Can you still enjoy bathtime
Being able to keep ourselves clean is very important for our independence and well-being. Taking a bath can also be very relaxing and enjoyable.
As we get older we might experience mobility issues that make conventional bathing difficult. There are a number of solutions that can make life easier however, and allow us to continue enjoying bath time during our twilight years. Age UK suggests a number of possible solutions if loss of mobility and balance is making it increasingly difficult to wash and bathe in a standard bathroom. These include adapted baths or bath lifts, level access showers and waterproofed wet rooms.
If you struggle to get into and out of the bath tub, easy access baths could be the solution. There are a number of adaptations that can help. These include grab bars that can make it easier to lift yourself out of the bath and removable bath boards. These provide a seated platform area over the bath, allowing you sit on the board and turn to sit over the bath. If you experience difficulty getting in or out of the bath it might be safer to use one of these boards than trying to step directly over the rim.
If you need more assistance, a bath lift can sometimes be fitted to help get you in and out of the bath while walk in baths offer another solution. These have side access via a door with a very low threshold that is much easier to step over than the rim of a conventional bath. The door is completely waterproof and walk in baths usually come with regulators that ensure the water is not too hot as it runs. It's also possible to fit hand-held or wall mounted shower heads to a walk in bath, while some models also have hydrotherapy systems.
Hydrotherapy can help soothe away your aches and pains by gently massaging your body using jets of warm water or air. It's like having a spa in your own home and a hydrotherapy bath can be great for relaxing muscles, relieving joint pressure, encouraging blood circulation and easing inflammation.
Hydrotherapy systems can come with a variety of different settings, allowing you to control the strength and positioning of the jets.
Hydrotherapy can be great for anybody but it may also be particularly useful in helping to alleviate some of the aches and pains associated with conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Stress and tension
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
As well as accessible and hydrotherapy baths, many older people enjoy the convenience and functionality of a shower.
Just as baths can be adapted to provide ease of access, showers can also be adapted for those with mobility and balance problems. Grab bars and shower seats are relatively simple to install while easy access showers or even a full wet room offer more comprehensive solutions.
Easy access showers have lower threshold entries than conventional
shower cubicles. This may even be level with the floor, with
a slight incline towards the drain ensuring the water does not
wash out over the rest of your bathroom. A wet room is a fully
waterproofed room with an open shower area. This can be ideal
for people who have trouble accessing any kind of shower cubicle.
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