How Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In The Bathroom
Posted: Jul 07, 2019
Specialist bathroom tools are useful for people living the issues old age can bring. Routine tasks like washing, using the toilet or brushing one’s teeth can become difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of bathroom aids which offer assistance.
Support Rails or Toilet Frames
Using the loo is one such example. Back problems, arthritis and a host of other conditions make it hard to stand up from a sitting position. To deal with this, it is sometimes possible to have a support rail fitted next to the toilet. This helps the user sit down and stand up. These usually require fixing with screws but some suction rails are available, if the wall tiling is suitable.
If this isn’t possible, a free standing toilet frame does a similar job. Some models are adjustable in width to cater for a variety of toilets and surrounding space. Essentially, these are support frames which reduce the strain on the person’s body as they raise themselves from the toilet seat. They are a popular choice because they do not require permanent fixings.
Helping with Hand Weakness or Arthritis
Arthritis in the hands and upper body may make it painful to use a conventional lever flush on the toilet. Push button flushes are easier on the hands and modern mechanisms are both reliable and cheap.
Hand arthritis can also make it painful to hold narrow items like a hair brush or toothbrushes as the plastic digs into the palms and fingers. For those in this situation, increasing the size of the handles makes them more comfortable and easier to control as desired.
Fitting special foam tubing to the grips increases their diameter. Although these foam grips are usually for kitchen cutlery, they work just as well for bathroom tools like a toothbrush. For many, simply increasing their grip-size make them much less painful to use.
If one lives alone in old age, a fall can lead to serious problems. Thus taking steps to reduce the possibility of this happening is a sensible thing to do. The bathroom, with its hard and often slippery surfaces, can be dangerous.
Conventional bath and shower mats make smooth surfaces less slippery. These bathroom aids usually have suckers on the base which prevent them moving around on smooth tiled or enamel floors.
Non-slip strips are also available which do a similar job. These are stuck to the floor of the bathtub or shower cubical, providing a high friction surface. This reduces the chance of slipping in bare feet, even when wet.
Sitting Down in the Shower
A shower chair might also be a good option for a cubicle or wet room. People with certain disabilities find it more comfortable to sit down while they take a shower. A seat which is suitable for a wet environment is ideal. These have fast-draining textured sitting surfaces along with non-slip feet. They are also made of non-corrosive materials.
A shower chair will usually be very lightweight, with aluminium legs and a plastic seat. Non-rusting screws, which won’t create unsightly marks in the shower tray, fix the chair together. It is important to make sure the chair you choose fits the cubicle floor. Check the footprint measurements before ordering.
Remember that in many cases the shower chair might require moving in and out of the cubicle as and when needed. This is particularly true if one is sharing the bathroom with other people. This means it should be as light as possible, without losing stability.
Ensure you choose one with non-slip feet. The feet, known as ‘ferrules’, are a critical safety feature. They make it much less likely that the chair will slip, even under the running water of a shower.
Bending down to scrub one’s feet and toes is difficult with certain disabilities or chronic conditions. There are various long-handled tools with scrubbers or sponges on the end, which help. Another option is to fit an upturned scrubbing brush to the floor of the shower. These attach using suckers and provide an excellent means of scrubbing the soles of one’s feet.
Derry has been working in the mobility aids industry since 2003, acquiring a wealth of knowledge along the way. Before Essential Aids, Derry's background was in engineering. In his spare time he is a devotee of yoga and rare reggae vinyl.