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Create a safe and beautiful adapted bathroom

12th November 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

This is a guide to the range of adaptations that can be made to a bathroom to make bathing easier for those with mobility difficulties. Bathing is an essential task that can quickly become difficult with aching joints, arthritis and other problems, but bathroom adaptations can make a world of difference. Check out our guide below for some great ideas on how to adapt a bathroom to suit you.

Walk in baths

A walk in bath is a fantastic bathing solution for those who prefer to have a long soak instead of a shower. Worries about slipping and the problem of figuring out how to get out of the bath are eradicated with a walk in bath; the integral seat offers support to stay in an upright position and the low access door which opens inward makes it simple to get in and out. The entry point is watertight so there is no need to be concerned about water leakages, whilst the slip-resistant base is designed to prevent falls.

There are a number of walk-in bath options available, including small and deep baths that are best for a small bathroom which may not fit a conventional, full-size bath. Those who like to lie back in the bath and ease their aching joints may find a powered in-built seat a better option than baths with a fixed integral seat because the powered seat, which is backed up by a battery, provides all the essential support for worry-free lying down and sitting up.

Easy access showers

A new walk in shower is the ideal solution for a small bathroom or as a safe and convenient replacement for a full-size bath. Corner showers are ideal for smaller bathrooms, with easy access granted by the ramped entry and a non-slip shower tray included as standard.

Replacing full-size baths offer a large space for showering, making it easy to move around, and half-height doors separate the shower space from the rest of the bathroom whilst being easy to open. Full-height doors are also available if preferred. The slip-resistant, super-low shower trays that come with all showers ensure safe showering and access.

A Disabled Facilities Grant can help finance bigger adaptations such as a walk in bath or shower, so it is worth getting in contact with your local council if you are considering one of these options.

Shower seats

This adaptation is a great example of cheap disability aids that can enhance the safety and support of an easy access shower. These stools and seats are compact, waterproof and can be adjusted according to height, offering essential support to those who are worried about standing up for long periods of time or concerned about falling whilst trying to wash.

Both wall-mounted and stand-alone stools can be added, with some even coming with armrests and backrests for maximum comfort. The range of shower seats and stools is wide, with lots of different options available for different support needs.

Hydrotherapy

Although some may consider hydrotherapy a luxury, others will find that water jets sooth aching joints like nothing else can. The addition of a whirlpool function to a walk in bath can easily make bathing more of a joy than a chore and there are lots of ways to personalise a bath's hydrotherapy system, from the number of jets to integrated lights.   

Taps

Taps can be difficult to grip and turn for some people with mobility difficulties and is just one of the examples of bathroom accessories that can be made easier to use.

These taps have long handles that require more of a pushing than a grip-and-twist movement, which is much easier for those with painful or stiff joints or fingers.

Image Credit: sonictk (flickr.com)

Handles and rails

Extra support can easily be added to the bathroom with a grab rail or handle. These can be especially useful in the shower, which is why most easy access showers come with a ribbed floor-to-ceiling pole. An adapted bathroom specialist can offer advice about where is best to have grab rails installed so that support is there when it is most needed.

Screens

A screen for a walk in bath or shower can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing, protecting the rest of the bathroom from getting wet, which can stop floors from becoming slippery. Screens add a modern finish to a bathroom, as well as being practical, and the style of the screen can be tailored to the decor of the rest of the bathroom.

[Image credit: stevendepolo (flickr.com)