Disabled and elderly individuals need help with everyday tasks and one task they may need assistance with is getting in and getting out of the bath. Where it might be easy for most people to manage this everyday task, it is difficult for disabled and elderly individuals. It can be easy to slip and fall while getting in or out of the bath and adaptations need to be made to ensure safety while taking care of personal needs.

How Can I Help?

If you know an elderly or disabled person, ask them about their bath time routine. This is not meant to be an invasion of privacy, but a way to find out what they need. Among the most difficult aspects of getting in and out of the bath for disabled or elderly individuals is raising legs over the bathtub. Legs can become weak as we age and such a large portion of our body can be significantly difficult when a disability or weak muscles are involved. However, there is plenty of hope for both elderly and disabled individuals. Here are just some suggestions on aids that help disabled or elderly individuals in their daily bath routines.

Consider a Walk In Bath

Generally, bathtubs are enclosed spaces and due to weakened muscles, it can be extremely difficult for elderly or disabled people to get in and out of. Often, family members or hired nurses will assist these individuals with their bath time routine, but for those who want to keep their independence, a walk in bath might be preferred.

Walk in baths are exceptionally crafted to hold water securely for elderly and disabled people to bathe themselves. Essentially, the bath is designed with a door to allow for safe entering and exiting of the bath. The design eliminates the need to step over tub walls and potentially fall due to weak muscles or a slippery tub surface. With a walk in bath, the individual sits in the bath, shuts the door, and then turns on the water. When finished bathing, users pull the plug like a normal bath and once the water is drained away, the door can be opened for a safe exit.

These devices can be expensive, but the benefits of walk in tubs are amazing for disabled or elderly individuals. Essentially, installation requires the old tub to be removed and the new walk in tub installed. Standard walk in tubs work just like a regular unit, but upgrades can be made to the tub to include jets to help soothe achy muscles in a safe manner. Not everyone may want a walk in tub, but for those who find it difficult to exit or enter the tub, they can be a true lifesaver.

Additional Bath Aids

Altering an entire bathroom when installing a walk in tub can be remarkably expensive, but it is not always necessary. Often, simple solutions and adaptations can be made to the bathroom to assist with elderly and disabled individuals that want to hold on to their independence and bathe themselves. Empowering an elderly or disabled person to continue to do everyday tasks on their own makes them feel better about their situation and these bath aids can be among the most beneficial tools you can provide them.

Bath Steps

Some bathtubs, such as garden tubs have steps available on both the interior and exterior of the tub. These are great, but can become slippery when wet. If your existing tub already has steps, consider installing slip resistance. This can be in the form of standard slip resistant pads that stick to the base of the tub and steps to help keep slipping from happening. For those who do not already have steps on their tub, specialized tub steps can be placed inside or outside the tub for additional assistance.

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Bath Handles

Primarily, grip is important when entering or exiting the tub and suction cup handles are easy to install where the elderly or disabled person needs them within the tub or shower wall. These handles do not require any specialized tools and can be removed and replaced as needed for bath time. They provide a strong, secure grip and hold a substantial amount of weight.

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Bath Seats

Bath seats are a great way to provide bath assistance to disabled or elderly individuals. These seats can be fixed permanently to the bath or are available in foldable varieties. The stools or bath seats allow the person to sit while bathing and offer support while getting in or out of the bath.

Elderly and disabled individuals require a lot of help and bath time can be a concerning time when muscles may not work as they once did. Give your elderly or disabled family member a little help during bath time with these suggestions. Most require little or no alteration to the bathroom while providing substantial support to these valued individuals.

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