My mother-in-law is elderly and arthritic and as I write, we are visiting her and researching ways to make the use of the bathroom, shower and WC in her house as easy as possible.
At the same time, she is quite clear that she does not want her home converted permanently into somewhere that only works for her. She has a young lodger/carer who must use the facilities too, as well as visiting friends and family: and it needs to be a ‘normal’ bathroom and toilet experience for them.
One range is that of Bathmaster. Their scissor-action Deltis lift separates into two pieces to make removal easy when others need a bath. Its seat has a reclining backrest so you can choose your most comfortable position. Battery-powered, its narrow frame fits inside nearly all bath tubs. There is an optional swivel transfer seat.
Finally, they have a Molly Bather – a flexible seat band has a sliding cushion and the design allows you to use the full extent of the bath. Check your bath size – this fits 18-23” high and 25-33” wide. There is a fixed external seat but other people can unclip the seat band and use the bath.
For those who are more mobile but need some assistance, or whose budget is more limited, consider these aids.
A bath seat can either be suspended from the sides (with anti-slip protection on the arms) or can be a smooth or slatted design that sits on 4 legs (with suckers to hold the unit in place). There are also padded bath benches that adjust to straddle the bath and aid ingress and egress. Stepping into the bath is always a challenge and single or modular double steps are available.
Consider also fitting self-adhesive bath safety strips or non-slip mats for added safety and reassurance.
The one pictured here is anti-bacterial.
And bath cushions and pillows ease the pain at pressure points.
Showering with ease
These days it should go without saying that a thermostatically-controlled shower unit must be fitted, to take away any risk of scalding. And modern controllers can make life easier – in our case she has an electronic control that allows her to turn the unit on without having to step in first. You don’t have to suffer limited mobility to appreciate features like that.
The main additional piece that is needed is some form of shower seat. This can be a stool with soft ferrules on the ends of the legs for stability. Alternatively, opt for a sturdy weight-bearing wall mounted seat that folds down when needed. This may or may not have legs for additional support.
Whether in bath or shower, grab rails are a must at strategic points, and you can go chrome, epoxy paint or plastic, according to choice.
Looking for a present that will be appreciated? Consider a long-handled washer for reaching those awkward places: or a lotion applicator for lotions and creams – how else does anyone cover their back effectively?
Posted by Chris Ring
Did you like this article? Share it on your site by copying the embed code below: