If you’re experiencing difficulties with showering or bathing, you’re not alone. For people with mobility issues, performing daily tasks such as toileting or bathing can be challenging or even dangerous. In fact, people 65 and over in the UK have the highest risk of falling and injuring themselves with the bathroom being one of the biggest culprits.
Many falls that occur in the home can be prevented through the use of bathing aids. Using a bathing aid is a simple way that you can regain your independence and help you utilise your bathroom safely.
This short guide will explain the purpose of bathing aids for ageing or disabled people, including some bathing solutions available on the market. These bathing aids can help improve bathroom safety and mobility while improving your loved one’s confidence and independence as they perform their personal care routine.
Why are bathrooms so dangerous?
Bathrooms are inherently dangerous places, but especially so for individuals with mobility or frailty issues. Bathrooms can have a number of hazards such as:
Small, confined spaces
Slippery or wet surfaces
Low toilet seats
Weak or inadequately secured handrails
Fall hazards like bath mats
Older generations and individuals with mobility issues are particularly vulnerable to falls. Falls in the home can lead to a number of serious consequences such as hip fractures, hospital stays, possible surgery, and a further decrease in mobility. Falling and injuring oneself can also cause emotional and psychological turmoil and a fear of falling once again.
There are, however, a few changes that can be easily made to any bathroom to reduce hazards and the risk of fall or injury, especially for the older generation and disabled people.
What are bathing aids for ageing and disabled people?
Bathing aids are products designed to make bathing and showering safer and easier. If you have a fear of falling or injuring yourself while in the bathroom, bathing aids can help you bathe or shower with comfort, safety and dignity.
There are a number of bathing aids available on the market and each addresses a different bathing need. From anti-slip mats to shower baths and stools, the type of bathing aid you require will be determined by your own unique needs.
Below we’ve outlined the top 5 bath aids for ageing and disabled people that can help you transform your bathroom into a comfortable and safe environment.
5 Useful Bathing Aid Options
1. Bath lifts
If you need help getting in and out of the bath, consider installing a bath lift in your bathroom. Bath lifts are reclining chairs that help raise or lower you into your bathtub. This way, you can continue to enjoy all the therapeutic benefits of a bath without losing your privacy or independence.
Bath lifts do require an initial investment of at least £250 or more depending on the size and model you choose. Most reputable brands include the cost of installing the bath lift in your home in their fee. Many companies will provide a free estimate at no charge to you.
2. Non-slip bathroom discs
The smooth bottom of your shower or bath poses an increased risk for slips and falls. Traditional non-slip bathroom mats provide much needed grip to prevent such falls, but they are often suction cupped to the floor making it hard for ageing or disabled people to remove them.
Non-slip bathroom discs provide a convenient alternative. Each disc can be easily attached to your shower or bath floor through a peel and stick adhesive. Once applied, it provides additional grip to your shower or bath floor. This is a relatively inexpensive solution for preventing falls as each disc costs only £6 to £12.
3. Grab bars and toilet rails
Installing grab bars and toilet rails will provide you with extra support while in the bathroom. The best places to mount grab bars are on both the inside and outside of your shower or bath and near your toilet. Grab bars and toilet rails are relatively inexpensive, although you may require the help of a loved one for installation.
Suction grab rails are a portable alternative to mounted grab bars. They are a convenient solution for those renting or travelling that can not install a more permanent solution. Just be sure to properly test that each suction grab rail can sustain the weight of an adult after it is mounted.
4. Raised toilet seat
Another issue many people with mobility challenges face is difficulty when lowering themselves onto a standard toilet seat. An easy remedy to this problem is to install a raised toilet seat. Raised toilet seats are at least 4 inches higher than standard toilet seats making them easier for a person to lower themselves on or off. They may even include built-in handrails for extra support.
Raised toilet seats are easy to install and inexpensive with models starting at just £20.
5. Bath and shower stools
If you worry about having to stand for long periods of time while bathing, you may find a bath or shower stool useful. Such stools are waterproof and fitted with non-slip, rubber soles so that they can be brought into the shower or bath with you. If at any time while showering you feel you need extra support, you can simply take a seat on the chair or stool.
Bath and shower stools are available for as little as £30 and require no installation, although you may want to ask for help lifting the stool into the bathroom and assuring it is the proper height.
Can I receive help with funding?
If you believe that you could benefit from a bathing aid, financial help may be available from your local council. In order to qualify, you will have to apply for a needs assessment.
A health and social care assessment will be carried out by social services to determine what help and support you need such as care services or special equipment like bathing aids. A care needs assessment is free and anyone can ask for one.
If you are eligible for healthcare funding, a means test will be undertaken to establish whether you are eligible for healthcare funding , and this will determine if you are required to contribute to your own care or equipment.
How live-in care can help
If challenges with mobility or frailty are preventing you from carrying out day-to-day tasks like bathing, dressing, or living your life as independently as you once did, it may be time to consider live-in care. Having the extra care and support from a live-in carer can help you continue to lead the life you are accustomed to in the comfort and familiarity of your own home.
Along with providing respectful and discreet personal care such as support with bathing and toileting, a live-in carer can provide a number of duties and tasks designed to help you maintain your independence and comfort at home. From dressing and getting ready for bed to personalised foot care and oral hygiene assistance, live-in carers provide professional and sensitive care designed to enhance your quality of life.
For over 10 years, The Good Care Group, has been providing quality and bespoke live-in care across England and Scotland. We’ll work with you to create a highly personalised care plan that centres around your particular needs and preferences. Our live-in carers are trained well beyond the industry standard to provide you with round-the-clock care, support and companionship if, and when, you need it.
On top of assisting you with bathing aids, our in-house Occupational Therapist can provide guidance and expert advice on what other home adaptations can improve the safety and mobility around your home. Our holistic and health-driven approach to care is designed to improve health outcomes for our clients and enhance their quality of life.
Contact us today to learn how dedicated live-in care can benefit you and your loved ones.
Talk to us about your care needs
To talk about your care needs, contact one of our friendly advisors. Calls from landlines are free.