If you suffer from a disability that affects your hips and back muscles, using the bathroom facilities can be difficult and potentially unsafe. Fortunately, equipment and aids are available to help you use the bathroom without putting you at risk for falls and injuries. Here is some information on using the bathroom if you have hip and mobility issues as well as certain types of equipment that can help.
Use Non-Slip Mats
One of the easiest adjustments you can make in your bathroom is to remove any rugs that don’t have a non-slip backing and replace them with those that do. Also, use rubber mats inside the bathtub or shower area to reduce slippage in that area.
Install a Grab Bar
Grab bars help you keep your balance when you get in and out of the shower or bath and give you something to grab if you start to fall. You can also install grab bars near your toilet to assist you when you get up from a seated position. Never rely on your towel bars, as these aren’t designed to support a person’s weight.
Sit Instead of Stand
If you have a mobility or hip issue, then you should sit in the shower rather than stand. However, don’t sit on the shower floor, as you will have difficulty when you need to get up. Instead, use a shower chair or stool. You can choose from chairs or stools with backs as well as handrails for added comfort and ease when you are done.
Place a Transfer Bench
Transfer benches are long benches that are placed over the edge of your tub. You simply sit and slide over from outside to the inside your tub. You can buy one with a fully-padded seat, a commode, or a simple wooden board. These devices eliminate the need to step over the tub’s edge. Transfer benches also work well as shower chairs.
Raise Your Toilet Seat
You can raise your toilet seat with an additional extension to your existing toilet seat. This extension makes getting up from the toilet easier. Thickly padded toilet seats are also available that can cushion your hip bones as well as raise your position. Use a raised toilet seat in combination with a grab bar for added stability.
Keep Toiletries Nearby
To reduce the chance of over-reaching for supplies while on the toilet or in the tub, keep them at close reach. You may wish to install soap and shampoo dispensers or shower racks to reduce the need for bending over to pick up these items and losing your balance.
Install Safety Lighting
Make sure you bathroom, as well as the path leading to it, has adequate lighting. You can use night lights as well as special stick-on lights to make navigating to the bathroom in the middle of the night easier. If possible, try using an illuminated light switch so that you are not fumbling around in the dark to turn on the lights.
Consider Bathroom Remodeling
If you own your own residence, then you may want to do a full bathroom makeover which can include some of the safety items listed above. For example, you can change your traditional tub into a walk-in tub or shower with grab bars and non-slip mats. You can also raise your toilet paper dispenser to accommodate your raised toilet.
If you find that using the bathroom is a struggle, then you consider making adjustments to lower the risk of an accident or injury. Corner Home Medical sells many of these products as well as other bathroom-related items to make life in your home easier Visit our website, send us an email, or call us to see what we have to offer.