What kind of mobility aid do I need?

What kind of mobility aid do I need?

Elderly man reading newspaper

If you have been experiencing mobility challenges, you may be in the process of choosing a mobility aid. Introducing a mobility aid to your daily routine can be a fantastic way to increase your independence and add a bit of comfort as you are going about your daily business.

However, choosing a mobility aid can require some consideration. There are many options to choose from, and which one is right for you will depend on your specific mobility struggles as well as the demands of your lifestyle.

Luckily, here at Mobility Plus we have plenty of expertise in helping individuals choose the right mobility aid for their needs. Keep reading to learn more about the choices available and find out which mobility aid is right for you.

Canes
The first port of call for more mild mobility issues will be a cane. Using a cane can provide you with an additional point of support, which can hold up to 25 percent of a person’s body weight.

Using a cane is a great way to increase your stability, particularly if you have one leg that is weaker than the other. If you still want to walk around, but need a little extra support, a cane is perfect for you. However, using one does require a little strength in your hand and arm to grip.

There are different options here – if your grip is weaker, you can opt for a horizontal grip cane. Some canes also have a quad base, allowing them to stand upright when not in use. This can be handy in that you don’t have to balance the cane, but it will be a little heavier to carry.

Walkers and Rollators
If you are looking for a little extra support, a walker or rollator might be for you. A walker has two or four legs, and can support up to 50 percent of body weight. However, the walker must be lifted each time you take a step, requiring more hand and arm strength than a cane.

If this is not a viable option, you could consider a wheeled walker – also called a rollator. These have several wheels on the bottom of the legs and can be pushed along as you walk, rather than being lifted with each step. This makes manoeuvres easier and less tiring. However, if you have balance issues, the wheels may not provide enough stability for your needs.

Power Scooters
For those who are finding it difficult to walk long distances, a power scooter might be a better option. There are various models available, both for indoor and outdoor use, as well as lightweight or heavy-duty models.

Using a power scooter can be much less tiring than walking, however you will need some dexterity to operate it, as well as being comfortable sitting upright for an extended period of time. If you have arthritis, for example, this may not be the best option for you.

Manual Wheelchairs
If you have trouble sitting upright or operating the machinery of a scooter, a manual wheelchair might be your best option. Those with strength in the arms will be able to push the wheels easily to get around the house, or otherwise a loved one will easily be able to push the chair from behind.

There are various models of manual wheelchairs available, all suiting different needs. For example, individuals with spinal cord injuries often opt for ultra-lightweight models. These allow for various adjustments, including armrests and a range of different tyres.

Power Wheelchairs
Finally, there are power wheelchairs. There are countless variants when it comes to power wheelchairs, all with different features such as front-wheel drive, independent suspension and so on.

A power wheelchair will allow you to move around indoors and outdoors without having to self-propel or be pushed. They are also typically more compact than a mobility scooter, making them easier to manoeuvre.

As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your mobility aid. If you would like specialist advice on choosing a model to suit your lifestyle, just give us a call on 0800 077 6393 and we will be happy to assist you.

Making your bathroom more accessible

Making your bathroom more accessible

Your bathroom may be the place you go to relax and unwind, but statistically it’s also one of the most dangerous rooms in the home.

Sleek surfaces may make cleaning that much easier, but they also act as potential slip hazard. Throw water into the equation and the risks are further increased, particularly for those with mobility issues.

As suppliers of walk-in showers, walk-in baths and wet rooms, here at Mobility Plus we’ve put together some ideas about how you can make your bathroom safer for you and your guests.

Grab rails

Easy to install and offering vital support in potential danger-zones, grab rails are something no bathroom should be without. We recommend that they are correctly fixed to the wall with screws, as they are far less likely to come away at the wrong moment. It’s also worth checking that the rails you buy are appropriate for the weight of the person using them.

Grab rails are most-often installed in showers. We recommend those with textured grips for extra purchase in a wet environment. However, if you don’t have a shower, we also supply a range of grab rails for baths, giving those with mobility issues extra security when getting in and out.

Bathroom furniture

High-pan toilets can make life much easier for those with mobility issues. The extra height makes it much easier to get on and off the toilet and is particularly helpful to wheelchair users.

