What are the options for independent bathing with reduced mobility?
A bath lift
A bath lift can make it possible for many people who are unable to get in and out of the bath safely and comfortably to carry on enjoying a soak.
There are various designs available which will do the raising and lowering without stress for the user.
You need to be able to lift your legs over the side of the bath, once you are seated on the bath lift, unless you choose a solution which includes a powered leg lifter.
Bath lifts may be powered by battery, by water power, or activated by the user’s own slight body movements.
You need to give consideration to the strength and balance of the user, before choosing a bath lift. For example, the inflatable type requires good balance and a degree of core strength to be used confidently.
If the bather is not able to balance on their own, then a bath lift with a supportive backrest would be a better choice.
The rotating seat shown on the right is water-powered and operated by a convenient lever on the outside of the bath. It lowers flush to the bottom of the tub for maximum water depth.
There are various alternatives, from seats that lift and swivel to carry you over the edge of the tub and lower you into the water, to less obtrusive systems such as the belt-type seat (right) which allows you to settle right down in the water, and tucks away when not in use.
The power bath on the left also includes a powered leg lifter, to assist those who find it a struggle to swing their legs over the side of the bath.
Low-tech Bathing Aids
Low tech solutions include seats, boards, bath steps and bath grips (right), which can be used individually or in combination, making it easier and safer to get in and out of the bath.
All these aids can assist somebody whose balance or mobility is reduced, but they do still need enough strength and flexibility in hips and knees to lift their legs over the edge of the bath.
A variable height washbasin, right, is suitable for both ambulant and seated users. The stylish design complements the look of a modern bathroom, and the generous surface area allows the user’s arms to be supported.
Another wash basin design for wheelchair and perching stool users is concave, where the centre part of the basin is scooped away, allowing closer access to the basin and taps.
See also the bathroom products in the Professional section