7 June 2018
As we age, bathroom safety and independence can deteriorate significantly, and the longer we put off finding the right solution, the more danger we put ourselves in.
A number of years ago, we had a customer enquiry with regards to a bathroom solution. After visiting the lady’s property, assessing her needs and surveying the works, naturally, we got talking. “What drove you to our door?” we asked. The response we got was astonishing.
Previously the lady, who lived independently, decided to have a bath one evening, but found she lacked the upper body strength to get out of the tub. The more she tried, the more tired she got.
24 hours passed before her daughter arrived at the property, and what she saw was shocking: her mother; a terrified, cold and frail old lady sitting in ice cold water. After overcoming the hypothermia that ensued, the mother and daughter decided enough was enough, and spoke with More Ability to design, supply and install a walk-in shower solution for them.
This was accompanied with a raised height toilet and basin, non-slip flooring, and shower handrails. The job, given the circumstances, was treated as an extremely high priority and was turned around in record breaking time. We couldn’t be thanked enough, and the positive impact it had on both their lives in some ways is unexplainable through words alone.
It’s these extreme scenarios that make us realise how important it is to be safe in the bathroom, which is why we’re going to share our top tips for help getting in and out of the bath.
Before we look at how aids and conversions can help, it’s worth being reminded of the proper and safe technique for getting out the bath:
1. From a seated position, pull yourself onto your side, using the side of the bath as leverage.
2. From here, move on to your hands and knees.
3. Hold both sides of the bath, and push yourself up on to your knees.
4. Holding the side of the bath you wish to exit from, lift your knees off of the bath’s floor. You will now be balancing on your feet.
5. Keep holding on to that side, and bring one leg over it.
6. Once that leg is stable on the ground, keep hold of the side of the bath and bring the other leg over.
7. You’ll now be standing on both feet, and once you’re stable, let go of the side of the bath.
The Problem With Bath Boards & Bath Steps
On your search for potential solutions and make-shift adaptations you may see advertisements for bath boards and bath steps. However, these aren’t necessarily a safer alternative.
Bath steps add an additional trip hazard in an already unsafe environment, and bath boards still require a user to have the necessary upper body strength to pull themselves up and out of the water on to the board.
With that in mind, here’s what we’d recommend instead:
Install an Easy Access Bath
A long hot soak in the tub reading a good book shouldn’t be fraught with worry. This is where easy access baths come in handy. The door in the side of the bath allows for easy access, with the small step up and in being much lower than the full climb over a typical tub.
Many easy access baths will have built-in seats to sit on, which allows you to wash yourself easily, before simply draining the water, standing up and walking out of the bath when ready.
Wall Mounted Rails
Sometimes, you may just need a little help getting in and out of the bath, and one option is to install wall-mounted rails. They fit behind the taps and rest on the bath rims, and it just means you have some extra support when you’re lowering yourself down into the bath, or getting back out of it.
The most important thing is to make sure they’ve been installed securely – you don’t want them to come off the wall whilst you’re using them to stand up, as you could injure yourself quite badly.
This is a simple, yet cheap and effective way of helping you get in and out of the bath. Start by laying a non-slip mat on the bottom of your bath, so that when manoeuvring out of it, you don’t trip and hurt yourself.
You can also place a non-slip rug directly outside of your bath, or even invest in anti-slip vinyl flooring, which will help to deter you from not just slipping when getting out of the bathtub, but in the bathroom as a whole.
Shower Room Conversion
Future proofed for all present needs, and any potential deterioration, opting for a shower room conversion now can eradicate any risk in the future, preserving your safety and independence.
If you’d like help with making your bathroom a safe space for you or your loved ones, then browse our range of products – we can help with accessible, mobility and disabled bathrooms. Alternatively, call us on 0113 201 5030, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.