However, if you do install a high-pan toilet, be sure to move your loo-roll holder to an accessible place that doesn’t require the user to twist or stretch. In the event that there’s no wall space available, a freestanding holder is easier to reach than one that’s fixed in an inconvenient location.

Shower seats are another indispensable piece of bathroom furniture. These can be fixed in place or you can choose from pull-down options to maximise space.

Non-slip surfaces

Many bathrooms have smooth, tiled floors, which become dangerously slippery when wet. We offer a range of bathroom flooring that offers all the aesthetics of standard bathroom flooring, but with subtle texturing to provide extra traction.

Non-slip mats are a good alternative, offering islands of safety. However, for floor-to-wall safety, non-slip bathroom flooring is the better option.

Showers

While many people are aware of the benefits of walk-in showers, the shower units themselves are often overlooked. At Mobility Plus, we offer a comprehensive range of showers, designed especially for those with disabilities or mobility problems. Thermostatic mixing showers are a superb way to prevent scalding. Mixing cold water with hot, they can be set to a specific temperature, ensuring that it is the same every time the shower is used. The temperature will remain constant, even when other appliances are used or the water pressure changes.

Our range of electric care showers are designed to make showering that much easier, sporting features such as raised, tactile symbols, audible flow and temperature indicators, and even rounded edges and surfaces for maximum safety. It’s even possible to buy electric care showers that can be operated through a smart device before you even get to your bathroom!

While the idea of making your bathroom more accessible might seem daunting, these are just a few of the solutions available. For more information and friendly advice, visit our website or give us a call. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be an accident waiting to happen; it can be a safe and secure environment in which you can relax.

Alternatives to using anti-slip bath mats

Alternatives to using anti-slip bath mats

anti-slip bath mats

In 2008, it was estimated by the Centre of Disease Control that around 21.8m people in the United States would have a non-fatal fall in the bathroom. Although this research is quite old, it does give an indicator of just how many people have falls in the bathroom each year.

While these falls are more manageable during younger years, once we enter the later period of our lives, these falls can become extremely dangerous.

Older people are also more likely to have falls, due to a combination of factors, including balance problems, muscle weakness, and poor vision. Long-term health conditions can also be factors.

In the UK, falls for people over the age of 75 are actually the most common cause of injury-related deaths, according to the NHS.

Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative to reduce the risk of falls where possible – including in the bathroom.

Slip-Resistant wet room flooring

One of the key ways that the risk of falls can be reduced, is by using slip-resistant materials in areas that get wet.

For example, if you have a wet room, always get this installed with slip-resistant wet room flooring (vinyl or tiled).

Specially made surfaces are designed to help you get more grip on the flooring, even when wet.

Slip-resistant flooring can be designed in a variety of ways, this can be done through acid etching, slip-resistant coatings, and other methods. Make sure you only use flooring that Is recommended for this specific use.

Can I get slip-resistant built into my bath?

Often, many bathroom companies will use slip-resistant materials when constructing bathroom products, as there is a higher risk of falls.

As slip-resistant surfaces in the bathroom are so important for everyone’s safety, not just the less mobile or elderly, they are regularly used as a base for baths and shower trays.

For example, our Hampton Elite bath features a slip resistant base, to help prevent against falls that might occur when entering or exiting the bathtub.

What’s the alternative?

The alternative, cheaper option, is to get an anti-slip bathmat for your shower or bath. These are typically made from rubber, with suction cups on the bottom, that help you grip to the bath or shower floor and prevent slipping.

Many people consider anti-slip bathmats to be a bit of eyesore. Many are not stylish and ruin the aesthetics of their bathroom. However, they are chosen for practicality and not for their looks. However, when it comes to anti-slip bathmats, there are things to look out for.

The ant-slip bathmats can quite easily collect dirt, grime and be difficult to keep clean in your bathroom. After a few months, this then will not come off, resulting in a permanently dirty bath mat. This can create something that is unclean and unhygienic.

Bath mats can also become loose, making them a trip hazard If not properly secured. Make sure you check the fitting regularly.

What are my options?

If you need a simple, quick fix, then an ant-slip bathmat is certainly an option. However, we would always suggest a more permanent solution if in the position to do so.

Getting a walk-in bath or walk-in shower with slip-resistant flooring will always be a great long-term solution for bathroom safety.

If you have any questions about our slip-resistant flooring and products, give us a call and we’ll be happy to go through any questions you have.

