Bathroom modifications and assisting devices
We discuss the various alternatives available to you to make bathing more accessible, such as walk-in baths, walk-in showers, and wet rooms.
Aids for bathing and precautions for the bathroom
One of the fundamental aspects of day-to-day life that the vast majority of people want to ensure they maintain as they become older is the capacity to wash themselves without assistance. However, taking a shower is often one of the first activities in life that becomes difficult for people.
When taking a shower or getting into the bathtub, there is always the possibility of slipping or falling, which can result in serious injuries. You are in luck since there are a lot of things you can do to increase the safety of the restroom, and some of these just take minimal adjustments on your part. There are several different types of bathroom aids, such as seats, bath boards, and cushions, that can potentially give a quick answer. Many of these bathroom aids are reasonably priced.
Installing safety rails in the bathroom is another straightforward solution that can make a significant difference in the level of safety in the bathroom. Hoists and bath lifts can be of considerable assistance to people who have mobility requirements that are more complex. Installing telecare products in the bathroom, such as flood detectors or fall monitors, can be another helpful measure you can take to enhance your safety in this space.
Bathroom modifications suitable for older people
You might want to think about making more comprehensive bathroom modifications in order to guarantee that your bathroom will be suitable in the long run.
When it comes to customising a bathroom to meet your requirements, you have a number of alternatives to select from in the event that a standard bathtub or shower is no longer an appropriate choice. To name a few examples, we have walk-in showers, bathrooms with built-in seats, shallower bathtubs, and walk-in baths.
If space is at a premium, other viable options include a wet room or an area with a wet floor. It’s possible that you’ll need to install a shower instead of a bathtub, and you should definitely make sure that a wheelchair user can go to the restroom without any problems. If there are going to be other people using the bathroom at the same time, you should make sure that it can satisfy the demands of everyone who will be using it. All of the facilities for the bathroom will need to be accessible from a seated position.
Even if you are not yet at the stage where you require specialised bathroom equipment, but you are considering bathroom upgrades regardless, adjusting your bathroom in anticipation of future demands is a fantastic approach to futureproof your home. If in the future your mobility starts to decrease, having this in place will make life much easier for you.
Obtaining opinions and assistance
Even while making modifications to your bathroom doesn’t have to be particularly difficult, it’s still a good idea to consult with a trained occupational therapist (OT) before starting the planning process and continuing to do so during the project. Your requirements can be more precisely identified with the help of an assessment, as can the modifications and aids that will work best for you. Your local government should be able to provide you with a free needs assessment if you are having trouble completing the numerous activities that are required of you on a daily basis. T
This will determine whether or not you are qualified for assistance from the state based on the care and support that you require. This article comes to a close with a section that provides additional details on how to seek assistance with financing bathroom modifications. Some people are put off by the concept of specialised equipment because they are concerned that it will give their restroom a “institutional” appearance, such as that of a nursing home or hospital.
If this is something that concerns you, you might want to think about having a specialised bathroom fitter assist you personalise your bathroom suite. Ideally, you would want to work with a bathroom fitter who is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA).
Installation of handrails in both the bathroom and the shower
The bathroom is the most logical location for support rails due to the fact that people frequently enter and exit the bathtub or shower, which can cause the floor to become wet and slick. Falls can be very dangerous in this location if there is no support to catch you. Plastic handrails offer the greatest level of security in damp environments, particularly if you select a model that features an elevated grip to reduce the likelihood of your hands sliding off the rail.
Earth bonds have to be established between any metal rails that are installed in the lavatory for the purpose of providing safety against electrical mishaps. In addition to helping offer stability close to the toilet, when altering clothing, and when transferring on and off the seat, grab bars can be of great assistance. If a person has trouble maintaining their balance when standing, a rail installed next to the hand basin can give additional support for that person. Get more information about the process of putting grab rails in the home.
Purchasing a bathtub that is tailored to your preferences
There are a variety of different kinds of bathtubs that you can try if you have trouble getting in and out of the traditional tub but would still like to have a soothing dip in hot water.
Bathrooms with step-in access
A door that is constructed into the side of a walk-in bathtub eliminates the need to climb over the side of the tub and the associated risk of falling. They are available in a wide variety of configurations, ranging from walk-in tubs that are short and have a little door and are intended for sitting to walk-in tubs that are long and have an entire side panel that opens out and are built for people who want to take long soaks while lying down.
