Bathroom Chair. Waking up in the middle of the night and feeling the need to use the bathroom can be irritating; more so if you have mobility restrictions. Getting out of bed, walking to your destination, doing your thing, and returning to your bed is cumbersome and very inconvenient. For elders and disabled, aside from waking up other members of the family, going to the bathroom poses some life-threatening risks. What would happen if the person accidentally slips while in the bathroom? If the person lives alone, would help immediately arrive?
Fortunately, you do not have to worry about your elders going through these terrifying experiences. Recent technologies have created various independent living products that allow elders, disabled, and people with mobility problems to move safely and comfortably with little or almost no assistance needed.
Bedside commode or commode chair is an independent living medical equipment that provides assistance in the bathroom. For seniors, owning a commode chair can be particularly helpful especially if they are already weak and unstable. For the disabled, it provides convenience since they do not have to move farther and experience discomfort. People who have problems with their balance and movement are often at risk of falling in the bathroom due to their condition. Damp bathroom floors also contribute to this risk. More often, because of fear of falling, people with mobility problems become very frightened to use the bathroom by themselves.
Family members need to understand why elders and disabled become frightened of bathrooms. If you ever experienced falling, you should know how it feels to be helpless. Statistics reveal that falls are the number one reason of death from injury in the US. In nursing homes, half of the elders experience falls annually.
Commode chairs reduce the possibility of falling since they make it easier for the elders to get on and off the toilet. Some bedside commodes function as portable toilets, with detachable pails, to reduce the user’s trips to the toilet.
Bedside commode for handicapped creates a feeling of security and self-reliance. Similar to a standard composite 3-in-1 commode, it can easily be converted from a portable toilet to a chair set above a toilet bowl to a raised toilet seat. You do not have to worry placing it by the bed because it has a seat cover for hygienic purposes. The backrest is removable for added versatility. It looks like a child’s chair upon first impression but its mono-block form is very sturdy, it will not even corrode. Commode bucket, lid, and splash guards are also included as additional feature.
The commode is adjustable to accommodate user’s height. Sturdy and very stylish, users find it comfortable to sit on. If not in use, you can just close the lid and it turns into a normal chair for the bedroom. Even children can use the bedside commode as a potty trainer. Toddlers will enjoy using this commode chair because it does not feel as cold as the regular toilet. It also has stable arms for supporting the user.
For anyone who has mobility difficulties the bathroom can be the most challenging and hazardous room in the house. Everybody needs to use the facilities of a bathroom, often multiple times each day. This can be for washing, grooming and bodily functions, so this room must be accessible and safe.
The hazards of a bathroom – the challenge
A bathroom poses a number of challenges for anyone who has difficulty getting around. The first is the hard floor surface which can get slippery when wet and that offer little in the way of padding in the event of a fall.
The second is the difficulty in using facilities like the toilet, bath, shower and washbasin. All of these utilities require the user to stand, bend, crouch, lower themselves, or use a combination of these movements and actions.
The third is often a result of the previous two, namely the need for support or something to hold on to. A bathroom will usually have smooth tiled walls that provide little in the way of reassuring support or something that can be grabbed at if balance is lost.
Although all of the previously outlined hazards may sound intimidating, they can all be addressed with what in many cases are simple modifications.
Safer bathroom floors
Hard floor surfaces can be made softer and have their “slippery when wet” characteristic corrected by using special bathroom matting. This matting does not slip on a shiny floor, nor does it become hazardous when wet. This means that, even with water spills from a bath or shower, the footing will be firm and secure.
Bathroom matting has a further benefit, i.e. its thickness and impact absorbent padding. This provides a much softer surface on which to fall, which in turn reduces the occurrence of injuries. The matting also has a soft warm feel under foot.
Making facilities accessible
Adding a general purpose bathroom chair can make tasks like brushing teeth and washing much easier. Washbasins are designed for someone to crouch over, but this is difficult for many people. Having a lightweight rubber footed waterproof (all purpose) bathroom chair can make these tasks much simpler. Why stand or bend over when you can sit down.
Similar chairs can be used within showers and special “fold away” shower chairs can be fitted into a shower cubicle and folded flat against the shower wall when not in use.
Special bath lifts can be fitted into a bath that use motors to lower a bather into an already full bath. Walk-in door baths, that have a side door, can replace a standard bath and give simple access to a bath without the need to climb over the bath tub’s top ledge.
Toilets can have special motorised lift and tilt seats that raise and lower the person into position and then return them to a near standing posture. “High seat” toilet seats can also be added to standard toilets to elevate the level of the seat, thereby making it easier to sit down and stand up. Toilets can even be raised on elevator plinths – as can washbasins.
Something to hold on to
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to make a bathroom safer for the mobility challenged person is to add rails and grab handles. These important aids can be fitted in strategic locations within a bathroom, e.g. by the door, adjacent to a toilet or wash basin and within a shower.
Many rails need to be screwed and fixed, but special lever release grab rails can be used when required and then removed without leaving any traces of their use.
There are many variations on the aids described above and you can find extensive information about making your bathroom more accessible to someone facing mobility challenges at [http://www.healthandmobilitystore.com/bathroom-aids.html].
Other solutions include bath hoists, bath steps, toilet lifters and a range of different cushions that can be used to lie on or rest on whilst taking a bath. There are even special toilets that wash and dry the user without the need for toilet paper or a carer’s assistance etc.
When it comes to washing, some showers even have warm air driers that see you leave the shower cubicle without the need to dry off, i.e. no need to use a towel. Ultimately, there is an aid or facility that can assist or help in the performance of most bathroom tasks.
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