How to make the most out of your hydrotherapy spa

How to make the most out of your hydrotherapy spa

Hydrotherapy is an option that is available with our baths, such as the Hampton Elite walk-in bath, and is recommended for people who suffer with rheumatoid or joint-related issues.

But what is hydrotherapy? And how can you make the most of having it in your bath?

chromotherapy and hydro spa bath

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the technique of using water to treat different conditions, which can include arthritis and other joint-related conditions, as well as muscle tension.

Hydrotherapy has been around for hundreds of years and is involved in all sorts of traditional medicine practices. But how exactly does it work?

How does hydrotherapy work?

When undergoing hydrotherapy treatment, you can use either cold or warm water. Cold water is often used to stimulate and invigorate the body, increasing its internal activity.

On the opposite side, warm water is used to slow the body down. Warm water calms and soothes the body, allowing muscles to release any tension and ease joint paint.

At home, in our hydrotherapy-enabled walk-in baths, we would suggest only using warm water. However, if you were to visit a specialist hydrotherapy spa, cold water treatments may be worth exploring.

What benefits does hydrotherapy have?

The most immediate benefit of a hydrotherapy soak is the reduction of muscle tension and joint pain. By soaking in the water, your relieve tension in the limbs, helping to reduce any stress that is placed on the muscles and joints. The water also supports your aching muscles and joints, and helps ease movement.

Hydrotherapy also has some longer term benefits, including the ability to boost the function of the immune system. By increasing the flow of the blood around the body, thanks in part to the warm water, your white blood cells can move around quicker. This helps strengthen the immune system, keeping you free from colds and illnesses.

But hydrotherapy has more than just physical benefits. Hydrotherapy can also help mental fatigue too, and is well known to be good at relieving stress. This is because hydrotherapy helps to reduce blood pressure, and may also slow down the body’s reaction to anxiety.

How can I change it up?

Warm water has the obvious effect of being relaxing and soothing, especially when the temperature ranges between 37C° and 38°C. Try a 20 min dip with water between these temperatures to help your muscles relax and your skin to soften.

But raising the temperature can also be beneficial, even by a couple of degrees. Raising the water to be between 39°C and 40°C can have a deeply relaxing and sedative effect. Be careful not to stay in the bath for too long however, as this can cause exhaustion.

You should also think about adding some salts or aromatherapy oils to the bath. The addition of aromas or salts will really change the feel of the water, as well as stimulate your other senses – creating a more relaxing soak.

But it’s not just about the water itself. You should also invest in the ambience. It might sound silly, but things such as candles and bubbles can really help relax you, and make the most of your soak.

Can I get hydrotherapy spa?

Currently, only offer hydrotherapy in several of our walk-in baths, such as the the Hampton Elite. If you’re interested in finding out if the Hampton Elite is the right bath for you, why not talk to one of our team to find out?

Practical bathroom accessories for ease of bathing

Practical bathroom accessories for ease of bathing

Maintaining our independence and comfort in bathing as we get older can pose a challenge if our mobility is reduced, which may make us lose enjoyment and confidence in bathing in our own home.

This is why we not only offer a wide range of easy access walk-in showers, walk-in baths and wet rooms, we also provide our customers with optional bathroom accessories, so you can enjoy the full use of your bathroom again.

Here’s a selection of our most popular bathroom accessories so you can personalise your mobility bathroom and bathe with confidence again.

Showers

We offer two types of shower that are easy to use and adjustable to your bathing needs. Each shower is designed with functionality, safety and luxury in mind, so your walk-in shower gives you style and comfort all in one.

Thermostatic Mixer Shower

Thermostatic Mixer Shower

This elegant chrome mixer shower is a great addition to any modern bathroom. Flow and temperature are controlled separately which means you have accurate control of both elements with a dual control tap function.

The mixer shower is easy to operate as the dual control is operated by paddle levers, making this shower suitable for users of all abilities and bathing needs.

Check out The Richmond walk-in shower range to view our thermostatic mixer shower.

Electric Care Shower

electric care shower

The Electric care shower is one of the most advanced thermostatic electric showers available. The easy one touch easy-to-press start/stop button makes for simple operating. The large LED read out with clear print helps to improve visibility and legibility of the available shower settings.

