Are you a:
- Home care professional conducting a home safety audit?
- Contractor or designer who has just taken a project for a Senior couple?
- Retailer wanting to provide some basic bath safety help to customers?
- Professional involved in helping clients or patients increase home safety?
Below are a few basic tips about bath safety.
Please note that these tips do not require specific knowledge of the personal health issues of clients and patients. Rather we discuss the activities of daily living.
As appropriate and as available, involve family doctors, hospital discharge professionals (preferably well in advance of discharge), physical therapists and occupational therapists. Their advice will be specific and should be followed.
If you wish to include a Consultant in a project or patient file, consider searching for one that has additional training such as Certified Aging in Place Specialists.
Start with a Bathing Chair
Portable bathing chairs, stools, seats and benches come in some options:
- Back – we call this a bath chair
- Arms – typically an option on a bath chair (products with a back)
- Handles – available on many chairs, stools, seats and benches
- Rotation – only available on products without a back and arms
Measure the flat surface where the bathing chair will sit
Alternatives for bath safety
The lives of your clients and patients, or their caregivers, are very busy. Most of us don’t have the time to think about bath safety.
“Sandgens” care for aging parents and children in addition to living their own lives. Many don’t live in the same community as their aging parents.
Are some of your clients or patients “Sandgens”?
Please take a moment to ensure that someone checks that bath safety product recommendations are appropriate for use in the home of their aging parents. If you can’t personally help, we suggest that you enlist the assistance of a local retailer, a trusted handyman or a qualified Sage Professional..
Believe that a portable bath chair, stool, seat or bench is right for you? Go to Bathing Chair – Safety and Comfort Tips or see our tips on a feature by feature basis in Bath Chair Feature Buying Tips.
Bathtub – transfer bench
If you can’t measure the flat bottom of your bathtub, you may want to consider bath transfer benches in order to achieve more bath safety.
Since one set of legs of a transfer bench (the legs on the right hand side in the picture) sits outside of the bathtub, you do not need to know the flat surface area of the bathtub. As you can see in this picture, all legs are adjustable, so you can accommodate the difference in height between the floor (right) and bottom of bathtub (left).
By contrast, all legs of a portable bath chair should sit in the bathtub. For family and patient safety, the legs should sit evenly on the flat bottom of your bathtub as shown in the illustration above.
Bathtub – bath board
A bath board is another alternative to a portable bath chair.
Care should be taken when selecting a bath board, depending on whether the bathtub sits beside a wall or is free standing. There are many variations of bath boards, including some that allow you to sit lower in the bathtub.
One benefit of most bath boards is that they can easily be stored after use. For example, once an aging parent has recovered from hip surgery, the bath board can go in the closet until needed again.
Installed Shower Bench
For a client or patient who is considering using a portable bath chair in a shower, an installed shower bench might be a better product category. Some installed shower benches flip up making them a good option for a small shower area.
Luxury – A walk-in bath
Prepared for a major renovation for home health? Consider whether a Walk in Bath in right for your client or patient.
Start with our feature guide for walk-in bathtubs. As you will see there are many features to consider – and your client will likely appreciate your opinion!
Looking to become a walk-in bathtub expert? Also see:
Complementary bath safety products:
Complementary products that can increase patient safety in the bathroom include handheld showers, grab bars, mobility poles, step stools and bath mats.
The grab bar shown on the left is angled and acts as a soap holder.
To review how to measure the different shapes of grab bars, click here. We believe this is relatively standard, but we found exceptions and inconsistencies. So, take caution!
Need More Help?
If you need help determining the needs or capabilities of a client or patient, request that they consult a healthcare professional such as a family doctor, physical therapist or occupational therapist.
If you want to help them find some help, consult our directory of Sage Professionals. You will find some physical and occupational therapists, typically listed as Consultants in the home renovation and building section. You can search by zip code to views all Sage Professionals in your area.
For more assistance in helping patients and clients select products, visit a retailer in your area. They will have a selection of alternatives for bath safety (unlike most Drug stores or Big Box retailers) and will be knowledgeable about the features and choices that are available.
Be prepared to pay a fair price from your local home healthcare supplier. In our opinion, a fair price includes a provision for shipping and the in-person advice that you receive. We strongly discourage “showrooming” where consumers get product advice from their local retailer and purchase on the internet. In this product category, most consumers will save very little money after paying for shipping.