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Bathroom technology and gadgets

Bathroom Technology And Gadgets Panel

The bathroom, while essential, can also pose safety challenges for older adults living independently.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Slippery surfaces: Wet floors and bathtubs can increase the risk of falls.

This can lead to injuries from falls, a fear of using the bathroom, and reduced independence.

Smart mats: These mats detect moisture and send alerts for potential slip hazards. 

Non-slip surfaces: Opt for non-slip bath mats and shower mats.

Difficulty with temperature control: Difficulty adjusting water temperature can lead to scalding or discomfort.

This can lead to burns and discomfort during bathing. 

Thermostatic shower valves: These valves automatically maintain a set water temperature, preventing scalding. 

Smart shower systems: Control shower temperature remotely using voice commands or a smartphone app.

Limited mobility: Difficulty reaching objects or navigating the bathroom can hinder independence.

This can lead to Difficulty completing daily tasks and increased reliance on others

Voice-activated devices: Control lighting, temperature, or even call for assistance using voice commands. 

Motion-sensor lighting: Lights turn on automatically with movement, eliminating the need to reach for switches.


Common safety concerns in the bathroom

  • Slippery surfaces: Wet floors and bathtubs are leading causes of bathroom falls for older adults. This can lead to serious injuries, fear of using the bathroom, and a decline in independence.
  • Difficulty with temperature control: Difficulty adjusting water temperature, especially in showers, can lead to scalding or discomfort. This is a particular concern for individuals with limited dexterity or reduced sensation in their hands.
  • Limited mobility: Reaching for objects on shelves, getting in and out of the shower, or navigating around the bathroom can become challenging for individuals with limited mobility, hindering their ability to complete daily tasks independently.

Equipment and aids to help you use the bathroom

  • Smart mats: These intelligent mats detect moisture on the bathroom floor and send alerts to your smartphone or trigger alarms, notifying you of potential slip hazards.
  • Non-slip surfaces: Invest in high-quality, non-slip bath mats and shower mats with a textured surface to improve traction and reduce the risk of slipping.
  • Thermostatic shower valves: These valves automatically regulate the water temperature, preventing accidental scalding and ensuring a consistent, comfortable showering experience.
  • Smart shower systems: Take temperature control to the next level with smart shower systems. These systems allow you to adjust the temperature remotely using voice commands or a smartphone app, eliminating the need to reach for knobs or levers.
  • Voice-activated devices: Smart speakers and voice assistants offer hands-free control over various aspects of your bathroom. You can use voice commands to turn on lights, adjust the thermostat, or even call for help if needed.
  • Motion-sensor lighting: Eliminate the need to fumble for light switches in the dark. Motion-sensor lights automatically turn on when they detect movement, providing illumination and reducing the risk of tripping in low-light conditions.

Additional things to consider

  • Ease of use: When choosing technology for your bathroom, prioritise user-friendliness. Opt for devices with clear instructions, large buttons, and voice-activated options if needed.
  • Compatibility: Ensure any smart devices you choose are compatible with your existing home network and other smart home devices you may have.
  • Professional installation: Consider seeking professional assistance for installing certain devices, such as thermostatic shower valves, to ensure proper functionality and safety.

Where to buy equipment and technology 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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