However, this award winning electronic care shower also comes with a unique user-friendly remote control and safety temperature lock so you can pre-customise your bathing settings. The adjustable riser rail and long hose offer additional ease of use, and the adjustable easy clean head comes with a number of spray patterns, so you can find the best shower settings for you.

Check out The Kendal walk-in shower range to view the Electric care shower.

Shower seats

shower-seats

At Mobility Plus, we offer four types of shower seats to accompany your mobility bathroom. A shower seat can make your bathing experience even more relaxing, since it provides you with your own spot of luxury and tranquillity.

Compact fold up shower seat with grey pad

This grey pad shower seat (pictured above) is great for bathroom areas where space is limited. Its design provides stable support and the padded seat offers real comfort. When not in use the folding shower seat neatly moves up out of the way freeing up more space around your walk-in shower.

Standard fold up shower seat with arms and back

With its fold up design, arm and back support, this versatile shower seat meets a number of individual needs. This shower seat provides much needed support for individuals who have stability or mobility issues. The strong design prompts secure independent bathing and folds up out of the way, so you can maintain a spacious and luxurious mobility bathroom.

Fold up wooden seat with support legs

This shower seat design is made from ecologically friendly rubber wood and rust-proof stainless steel which creates a very stable and durable shower seat. The profiled edges are varnished for greater comfort and the shower seat is suitable or users up to 40 stone in weight.

Free standing adjustable height shower stool

This shower seat is ideal for any active users with an unsteady balance or low stamina. The compact design is perfect to use in the shower, or at any other point throughout the home. The adjustable height settings make the stool versatile in practicality and functionality, while the simple yet durable design makes it easy to maintain and keep clean.

We are on hand to offer you more information on shower seats, and which solution is best for your bathing needs. Get in touch today or request a free brochure.

Grab rails

Grab rails are a hugely beneficial bathroom accessory to add to your walk-in shower or walk-in bath for additional safety and stability. We offer three types of grab rails, so you can find the best solution for your bathing and support needs.

Plastic fluted grab rails

Fluted surface grab rails provide additional grip and can support loads of up to 100kg. The rail is positioned 59mm away from the wall to ensure that the rail is easy to hold while also giving you space and flexibility of your body position while in use. This grab rail is made from high quality uPVC and is available in lengths of 300mm, 450mm, and 600mm.

Stainless steel grab rails

This popular type of grab rail is made from high grade stainless steel and has a polished finish for a luxurious appearance that does not compromise on durability. The stainless steel grab rails are available in lengths of 300m and 450mm with a 32mm diameter.

Contemporary stainless steel grab rails

This grab rail is similar to the stainless steel grab rail but it differs in design, offering a contemporary appearance that is the perfect safety support for any modern bathroom. This design is available in lengths of 355mm, 480mm and 620mm.

While the type of grab rail is important to the safety of your mobility bathroom, the position of the rail is just as essential. To learn more about grab rail positions for your mobility bathroom, check out this blog post. If you have any questions about bathroom accessories we’re on hand to guide you through the best options for you. Get in touch today.

 

5 pieces of equipment to make home life easier

5 pieces of equipment to make home life easier

House

Helpful home equipment has never been more accessible, with lots of organisations and products available to help you at home, it has never been easier to make your home safer again and regain your independence at home.

1. Hand rails

Moving from one room to another, or manoeuvring around certain rooms such as the bathroom can be troublesome when mobility is restricted. Having handrails installed throughout your home can be a big help in moving around. Use them to hoist yourself on the first step, lift yourself out of a chair and steady yourself when moving around.

2. Stair lifts

For people without steady balance living in a two story home, going up and down the stairs can be a scary prospect. Having a stair lift installed in your home will allow you to get from one floor to another safely and with ease.

3. Removable bath boards

Getting in and out of the bath can be very demanding in terms of mobility, so for those who cannot move around so easily it can be a big challenge. A removable bath board can help you to get in and out of the bath with ease and make bathing safer.

4. Shower seats

Not every bathroom has both a shower and bath so if your home has a shower or wet room instead of a bath you should invest in a shower seat so that you can remain steady and safe whilst showering.

5. Adjustable bed

An adjustable bed will not only improve back posture and provide many therapeutic benefits, but it will also make getting in and out of bed that bit easier. With automatic adjustable setting that allows you to go from a lying down to sitting position with the touch of a button you can rise from your sleep without the daily struggle.

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