Bathing is a crucial part of life, an important aspect of self-care which is just as important for older people and the disabled. Bathing stems from the physiological need of cleaning away accumulated waste and dead skin that may otherwise lead to infection or simply general poor hygiene.
It is crucial in maintaining an acceptable standard of cleanliness and provides individuals with a moment to revive and refresh. Bathing can be a complex task involving multiple subtasks, such as undressing and drying one’s whole body, which for older people and disabled individuals is more challenging.
Plenty of people need a little assistance with bathing but are put off installing equipment or bath adaptations because they think it might make the bathroom look ‘institutional’, e.g. like a hospital or care home. If this is a concern for you, you may want to consider adapting or customising your bathroom suite with the help of a mobility bathroom specialist.
This will allow you to bring the perfect aesthetic to your bathroom as well as practical considerations allowing you to design an adapted bathroom to suit all members of your household.
With this in mind, in this blog we outline some of the main benefits of bathing for older people and the disabled and how an adapted bathroom can be highly beneficial.
Future-proof your bathroom
If you are not yet at the stage of requiring specialist bathroom equipment, but planning a revamp of your bathroom, nevertheless, adapting it in anticipation of future needs is a great way to stop accidents happening and make life easier for yourself, if your mobility does begin to decline.
If you’re looking to the future and thinking about how to ensure your bathroom will be safe and easy to use later in life, this is again a good consideration.
Consulting mobility specialists
When adapting your bathroom, it doesn’t have to be particularly complicated, it’s a great idea to get guidance from a registered occupational therapist prior and during the planning process. The Centre for Accessible Environments, is the UK’s leading authority on inclusive design and can also give practical design and building advice.
Key Beneficial factors:
Soothe Muscles and Joints
Walk-in baths can be equipped with water and air jets for optional relaxation techniques. Moreover, water jets can provide a deep massage experience by targeting specific areas of the body. Air jets let out tiny bubbles, which provide you with a gentle massage all over the body. User preferences for the air and water jets can be set by using controls on the bath. The use of a walk-in bath is a great option for people who experience back pain, arthritis, and other muscle or joint pain.
Warm water in the bath can improve circulation. This happens by opening capillaries that are near the surface of the skin. This will end in improved oxygenation and blood flow that will help remove toxins, increase metabolic functions, and can even aid in digestion.
Getting a good rest is hard when your body is in pain. A warm soak provides you with a home remedy to aid and decrease muscle tension while soothing the body. The result is getting a good night’s rest as the increase in body temperature means most people get to sleep quicker.
Walk-in baths can be provided in lots of sizes and types. So there will definitely be one to suit the design and overall appearance of your bathroom.
Soaking in a warm tub is an ideal way to relieve stress, and with a walk-in bath you can select if you would like to sit or lie down, increasing your options and choosing which is more comfortable and appropriate to you.
If you choose a walk-in bath with air jets, the circulation of tiny bubbles also helps to decrease stress. This reduction happens because the action of the bubbles starts to release endorphins in the body.
Endorphins are found in the body and help to counter the unhealthy effects of stress. Headache pain is also decreased when a person is relaxing in their walk-in bath. The goal is to have the body unwind on its own.
Relaxing is not the only benefit of a walk-in bath. They can even be installed with shower systems which can be hand-held or wall-mounted. This means a person can enjoy the benefits of a shower while sitting down or standing depending on the preferences and needs of the users. Walking into a bath will then be just like walking into a shower.
Lots of people who get older or have a disability, might not be able to get into a traditional bath. Adding a walk-in bath to a bathroom is an fitting solution for anyone with mobility problems. Walk-in baths have textured floors which are anti-slip, grab rails, low thresholds, comfortable seating, and controls that are simple to use.
Buying a suitable bath for your needs
If you find it difficult to get into and out of the bath, but still want to have relaxing bathing experiences in the bath, there are plenty of alternative types of baths that could support you too:
Walk-in baths have a door built into the side of the bath, so you don’t have to haul your body over and risk a fall. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, from short walk-in baths with a small door, designed for sitting in, to long baths with a whole side panel that opens out, suitable for those who like a long soak lying down.
You may need to consider, with a walk-in bath, that you have to get inside before you start running the water. You therefore need to ensure your bathroom is kept at a warm temperature, so you don’t get cold while waiting for the bath to fill. You also have to wait until the water has drained away before opening the door to get out. Many use this time to dry off the top half of their body, towelling off inside rather than outside the bath.
Baths with a built-in seat
These baths often have a seat moulded into the bath itself, at the opposite end to the taps. They have the same purpose as portable bath lifts permitting you to sit half-immersed in the bath, but also have the added advantage of not appearing institutional and of not having a max weight capacity.
Baths with integral seats are arguably more comfortable than portable bath seats, as the latter normally have drainage holes or slats. Many have cutaway seats that allow easy access to clean more intimate areas.
As with portable bath lifts, you will still require some arm strength to move from the seat into the bath itself and to get out of the bath but less than a standard bath model. These baths aren’t really suitable for reclining, as the seat position gets in the way. In summary, this compact bath type is a good halfway house to get the benefits of a restoring soak without the physical requirements of a standard bath.
If you find it difficult to climb over the rim of your bath, and don’t mind the water being shallow, consider a bath option that is lower than the standard height. This could still require some agility and strength, but less than with standard-sized baths. Perhaps a better answer for people who don’t foresee any further diminution of their physical capacity. They are not commonplace however and may require a bit of a research to find an adequate supplier.
Bespoke Bathing – We are Your Local Bathroom Fitters who Create Walk-in Bathrooms and Easy Access Showers
Here at Bespoke Bathing, we know that there really is nothing quite like the joy of a relaxing long soak in a calming bath. Sadly, this is something many of us take for granted and something that is highly challenging for those living with disabilities or mobility issues. Bespoke Bathing can help you get back your independence. You can enjoy all that your bathroom has to offer with our great range of walk-in baths. You can opt from a wide selection of walk-in baths and add your own personal touches to the final design. We’ll ensure your bathroom reflects your needs and suits your home perfectly. All of our baths are made in the UK, are equipped with low-level easy access and anti-slip seating and standing areas. To organise a free quote and survey at your home, contact the team at Bespoke Bathing.
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If you would like just advice on a new easy-access bathroom or to arrange a home survey with a local Bespoke Bathing representative, then please call our team between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 1695 526 or email us for a brochure here.
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