Personal hygiene is vital for both physical and mental health. When an individual has mobility limitations, it can be difficult to use a traditional bath or shower without a lot of help. However, the person providing that help is at risk of being injured. Assisting with bathing places a lot of strain on the caregiver’s body and can result in musculoskeletal injuries such as back strains. Assisting with bathing can involve bending at awkward angles and even slipping on a wet floor. When someone needs two or more people to lift them in and out of a bath, it also compromises the privacy and dignity of the individual and this can adversely affect their well-being.
Sadly, bathrooms can be the most dangerous room in the house for people with mobility difficulties. Bathrooms are a common area for falls to happen. Also, research has concluded that falls in the bathroom were twice as likely to result in an injury than a fall in the living room.
Bathroom safety clearly needs to be a priority and a bath lift can help with this. These devices are essentially a battery powered chair that lowers into a bath and are a very popular mobility aid. Here are the top 5 benefits of installing a bath lift chair in your home.
#1 They are a cost-effective option
Bathrooms can be adapted to suit the needs of someone with mobility issues but this is very expensive and disruptive. You may need to remove your current bathroom fittings and install a wet room. That involves a lot of structural work and is both a nuisance and expensive.
You could also install a walk-in bath that has a removable side panel. However, this specialist equipment is very expensive and needs a large space to accommodate it. Overall, a bath lift chair is cheaper and a lot less hassle than the alternatives.
#2 They encourage independence
It is vital to retain a sense of independence for as long as possible. It increases self-esteem and contributes to a sense of well-being. This has a knock-on effect on both mental and physical health.
Some bath chairs are electrically operated and can be used by an individual with the assistance of one care giver. This allows you to take a bath whenever they like and stay in there as long as they want. It can allow you to remain in your own home whilst still protecting your safety. Extra safety features such as lap belts are provided to cut down the risk of injury.
#3 They are easy to install
Anyone who has had bathroom alterations carried out will know that there is a lot of pipework involved. Fitting a new type of bath is rarely straightforward and can involve a lot of hassle and mess. There may be several days when you cannot use the bathroom at all and your water supply may have to be cut off for a while.
A bath lift chair is simple and quick to install next to the bath. It can be ready for you to try out on the same day and takes up a surprisingly small space in the bathroom.
#4 They are comfortable, hygienic and durable
Baths are not just about keeping clean. They are also a pleasurable experience that can help to relax you and make you feel more content. The more comfortable you are in the bath, the better. Bath lifts are designed with your comfort in mind.
They lower and raise you gradually and many have additional features to add to your comfort. You may want to choose a model with a reclining and/or padded backrest, arm rests or a front cut-out in the seat. If you have more challenging bathing needs, you could have a stretcher base.
One of the main advantages compared to a walk-in bath is that you are lowered into warm water. You do not have to sit in a bath waiting for the water to fill up. Many people find this a more pleasant bathing experience.
Bath rests are made of durable materials that can be wiped down easily and can stand up to the challenging and moist environment in a bathroom.
#5 They are easy to operate
Devices that assist you with bathing must be simple and easy to operate. They should require very little effort from the user or from the caregiver. Bath chairs have several features to achieve this. You can choose from a manually or battery-operated lift (these have a battery powered hand control) and some come with swivel wheels for accurate positioning.
You could also select the commode chair option if you need help with toileting. This gives you an integrated system to ensure your safety when in the bathroom.