the bathtub or on the shower floor. Similarly, a step can be utilised to prevent slipping, but can also have a dual-use, which includes a bath seat.
Key considerations while purchasing a bath step include the height of the bath step, the presence of non-slip rubber pads on the legs of the bath stool and the weight-bearing capacity of the bath step.
Bath Transfer & Bench Seats
An adjustable transfer seat can be an excellent option for safe movement in and out of the bathtub and can be especially helpful for those with restricted mobility. This product can be installed in the bath, so that users can be seated whilst getting in and out of the bath to avoid slips or pain from lack of mobility. The non-slip legs of the seat are essential for the safety of the user.
Key considerations for purchasing bath transfer seats include height adjustability, weight-bearing capacity and the presence of non-slip rubber feet.
Shower seats are the perfect option for users that prefer to do their bathing in their shower as opposed to the bathtub. They take the pressure off of the user, and aids in the prevention of slips. Vertical tracking seats are available that allow the user to adjust it to their preferred height setting for maximum comfort, whilst still being able to be folded away. Similarly, a wall-mounted shower seat can reduce slips and increase comfort, whilst remaining discreet in the shower with its folding ability.
Key considerations include the dimensions of the bath chair or stool, the weight-bearing capacity of the bath seat, in case of a wall-mounted seat, you will need to check if the wall where you propose to install the seat has been built with the right material e.g. concrete and the extra functionalities that come with the bath chair e.g. soap holder or a cut-out.
Find Your Fit
It’s important to find the right bath aid for your needs, so be sure to research and find the perfect match to ensure independence and safety whilst bathing.