How to choose the right bath seat
One of the most common places places to fall in your house is the bathroom, something which older people in particular need to prevent as falls can often lead to more complicated health issues. Below you'll find some ideas and advice on how you can help prevent slips and trips when bathing by choosing the right bath seat to suit your needs.
What is a bath seat?
There are three main types of seats to help you use the bath:
- A bath seat sits inside the bath and enables you to sit on a raised surface to wash without getting down to the very bottom of the tub
- A bath board enables you to sit over the bath and use an over bath shower. It can also be used to lower yourself onto a bath seat and wash
- A swivel bather sits over the bath. It swivels round to help get your legs over the side of the bath and enables you to sit and use an over bath shower
Why would you need a bath seat?
If you, or someone you care for, are starting to feel a little unsafe when getting in and out of the tub you may want to think about trying a bath seat.
You may be feeling unstable for a number of reasons including:
- Pain or weakness in your legs
- Back pain
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Pain or weakness in your shoulders and upper body
- Needing, or just had, a hip or knee replacement
What not to do
It is really important you don’t use a stool or other item designed for different purposes, such as a kitchen stool or a child’s step, as a bath seat. These items are not safe to use in the bath – they could be very slippery, they won’t sit flat on the bottom of the tub and they aren’t guaranteed to have non-slip feet. They could also cause damage to your bath.
Which bath seat is right for you?
If you can step into the bath but find it hard to lower yourself down to the bottom and lift yourself back up again, it’s worth trying out a bath seat. These generally sit at between 6-12" from the bottom of the bath which allows you to sit in the water and wash but not worry about getting stuck. You will need some upper body strength to help you rise out of the bath, but a grab rail (link needed) could easily help you with this.
Main features of a bath seat:
- Simple to fit and remove (usually suctions onto the bottom of the tub) so other people can use the bath
- You will need some upper body strength to help you push up out of the bath
- Can be used with a bathboard for people who have difficulty stepping into bath but have the upper body strength to lower / raise themselves in and out
If you find it difficult to step over and into the bath you may find it easier to use a bathboard. They provide a seat surface on which you can sit and swing your legs into the bath. Good sitting balance is required to use a bathboard - a grab rail can assist with this.
Main features of a bathboard:
- Easy to fit
- Various sizes available to fit the width of your bath
- Easily removed so that the bath can still be used by other people
- Can be used with an over-bath shower
- Can be used with a bath seat if you wish to get into the water
Swivel Bath Seat
This is a seat which fits over your bath. The seat has a swivel action which, when released, can help you to lift your legs over the side without losing sitting balance.
Main features of a swivel bath seat:
- Easy to fit, with adjustable width
- Supports your back whilst swivelling and lifting your legs over the side of the bath
- Can be used with an over-bath shower
- Corner bath options available
Remember – a suitable piece of bathing equipment may save you the cost of expensive bathroom alterations.
A grab rail can be used with all of the bath seat options to give extra support, making you feel safer.
- Several styles available
- Some are disguised as stylish bathroom accessories
What other bath accessories are available?
- Long handled sponges will make it easier to reach your lower limbs or back
- Bath steps will make it easier to sit on the bath board or swivel bath seat and also simplify climbing in to the bath
- Non slip mats
- Tap turners can be fitted to the taps on your sink or bath to make them easier to turn
- Magiplugs are an easy-to-use safety device, which prevent flooding by releasing the plug if there is too much weight from the water. They also change colour to indicate when the water in your bath is too warm
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- April 2nd 2019