Products to Help Those with Reduced Mobility Maintain Independence while Bathing

  • Aug - 01 - 2022
  • Elixair Medical

Bathroom with accessibility featuresAs people age, we naturally lose some of our mobility. Joints are stiffer and less limber. Muscles are weaker and have less endurance. Even our organs, like our hearts and lungs, may be operating less efficiently, leading to an inability to stand or balance for prolonged periods. As this happens, many people have to give up some of their independence, relying on the help of others for daily tasks. But giving up your independence while bathing can be extremely difficult to do. If you’re struggling with bathing yourself but want to maintain your independence, privacy, and dignity, keep reading to learn about a few products that can help you do so.

Walk-In Bathtubs and Showers

In terms of comprehensive, accessible bathing solutions, walk-in bathtubs and showers are hard to beat. They provide a very low entry step that is much easier to step over than the high ledge of a bathtub; climbing into a tub requires more balance and muscle coordination than many people realize, and can be quite difficult for those with reduced mobility. These also have a high, upright seat that is much easier to get into and out of than sitting on the very low floor of a standard tub (or going completely without one in a standard shower).

All in all, if you need a comprehensive solution to your mobility needs, a walk-in tub or shower could be what you need. Of course, these do have a higher cost and require professional installation, as well as enough room for the tub or shower to be installed. If they’re not a feasible solution for your budget or your space, keep reading to learn about some other products that can help.

Grab Bars and Safety Handles

Bathing often requires you to stand on slippery surfaces, which can be challenging for those with reduced mobility and balance issues. Placing grab bars or safety handles in strategic locations throughout the bathroom can help make it easier for you to get in and out of the tub or shower, as well as minimizing the risk of slips and falls. Here are a few locations that are often helpful to install a grab bar:

  • Outside the shower stall
  • Inside the shower
  • On the wall beside the tub ledge
  • Beside the toilet
  • In the walk-in closet or other area where you dress/undress

Placing safety handles in all of these locations can help you to take care of your personal hygiene needs more independently while ensuring your own safety.

Long-Handled Bathing Brush

Washing your own back is hard enough, even when you do have full mobility in your joints. Doing so if your shoulders are stiff and/or arthritic can be nearly impossible. A long-handled bathing brush can help you to properly clean those harder-to-reach areas that might otherwise require the assistance of somebody else to wash. It’s a small addition to your bathroom that can make a very big difference in your overall hygiene and quality of life.

Non-Slip Mats

Slipping is always a serious possibility and major hazard in the bathroom. It’s important that you place anti-slip mats in every possible location. This includes waterproof mats in the tub and shower, as well as standard, non-slip rugs outside of the bathtub and shower stall, so your wet feet are less likely to slip on the tile. Preventing slips and falls can help prevent serious injuries that could drastically alter your health and lifestyle.

Shower Seats

If you do prefer to use a shower, make sure that you have a seat inside of the shower stall that you can use whenever you feel it is necessary. Even if you’re confident in your ability to shower independently (perhaps with the help of a grab handle), it’s a good idea to have a seat available to you in case your legs begin to feel weak or you start to feel faint. Sitting while washing your hair instead of standing throughout the shower can reduce the likelihood that you’ll fall while in the shower.

Safety and accessibility are important throughout the home, but the bathroom can be especially hazardous to those with reduced mobility. If you’re looking for any of these products to improve the safety of your bathroom—or the bathroom of a loved one—contact Elixair Medical today to ask about our many safety and accessibility products. You can also stop by any of our locations to see which products we currently have in stock.