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Bathroom accessories

Bathroom Accessories Panel

Maintaining a safe and enjoyable bathing routine is essential for personal hygiene and well-being, especially as we age. However, navigating the bathroom can become challenging with age-related changes in mobility or balance.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Slippery surfaces: Increased risk of falls in the shower or bath.

This can lead to injury, loss of confidence, and a potential fear of bathing.

Bath mats and shower grab bars: Provide additional grip and support to prevent slips and falls.

Difficulty reaching bathing essentials: Struggling to reach shampoo, soap, or washcloths.

This can lead to frustration and the potential for falling while reaching for items.

Shower caddies and bath benches: Organise toiletries within easy reach and offer a convenient spot to place bathing essentials.

Limited mobility: Difficulty washing hard-to-reach areas like your back or feet.

This can lead to uncomfortable or incomplete bathing, potentially leading to hygiene issues.

Long-handled bath sponges and shower brushes: Extend your reach for thorough and effortless bathing.

Difficulty standing for extended periods: Fatigue or discomfort while showering.

This can lead to Decreased enjoyment of bathing and potential falls

Shower chairs and bath seats: Provide a safe and comfortable place to sit while bathing.

 

Common challenges faced in the bathroom

Here are some common issues that can make bathing less safe or enjoyable:

  • Slippery surfaces: The smooth surfaces of bathtubs and shower floors can be a significant fall risk, especially for those with balance problems.
  • Difficulty reaching essentials: Reaching for shampoo, soap, or washcloths on high shelves can be challenging and lead to overexertion or falls.
  • Limited mobility: Washing hard-to-reach areas like your back or feet can become difficult with reduced mobility.
  • Difficulty standing for long periods: Fatigue or discomfort while showering can make bathing less enjoyable and potentially lead to falls.

Equipment and aids to help you in the bathroom

Here's a breakdown of some key bathroom accessories that can address these challenges and enhance your bathing experience:

Non-slip surfaces

  • Bath mats: Invest in a high-quality bath mat with a non-slip backing to prevent slipping when stepping out of the shower or bath. Choose one with a textured surface for added traction.
  • Shower grab bars: Install sturdy grab bars strategically placed inside the shower and next to the bathtub for additional support when entering, exiting, or manoeuvring within the shower or bath.

Accessibility and organisation

  • Shower caddies: These wall-mounted or hanging shelves keep your toiletries within easy reach, eliminating the need to stretch or bend for shampoo or soap.
  • Shower organisers: Utilise shower caddies with multiple compartments or hanging pockets to keep all your bathing essentials organised and readily accessible.
  • Bath benches: Provide a comfortable and secure seat for bathing, especially helpful for those with limited mobility or difficulty standing for extended periods. Choose a bench with a non-slip surface and drainage holes to prevent water pooling.

Enhanced bathing tools

  • Long-handled bath sponges: These extend your reach for thorough cleansing of your back, legs, and other hard-to-reach areas without uncomfortable stretching or bending.
  • Long-handled shower brushes: Similar to bath sponges, these brushes help clean your back and other areas with ease while maintaining a comfortable upright position.
  • Handheld shower heads: Offer greater control over water flow and direction, making it easier to rinse shampoo and soap and target specific areas during bathing.

Choosing the right bathroom accessories

When selecting bathroom accessories, consider your specific needs and preferences. Here are some additional tips:

  • Safety first: Non-slip mats and grab bars are crucial for creating a safe bathing environment.
  • Comfort and functionality: Choose accessories that are comfortable to use and make bathing easier and more enjoyable.
  • Durability and quality: Invest in well-made accessories from reputable brands to ensure they last and provide reliable support.
  • Personal style: Look for bathroom accessories that complement your existing bathroom decor and enhance the overall aesthetic.

Additional things to consider

  • Installation: Some grab bars and other accessories require drilling for installation. Consider your DIY skills or seek assistance if needed.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean and disinfect your bathroom accessories, especially bath mats and shower caddies, to prevent mildew and bacteria growth.

Where to buy equipment to help you in the bathroom

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

 


 

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