Sometimes, especially in later life, we may require additional help with carrying out the most everyday kind of tasks. Even things like our hygiene routines can be hindered by limited mobility, but there are solutions to consider and anticipate for. One of the many ways this can be done is by making adjustment to the areas of your home which pose the most challenges, such as the bathroom. Find out more about bath aids, and how they can help a relative or yourself to feel independent again.
One of the most popular solutions for homeowners looking to make their bathrooms more accessible, a bath lift is an increasingly common element in the homes of elderly residents. A bath lift can make getting in and out of the bath an easier process to manage singlehandedly, therefore making the user feel independent when it comes to their daily routine. It is common for occupational therapists to recommend a bath lift for patients who struggle with day to day mobility and weakened strength. A bath lift works by lifting the person from below, and there are a few variations available on the market.
Motorised removable bath lifts are essentially plastic seats fixed into the bath with rubber connectors, controlled by a waterproof remote. The user will sit on the seat at the same level as the bath rim, then they are free to lower the seat into the bath using the control. This bath lift does require that the user is able to use their legs, and it’s important to make these considerations when finding the right bath aid for your needs. A cushion bath lift is an inflatable alternative which is notably easier to position and remove from the bath itself. The seat is simply inflated and deflated, and this can be controlled by a remote, allowing for straight-forward access.
Alternatively, a hydraulic removable bath lift could be considered. This aid relies on the motion of the water and the body weight of the user to function, hence the hydraulic element. The lift is set to a personalised weight, but the user will be required to lift their arms to shoulder height to operate the aid, and arm and core strength should be reasonable. Another option to consider is fixed bath lift, often referred to as a band lift. This aid uses a fabric band attached to a roller, installed on the wall nearest to the bath. The band sits across the width of the bath, and the other end is suspended by a floor unit. This kind of bath aid is operated by the user sitting on the band, pressing a button and gradually lowering themselves into the water. This is also how the user leaves the bath, but a disadvantage to this is the lack of back support provided.
These aids all make effective solutions for increasing accessibility in bathrooms, as these areas can become challenging in the elderly or in those with disabilities. Your mobility level should not determine the way you use your home, and adjustments can be made in order to help you get the most out of your home.