As the weather gets colder and the nights get darker, what’s nicer than taking a nice long soak in the bath, or staying under a hot shower for just a few more minutes on a frosty morning?
Getting in and out of the bath can be very difficult for anyone with reduced mobility – it’s easy to underestimate the flexibility and upper body strength required for a task that’s routine to so many of us!
Bath lifts – like the Aquatech Orca from Invacare – are an innovative way to get around that difficulty. The seat moves up and down with just the push of a button on a waterproof handset and can support weight up to 22 stone. There are even inflatable bath cushions available which work on the same principle, but instead of a motor, the seat is made to rise by inflating and to sink by deflating.
These are a great, affordable alternative to an easy access/walk-in bath as they don’t require that the user sits waiting for the bath to fill or drain. They’re also portable, giving the user freedom to travel without worrying about accessible bath and shower facilities.
Tap turners are an example of a small thing that makes a big difference. The twisting motion required to turn a traditional tap puts a strain on the wrist and can cause pain and discomfort. For anyone with reduced grip (i.e. from arthritis or nerve conditions), it can be virtually impossible to twist a stiff tap.
Rather than investing in brand new taps, an inexpensive tap turner can make a world of difference in maintaining independence. These are available to fit all kinds of taps, with versions for derby taps, x taps and crystal taps. They’re also small and lightweight and therefore are easy to transport and use while travelling.
Suction Grab Rails
Grab rails are a bathroom essential for anyone with reduced mobility – as mentioned above, using inappropriate bathroom fixtures instead of grab rails that are designed to bear weight is a common factor in injuries and falls.
Holding onto a sturdy grab rail makes navigating the bathroom easier and safer, and these suction grab rails are especially handy – they do not require any drilling into the wall, making them ideal for temporary accommodation, rented property, or staying with friends or relatives.
Bath Boards / Shower Boards
The popularity of the bath-shower in the UK means that shower chairs and stools aren’t always a suitable option for people who need to sit down in the shower. The curve of most baths doesn’t leave enough flat surface for a stool to be stable.
Bath/shower boards rest on the bath’s edges and provide a strong, sturdy and stable surface to sit on and can be used either to take a seated shower, or to aid with getting in and out of the bath (the user can sit on the board and turn to ease in, rather than having to climb into the bath).
Long Handled Washing Aids
Pain, disability, reduced mobility and simply old age can all make it difficult to stretch to reach all parts of the body to wash. This can be particularly problematic for anyone who has skin issues and needs to use medicated washes or apply creams.
There is a huge range of long-handled products available that solve this issue – from moisturiser applicators to sponges, these simple tools make it possible to get to hard-to-reach areas without assistance.
Anti-slip strips are another example of a very simple product with a huge positive benefit. These are simply self-adhesive strips made from textured rubber, that add grip to the bath. They can be cut to size and used on any slippery surface to help prevent slips and falls.
At Snowdrop, we sell all of these plus many more products that make the bathroom easier to use and safer to access. We are also able to help you to plan, design and install accessible bathrooms – from supplying a grab rail to the complete design and installation of a level access shower. Everybody’s needs are different, so visit your local Snowdrop showroom for a free, no-obligation chat and assessment to find out how we can help.