As you get older, have a disability or if you have mobility issues, you may find you need some extra support and help to get in and out of the bath. It is very common to use independent living aids around the house, to make sure you can perform everyday tasks comfortably and safely.
Below we will look at a range of bathroom mobility aids, which may help you use your bath safely. Having the correct bathroom aids in place can help future-proof your home. This will ensure you can continue enjoying everyday life with dignity and ease.
Bathroom Aids worth considering:
1. Grab Rails
Grab rails are really simple but effective mobility aids, to help make bathing safer. They are often one of the most affordable low-cost options in bathroom aids.
Grab rails, if correctly placed around the home can help navigate tricky areas. They’re also a great option for helping lower and rise from your bathtub.
There are different fixing options, sizes and finishes. Some grab rails are permanent adaptations for your home, often screwed into your walls. Others such as suction bars are easily removable, perfect for that weekend away.
When you are looking for a grab rail for use in an accessible bathroom, it is best to look for a waterproof rail that will not rust when it gets wet. Those made of stainless steel or with a plastic coating are good.
A rail with a non-slip textured surface is also a good idea, to increase safety. Permanently attached grab rails will provide more robust support and are the most reliable for physical support.
2. Shower Stools & Wall Mounted Seats
Stools, chairs and seats are daily living aids, which provide you with a resting place for when you are in the shower.
Shower chairs are bathing aids worth considering if you find yourself unsteady whilst showering, or need to rest whilst cleaning yourself if you tire easily.
They give you a safe place to sit if you find yourself feeling unwell in the shower, reducing the risks of falling or slipping so you can stay safe in the shower.
Popular options include wall-mounted seats which fold away when not in use, or chairs with suction feet for extra stability.
3. Portable Shower Chair
Portable shower chairs are sometimes known as shower commodes. They allow the user to bathe whilst on the chair and are best suited to disabled people or those with very limited mobility.
Often a wheelchair user can be hoisted from their wheelchair, onto the chair and then brought into the bathroom area. This can help make life easier and prevent injury for the wheelchair user’s family or carers.
4. Bath Boards
A bath board is another safety bathing aid that can help you get in and out of the bath. It is a board which bridges the bathtub.
They can be very helpful as they provide a safe and stable surface to rest on when transferring in and out of the bath. They can also be used to sit on, instead of lowering yourself into the tub and clean yourself in this position instead.
Bath boards are available with built-in grab handles, for extra stability and safety, enabling you to enjoy bathing again.
5. Non-Slip Bath Mat
If there is one piece of bathroom safety equipment or bathroom aids, you absolutely shouldn’t be living without, it is a non-slip bath mat.
Bathing accessories for just a few pounds, you can improve your bath’s safety by such a significant amount. These bath aids are so simple but so effective.
A non-slip bath mat placed over any slippery areas will help you stay safe, and avoid unnecessary slips. They are cleverly designed to grip onto a range of bath surfaces, so they don’t move when in use.
6. Bath Lifts
Purchasing a bath lift is a more serious investment in bathing aids. Bath lifts costs can start in the range of £200-£300 for a lift like the Bellavita Bath Lift from Drive Medical, which is an extremely popular model.
As with anything, there are more advanced models which may end up costing thousands. But for most, a bath lift similar to the Bellavita will be money well spent if you are struggling with bathing safely. This can transform normal baths into easy-access baths with minimal alterations.
To use a bath lift, the user must be able to step over the side of the bath, a bath step may help if this is difficult. They then take a seat on the lift in its raised position and it then lowers them to the bottom of the bath.
They remain on the comfortable seat for the duration of their bath, after which it raises them back to the height of the bath.
A bath lift can be a good middle ground purchase for somebody who needs more help bathing but is not in a position to have a walk-in bath installed.
There could be many reasons for choosing against having a walk-in bath installed. These include lack of permission from the homeowner, temporary accommodation or lack of funds. However, you may be surprised at how affordable a walk-in bath may be.
7. Walk-in Baths
If you have a long-term illness, disability or any other condition which means you have a restricted range of movement and affects your ability to take baths, you may want to consider walk-in baths to make your bathroom more accessible.
Walk-in baths can be supplied for as little as £1,995. In some cases they can easily replace your existing bathtub, as most walk-in bath suppliers have a full-length option within their range. You can usually also get deep soak walk-in baths, which are shorter in length but with higher sides. These are a great space-saving option to suit a wet room bathroom.
Walk-in baths can also be purchased with VAT relief, which can again help with the total installation costs.
The correct way to get in and out of a bath without bathing aids
Of course, bathing aids can greatly assist with accessing your bathtub, making life easier and helping to keep you safe.
However, it is important that you practice a good technique for getting in and out of a bath if you are not using any bathing aids for assistance.
The steps below detail the safest way to get out of the bath:
- Check that the side of the bath is dry so you will not slip during transferring out
- Hold onto the edge of the tub, and from sitting pull yourself to lying sidewards
- From a sidewards position, move onto all fours, so you are facing the tap end of the tub.
- Holding the side of the bath, push so that you can get into a kneeling position
- Keep holding the edge, raise from your knees onto your feet.
- Bring one leg over the edge of the bath
- When you are in a stable position with one leg in the bath and the other on the bathroom floor, check that the bathroom floor isn’t wet and slippy
- Once you feel safe to do so, bring the other leg out of the bath, keeping your hands on the edge of the bath for stability.
Knowing the correct way to get out of the bath can be very important if you ever find yourself stuck in the bath or feeling unwell. If you find this happening frequently, it is recommended you seek professional advice from a doctor or health professional, as there may be a medical reason to account for your difficulties.