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Looking for disabled bathing equipment? This article looks at the best ways for disabled or elderly people to bathe safely and in private, without necessarily needing the help of others.
People with a disability that confines them to a wheelchair as well as elderly folks lacking in strength usually need special bathing equipment installed. For many this can mean completely rebuilding disabled bathrooms, not least to enable access for the wheelchair.
There are two main choices to facilitate easy bathing for those unable to get into a bath without aid or to walk into a standard shower; walk-in baths or showering while sitting in a special shower chair.
Walk-in Baths for the Disabled
Walk-in baths come in many different designs. Standard disabled baths are the same length as a normal oblong bath but with a water-tight door for easy access (see picture below). The problem with this type of bath for people in wheelchairs is that help is normally required to get in and out of the bath.
Short tub walk-in baths are shorter but higher, allowing the user to sit in the bath and can therefore be more accessible for those reliant on wheelchairs for mobility. Deluxe versions also come equipped with variable seat heights and hydrotherapy jets for a relaxing massage.
Before buying a walk-in bath based on design and size, check how long it takes to fill and empty. While larger baths may be best for soaking, they can also take a long time to drain and the user cannot get out of the bath via the water-tight door until all the water has drained away.
Best Showers for the Disabled
Shower wet rooms offer some of the best showers for the disabled. Some people may be strong enough to lift themselves from their wheelchair onto a shower chair. For others, a specially made bathroom wheelchair can be used in the wet room to stop the normal chair getting wet.
Another option is to use a shower chair with PVC seat and back covers and a built-in commode so the user can go to the toilet and take a shower in total privacy.
Mobility Aids for the Bathroom
Whichever option is chosen, there is a host of disabled bathing equipment to ensure maximum safety in the bathroom:
- Grab bars made of soft plastic – attach to walls surrounding a bath or in a wet room shower for additional support.
- Shower stool – use to help climb into a walk-in bath or use a corner-shaped stool for stability in the shower.
- Non-slip bath/shower mat – for standing or sitting in the bathroom.
- Mobile shower chair – for easy transfer into a standard shower.
- Suction shower arm – to stick the shower to the floor after use.
- Shower sandals – with suction grips underneath to prevent slippage.
Disabled Bathing Equipment
Consider walk-in baths and showers using a wet room for safe disabled bathing but get specialist advice from an occupational therapist before committing to buy any of the above disabled bathing equipment