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5 Mobility Bath Aids that will help make your bathroom safer


Unsurprisingly, the bathroom and toilet areas can be hazardous for people of any age and physical ability due to the combination of slippery tiles, hard surfaces and water. Bathrooms are the place in the home that slips and falls are most likely to happen, and as we can’t really avoid using the bathroom on a daily basis, we really need to try to make it more user friendly!

 

If your mobility, balance, strength or dexterity is not as good as you’d like, it might be useful to have a look at some of the simple assistive products available or modification you can make to help make the bathroom safer and more accessible for these necessary activities.

 

So let’s start with some simple suggestions that can make a huge difference in improving safety and reducing the likelihood of falls in the bathroom.

 

 

1. Add some appropriate things to hold on to

 

Avail stylish grabrails

 

Grabrail-quality bathroom accessories

I’d love everyone to discover the practical and stylish Avail bathroom range that can provide all the bathroom accessories you need, but are also discreetly Australian standards approved Grab rails. Available in modern designs and are disguised as toilet roll holderstowel railshand-held shower mounts and many more.

 

Adding rails to your bathroom and toilet can be life savers, and help avoid the potential for falls, fractures and severe bumps.

 

Do any of you know someone whose toilet roll holder or the towel rail on the wall is a bit wobbly?

We instinctively reach for what is available to steady ourselves, so why not make sure the item is designed for that purpose and not going to break or pull out of the wall if you do place your full weight on it to prevent a fall?

 

Avail grabrail with toilet roll holder

 

For most bathrooms where people are looking to add safety but don’t need full medical installation of safety rails, there are some go-to rail positions that will add a good layer of preventative safety.

 

Where to put the rails?

  • A 30cm grab rail vertically attached around chest height on one side of the entrance to your shower gives something to hold on to, to steady and maintain balance as you step over a shower lip or onto a wet or slippery surface.
  • A horizontal rail along one or more walls of the shower cubicle at about your hip height, to steady yourself if you shut your eyes to rinse the shampoo, or whilst reaching down to wash your feet.
  • Replace the towel rail with a grab bar towel rail – the double one allows you to hang a towel on one rail but always have the other free to grip, or a grab rail with the under rail hanging place for the towel.
  • If you just need a steady spot to grip as you transfer to and from the toilet – install the grab bar toilet roll holder.

 

If you have mobility challenges, difficulties with balance or would feel safer sitting in the shower, there are many other configurations that might be recommended. If this sounds like you, ask a local Occupational Therapist to do a safety check for you and recommend exactly setup would be best suited to your needs.

 

2. Try sitting down to undress, dry and shower

 

Many people don’t think about how they do the “everyday” things like showering and getting dry or getting dressed.

 

My very obvious advice is that if you have any balance, strength or altered sensation (feeling in your feet) concerns, any task that requires standing even briefly on one leg – like washing or drying your feet, or the need to close your eyes when washing off the shampoo, might be more safely done from a seated position – particularly if combined with slippery tiles and hard floors!

 

Shower chair

 

In the shower:

There are ranges of shower stools and shower chairs to choose from, and things you may consider when choosing include:

  • the need for chair arms for balance
  • the height of the chair / stool - many are adjustable, to help make it easier to sit and stand up again
  • weight capacity – some stools and chair vary in wiehgt capacity, but there are options for all body shapes and sizes
  • as well as what fits in your particular shower area – there are small profile options if shower space is limited

If you have a seat in the shower it is then also handy to have a hand held shower so that you can direct the water where you want it.

 

If walking into the bathroom, toilet or shower is difficult, use of a wheeled shower chair also called a wheeled shower commode can be really helpful. There are many varieties to meet different requirements

 


 

In the bathroom, out of the shower:

Often overlooked is the need for a stable chair to sit on to get undressed and to dry after the shower.

 

Place a kitchen style chair or other supportive, stable, and appropriate height chair– with or without arms (consider balance needs if leaning over), and place a towel on the seat to sit on while you dry yourself. Sitting helps to enable you to dry your legs and feet fully, and to lean forward and support your elbows on your knees to dry your hair too if arthritis, limited shoulder movement or strength are causing difficulties.

 

 

3. Make sure that you have nonslip mats to step out onto, and non-slip mat IN the shower or bath base too

 

A heavy-duty rubber backed slip resistant mat featuring a low profile nylon pile.

 

A large nonslip mat on the bathroom floor outside the shower and one in front of the basin provides significant safety and protection against water that you might not notice on the floor causing a slip hazard.

 

Then IN the shower or bath, make sure you have a good non-slip mat that stays in place so that as you are stepping on or out of the shower you have a good safe foot grip.

 


4. Easy access to transferring to and from the bathtub

 

If you like having a bath, there are several safety options that will make enjoyment of a long relaxing or pain soothing bath and option once again (assuming there are no other medical conditions preventing it).

 

There are easy options to make showering over the bath much simpler too. Getting into a bath can require a decent level of mobility, and even more so to get out once you’re wet!

 

Bath boards and bath benches are options that sit across the top of the bath - you sit on the edge of the board and hold the grip or side of the board while you swivel your legs in over the bath edge one at a time, then shuffle across to the middle of the bath.

This puts you in a secure seated position to have your shower without precariously needing to balance on one leg to step into the bath.

 


If you love a good soak in a hot bath, a bath lift might be just what you are needing – easy to operate and fit most tubs, with a reliable re-chargeable remote controller.

 

Powered bath boards

 

This is my favourite bath “enabler” – this bath lift has suction feet to attach to the bottom of the bath, and allows you to sit on the edge of the bath and swivel your legs in.

When in position in the chair, use the remote control (waterproof of course) to lower yourself down into a luxurious warm bath.

Lie back supported by the backrest and have a soak while enjoying the pain relieving benefits of warm water.

Then when you are done, simply press the UP button and levitate to an upright sitting position (at the level of the bath edge) where you can reverse the swivel process to get out.

 

Tip– if you leave your towel handy you can get dry whilst sitting in the bath lift chair.

 

• Peak - Deluxe Bath Transfer Bench with Back

• Aquatec Orca Bath Lift

 

 

5.Making the toilet easier and safer

 

Helpful equipment includes standalone products like over toilet raisers, toilet seat raisers and toilet arm surrounds, to make it easier to rise and lower yourself from the toilet, if preferred to installing hand rails.

 

Bathroom safety aids

 

Options are available to suit different needs and long and short term hire is available for temporary solutions.

 

Enjoy the luxury that a well set up bathroom has to offer. Many safety and comfort improvements can be done with minimal cost and the restorative benefits of a warm bath or a long hot shower are very underrated!

 

Browse our Bathroom range online or visit one of our 16 independent living centres around Australia  if you have any individual questions you need answered.

 

Our team have years of experience in finding the right products and will tailor the solutions based on your needs.
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