Bathing options for the disabled and handicapped

Published: 19th December 2011
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Bathing options for the disabled may seem quite limited, depending on their disability of course. Some canít use showers as they canít stand or canít stand for long, others struggle with getting in and out of a standard bath but many disabilities and other handicaps mean people canít use either.

Problems such as Arthritis and other types of rheumatism can make standing in a shower an unpleasant experience that must be rushed. Even then if you are having a shower and have mobility problems washing yourself all over while balancing can be very difficult. Once you are in a bath it can be much easier to use and wash yourself and it can even be very relaxing and beneficial to those with joint and rheumatism problems. Unfortunately a bath is basically at ground level and has a high side you must climb over: this makes it difficult for anyone, even someone with a little lower back pain as their only complaint may be either unable to get into a bath, unable to do it without severe pain or in some cases able to get into a bath but unable to get out of it again.

If you are getting older or are disabled you probably feel you have lost a lot of your freedom and even a lot of your self respect, having to rely on someone else to help you wash will do this even more so if there is a way to keep your independence you should and there are accessible baths and showers designed for people with problems. This doesnít just mean a bath with a seat or which is a little higher either, these are showers and baths designed so that if you can get in and out of a chair you can use them, even if you can only get from a wheelchair to an adjacent chair then you can use them.

As a wheelchair user especially you may assume that you are going to have to use help to wash, you can though use an easy access shower that in some cases you wonít have to leave your wheelchair for. You may have a chair especially for using in the shower as well and this at least means you can get yourself into the shower and enjoy it for as long as you want. Easy access showers as well as being able to roll a wheelchair into may also have fold down seats to use while showering: the choice is yours. If you can stand but struggle with steps you may just want a shower that has no steps to get into and has a good grip on the floor to avoid the chance of any falls but if you struggle to stand for long you may want a chair so you can sit down when you need to and it makes washing legs and feet also easier.

Still you may be more of a fan of baths than showers and baths are great places to relax, a bath can be walked into and include a raised seat that is easy to get into and out of and may be designed so you can move across easily from a wheelchair directly to the seat.



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