The fact that you have to step inside the tub before turning on the water is the most significant disadvantage of walk-in bathtubs. In order to avoid becoming chilled while you wait for the bathtub to fill, you need to make sure that the temperature in your bathroom is kept at a comfortable level at all times. In order to leave, you must first ensure that all of the water has been removed from the room and then open the door.
Integrated seats within the bathtubs
At the opposite end of the tub from the faucets is a seat that is moulded into the structure of the bath itself. In spite of the fact that they serve the same function as portable bath seats, which is to enable a person to sit with part of their body submerged in the water, baths that come equipped with integral seats are typically more comfortable than portable bath seats. This is because portable bath seats typically include drainage holes or slats.
You will, however, still require some arm strength in order to move oneself from the seat into the bath itself and to get out of the bath. This is the same as the situation with portable seats. In addition, you won’t be able to recline comfortably in one of these bathtubs because the seat frequently gets in the way. In this comprehensive guide to bath seats, boards, and mats, you can learn more about the many portable bath chairs that are available.
Bathing areas that are not deep
If you have trouble getting over the edge of your tub and don’t mind the water being a little on the shallow side, you might want to look into purchasing a tub that is shorter than the typical height. It is possible that this will still demand some dexterity and strength; however, significantly less so than when dealing with standard-sized bathtubs.
Bath lifts and hoists are available.
If you have very limited mobility, an occupational therapist may recommend that you invest in either a bath lift, which raises your body from the bottom of the tub, or a bath hoist, which raises you from the top of the tub. Despite the fact that these can be rather pricey, they may still end up being less expensive – not to mention, in some cases, more appropriate – than modifying your bathroom to meet your requirements. Read our article on bathroom lifts and hoists for more information on the various choices that are available.
showers that are accessible via walking for the elderly
As it gets increasingly challenging to use a bathtub, many people decide to replace their tub with either a walk-in shower or a shower cubicle that is installed apart from the bathroom. Showers that do not have a step in them, which could provide a tripping hazard, are known as walk-in showers or level-access showers. For the vast majority of people who have difficulties moving around, this is the most practical choice. They frequently come equipped with drainage pumps and/or floors that are sloped or ramped, all of which serve to reduce the amount of water that escapes into the rest of the bathroom. A low-level access shower that has a minimal cubicle entrance height of around 1 centimetre could also be an option in the event that leakage is a severe concern.
Wet rooms and sections of the floor that are wet
Alternately, you might go for a wet-floor section or even a whole wet room, which is essentially a bathroom that has been retrofitted with waterproof flooring and walls. There is no need for a tray because the shower head is attached to the wall. The water therefore flows directly onto the floor of the bathroom and into a drain. If your bathroom is short on space, or if you simply prefer not to have a shower tray, you might want to consider installing a wet room. However, it is essential to have flooring that does not slip. You can get a great deal of further advice on how to plan bathroom remodelling projects and how to select the appropriate fittings and fixtures on the Which? website.
Seats for the shower
Even while you can make do in the shower with foldable seats or stools, the safest bet is to have a seat permanently installed in the shower stall or in the area where water collects on the floor. Make sure the seat is fixed at the appropriate height for you, and check that the grip rails, which are meant to be used in conjunction with the seat, are installed in the appropriate locations. You should seek the counsel of an OT regarding this matter.
Commands for the shower
Some of the controls for the shower are made to be simple to turn, as well as easy to grasp and get to. Additionally, they might have larger displays and pre-set dials. Showers that are equipped with thermostatic controls maintain the water’s temperature at an even level or within a predetermined temperature range. Because of this, there is no danger that the water will become too cold or too hot to be comfortable.
Bathroom flooring that is non-slip
The installation of specialised safety flooring, which may be made of rubber or vinyl and/or include non-slip components such as quartz crystals, aluminium oxide, or silicon carbide, is the best choice for the floor of your bathroom. Although inexpensive non-slip mats are readily available, installing safety flooring is the best option for your bathroom floor.
Manufacturers of slip-resistant flooring such as Altro, Polyflor, and Tarkett are well-known in the industry. When it comes to preventing slips and falls, it is equally necessary to place a mat that will not slip on the bottom of your bathtub (or shower). These are available in a variety of forms and dimensions, and they adhere to the surface of the tub using suction cups. Slip-resistant materials that are sprayed on and anti-slip adhesive strips and forms that are designed for use in the bathroom serve the same purpose.