Bathroom safety is a concern for everyone. However if you are a senior citizen, disabled or recovering from an injury or surgery you may find the task of getting in and out of a bath tub more challenging. A large percentage of homes have bath tubs or combination bath tub/shower units. With either set up, a person may find it hard to remain standing and keep their balance while stepping over the side of the tub. With some simple and inexpensive medical equipment added to the bathroom safety home improvements can be made.
Moving around wet areas can be very dangerous if a person has any stability issues or challenges. Rubber bath mats can make wet surfaces less slippery to step and stand on and should be considered for use inside a bath tub. Medical bath boards are boards that fit across the bath tub. The bath board allows you to sit for stability while lifting your legs one leg at a time over the side of the tub. You can then stay seated on the bath board for bathing or showering. If you have enough arm strength you can lower yourself to a bath stool or bath seat. From the stool or seat you can then lower yourself to the bottom of the tub itself or remain seated on the stool or seat for bathing or showering. It is common to use bath boards in combination with bath stools or seats. Boards and seats are usually made of light weight materials and can easily be added or removed from the tub to accommodate other family members’ needs. Bath stools or benches can be found with or without handles or arms but do not come with backs. Bath seats or chairs do have backs and can be found with or without side arms. Bath benches and bath chairs can be found as foldable options for easy storage.
Home medical transfer benches are like a heavy duty bath board and bath chair combination. These benches have 2 legs that are on the outside of the tub where you sit down and 2 legs on the inside of the tub under the chair section. They have one arm or handle attached to the chair section inside the tub. Some models come with a cut out section in the front of the chair that make them more comfortable for men and allow for easier cleaning of the personal parts between your legs. Other models offer a combination commode style where you can remove the catch pail for bathing and allows for the same accessibility for cleaning. Transfer benches can be easily removed from the tub to accommodate other family members bathing preferences. Some transfer benches offer vinyl padding for a softer seated area.
Durable stability medical equipment in the form of grab bars inside the tub or shower area can be added as further safety precautions. A floor to ceiling rail outside the tub or shower can provide assistance to a bather pivoting into or out of the tub and assist them in standing from a sitting position as when using a bath board or transfer bench.
When considering bathing equipment additions for your home or for a loved one, consult with a medical physician or occupational therapist on what the best affordable set up for the individual would be based on their needs and medical restrictions.