Most people take the enjoyment of a refreshing shower or a relaxing bath for granted. However, for people living with a disability, the process of bathing can be fraught with stress and potential for injury. Thanks to a number of innovative mobility aids, however, many disability sufferers are enjoying a new lease of life; they are finally reaping the rewards that freedom and independence offer.
A shower chair allows a disability sufferer to enjoy a refreshing shower without the need to stand. A range of innovative features are designed to keep the user safe and comfortable throughout the entire process, including arm-rests, non-slip feet, adjustable heights and padded seating.
The ETAC Swift Shower Chair, for instance, is collapsible for easy transport and storage. Manufactured with high-grade aluminium and moulded plastic, this excellent shower is easy to keep clean and sanitary. One side is cut out for easy access, and the seat is height adjustable with the use of a simple, hand-operated lever. Chairs such as these are giving people the opportunity to take care of their own hygiene requirements, and it is difficult to put a price on that sort of independence.
A shower seat offers many of the same benefits that are delivered by a shower chair; however, it is designed to stay in situ. Attached to the wall, most models can be folded away for convenience, so they don’t need to be constantly carried away for storage after every use.
The padded, wall-mounted seat with back and arms is a complete solution for safety in the shower. The frame is made from aluminium, and a specially formulated epoxy ensures it is completely resistant to corrosion. Both arm-rests can be flipped upwards to allow entry from either side, and the height can be adjusted with ease. Users can also enjoy a comfortable shower experience, as the seat and backrest are both padded with moulded foam.
Where a disability just requires some form of weight support or help with balance, a sturdy bath rail might be sufficient. Whether it is clipped onto the side of the bath or permanently attached to the wall, this simple solution to entry and exit is very effective.
The Easybar Suction Grab Rail is designed to stick to a wall without the need for nails and DIY. However, a more permanent solution is the Bathtub Grab Bar, which clips onto the side of a bath through a combination of stainless steel clamps and rubber pads.
A bath board provides a simple, effective solution to a complex and potentially dangerous issue. The board lies across the bath, supported by brackets on either side of the tub. The user sits on the board, shuffles backward and then swings their legs into the tub. User can then use the board as a shower seat or transfer themselves to a bath seat.
A moulded bath seat with handle is made with extra-strong, moulded plastic for strength and anti-corrosion properties. It includes drainage slats for excess water and a storage compartment for soap. A mobility aid such as this facilitates balance and weight support when entering or exiting almost any standard bathtub.
Using a bath lift often allows people with a profound disability to bathe as normal. That is because the initial seating position of the lift is in line with the rim of the bath – making exit and entry simple. Once the user is seated, either a hydraulic or air-based lift system lowers the user safely into the bath.
The Bathmaster Deltis, for example, runs on low-energy lithium batteries. It is operated by a hand-held controller that is completely waterproof, giving the user total control over their entry and exit from the bath.
Disability is difficult enough to live with, but taking away a person’s right to dignity and privacy adds to their suffering. The addition of a few mobility aids to the home, and particularly the bathroom, could make the life of a disability sufferer a lot more pleasant.
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