Far from being a sign that you are losing your independence, disabled washing aids in fact, can mean quite the opposite. For people living with a disability, the simple task of washing can be a challenge, yet feeling safe while you bathe is very important.
Daily living aids, including disabled washing aids, can help people become more confident at being alone, enhance independence and simply make life easier.
Fortunately, there are several disabled washing aids available to those who have reduced mobility and dexterity. They provide physical support and peace of mind, which makes these washing aids a small adjustment with life-changing effects.
To help you choose, we have put together a guide to our top washing aids for people with disabilities.
1. Non-Slip Bath Discs
You have probably heard of a bathmat, but bath discs go one step further. Non-slip bath discs usually come as individual adhesive circles on a roll, for ease of application and use.
They provide a convenient, effective, and stylish way of applying a non-slip surface to your bath without ruining the aesthetic of your home décor. Unlike a normal bath mat, which has the prospect of moving or causing you to feel unstable, once stuck down, non-slip bath discs remain in place.
These discs are also comfortable, non-abrasive and will not irritate your bare skin. They’re also super hygienic. You clean them alongside your bath and due to the lack of extreme textures, they will not harbor bacteria like a regular bath mat, making cleaning quick and easy.
2. Hair Washing Aids
There’s nothing better than the feeling of freshly washed hair and fortunately there are some great hair washing aids available. Washing trays and portable basins can make the difficult task of washing your hair whilst in your wheelchair much more pleasant.
The trays have raised edges allowing the user to have their hair washed by a carer or loved-one whilst lying down. They also provide great neck support, so you feel comfortable yet pampered.
If you need a little extra support washing your hair independently, then a long-handled hair washer could be the game-changing solution you are looking for. Helping to increase your reach and massage shampoo into your scalp, this hair washing aid allows the user to wash their hair with greater ease.
3. Shower or Bath Stools
When you live with physical limitations, daily tasks like getting in and out of a bath or standing upright and washing yourself in the shower might be difficult to do. Shower or bath stools are a great disabled washing aid to use as they can support the body whilst conserving your energy when you wash.
When you use a shower stool or bath stool, it increases your safety by providing you with a secure area within a potentially slippery zone, limiting your chance of falling.
Whether you use a wheelchair or find excessive movement tiring or difficult, then bath and shower stools offer a useful and simple solution. A little independence can go a long way and this is especially true if you’re in pain.
You can finally relax in the bath or shower and let the warm water ease your joints and muscles with a tiny addition to your bathroom.
4. Long handled washing devices
Another simple and cheap addition to your independence toolkit has to be a long-handled washing device. Designed to help people with flexibility issues to wash with minimum strain and maximum ease, you can find a range of long-handled washing aids including sponges and scrubbing brushes.
A long-handled back sponge is particularly useful for the elderly or for people who find it difficult to reach over their shoulders, however there are also aids available to help with hair washing too.
Using one couldn’t be simpler. It helps you clean your body without the need for bending and stretching, making it ideal for those suffering from joint pain and stiffness.
5. Tap Turners
Painful or weak wrists caused by conditions like arthritis and other mobility issues can make gripping and turning taps a challenge, and let’s face it, we need to turn taps several times a day!
Tap turners offer helpful assistance by attaching to the tap and providing a secure grip, meaning you can turn them on and off with ease. Although there are many different styles of tap turners, most feature comfort grips to further enhance the ease of use.
This accessible aid is also kind to pockets, making a difference to your daily life for just a small price between £5 to £20. There is also no formal installation required which means you can buy and fit them yourself with immediate benefit.
6. Bath Lifts
There’s nothing quite like relaxing in a warm bath, especially when you experience chronic pain and aching muscles and joints. Add the stress relieving benefits, then it’s not surprising many people with disabilities like to use a bath as part of their weekly routine. Bath lifts provide a safe option for bathing for those with limited mobility.
Available in a range of designs and sizes, bath lifts are typically battery operated using a remote for the person in control to gently lower and raise you in and out of the bath.
They promote a great sense of independence and access to bathing and personal care, which is so important to so many with disabilities, especially if they have previously relied on a loved one or carer.
7. Grab Rails
One of the easiest and most helpful disabled washing aids are suction grab rails. Designed to fix easily onto a tiled wall, grab rails are a simple solution to provide support when bathing or showering.
They also make a great travel companion as their suction fixture means you can easily take them to a different location or to simply move them around your own home.
Available in a range of sizes, shapes and colours, these bathing aids are a cheap and easy option for those looking to prevent falls and provide extra confidence and independence when washing.
8. Walk-in baths or showers
You may love a refreshing shower or the pain-relieving benefits of a warm bath, but whichever is your preferred method of washing, there is a more permanent solution to make it accessible and safe.
Walk-in showers or wet rooms come with supportive features such as fold-away seats, built-in grab rails, easy temperature control systems and non-trip shower trays. This low or no-threshold tray makes getting in and out of the shower much safer and easier.
Walk-in baths are specifically designed to make the bathing experience much better for people with disabilities or low mobility. They offer an easy entry point with a low threshold as well as grab rails and seats for bathing. Walk-in baths often have non-slip flooring already in place to minimise the risk of slipping, making having a bath much more manageable and relaxing. Many designs are also very stylish which can add to the aesthetic of your bathroom rather than feel too clinical.
Whether you opt for quick fixes or more permanent changes to your bathroom, finding a way to wash and bathe where you feel confident, comfortable and safe that suits your personal needs and taste is one of the best routes to gaining your independence.