For the elderly and for people with disabilities, standard bathtubs can pose a dangerous risk of a fall injury. Fortunately, there are several add-ons that can greatly reduce the risk of a fall while someone is using a bathtub or shower. Here are three bathtub safety add-ons for people with impaired mobility.
Non-slip mats are one of the best ways of preventing falls in a bathtub or shower and are often a wise investment for people with no mobility issues at all. These mats provide much better traction than the slippery floor of a wet bathtub, giving you a safe surface to stand on while using your shower or stepping into and out of the tub.
Non-slip mats are available in a wide variety of styles and can be made from several different materials. If you or other members of your family have serious latex allergies, it may be a good idea to look for a non-slip mat that is made of 100% rubber or vinyl. The best non-slip mats will be anti-bacterial to prevent the growth of mold and mildew and will cover most of the bottom surface of the tub or shower.
Bathtub safety rails, sometimes known as "grab bars," can be the most important safety add-on for preventing an injury if you start to fall. Some safety rails can be clamped onto the edges of a bathtub, where they are meant to provide support while you are climbing into and out of the tub. Safety rails can also be drilled into the walls by your bathtub to keep you steady while you are standing.
It is a good idea that you look for safety rails with a textured or brushed finish to provide a better grip. If you are looking to install safety rails in the walls, you should check the weight capacity of the rails you choose before installing them. You should choose rails that can support at least your body weight if the rails are meant to prevent a fall injury.
Step-Through Conversion Kits
One of the most challenging aspects of a bathtub for people with impaired mobility is stepping over the side of the tub when climbing in. The best way to solve this problem is having a step-through bathtub conversion kit installed on your tub. These kits are installed by cutting through the side of the tub and covering the sharp edges with a plastic panel. Many of these kits also have a door so you can still fill the tub for a bath. Being able to step into your tub instead of climbing over the edge will greatly reduce the risk of a fall.
Your bathtub does not have to be a dangerous place if you or a family member has a disability that reduces your mobility. Use these tips to enhance the safety of your tub and avoid an unnecessary fall injury.