Everything you need to know about bath lift chairs
As we get older our mobility reduces in many cases. This can make everyday tasks harder and can leave us feeling a lack of independence. Those who have suffered from an injury and find themselves debilitated as a result, are also at risk of suffering from a reduction in mobility.
It is important to many people to keep life as normal as possible during these circumstances, and one of the ways that technology can help out, is with the invention of the bath lift chair. This can enable more people to remain independent for longer, and particularly for the elderly, can ensure that they are able to stay in their homes for longer.
Potential hazards of the bathroom
When mobility is impaired it can be incredibly scary and frustrating for the sufferer. A bathroom poses a host of potential risks. There are very hard enamel surfaces to contend with, meaning that a fall could cause serious injury. There are also wet, slippery surfaces to negotiate and both these factors can prevent people from feeling confident using their bathroom.
Outline of a bath lift chair
A bath lift chair is, as it sounds, a chair that is used in a bath. However, it is more than that. It is a structure that enables those with reduce mobility to bathe in safety and without causing pain from stretching damaged muscles or strained joints. The concept of the chair is simple, but there are different types of bath lift chair.
Types of bath lift chair
The static chair
The static bath lift chair is a chair that is placed in the bath, and has a panel on one side. The bather sits on this panel which hangs over the side of the bath and shuffles from the panel to the main chair which is positioned in the tub. The panel then folds up, leaving the chair free to be lowered into the water. Often the chairs will also incorporate a back rest which supports the neck and back as the bather is lowered, giving an extra dimension of safety.
The static bath lift chair can be a removable model which folds up and is easily stored. Of it can be kept in the bath if space is a premium. When you are ready to get out of the bath, you raise the chair once again to its original position at the level of the rim of the bath. You can open up the flap again, and shuffle yourself back out of the bath, swinging your legs over the side of the bath. If you have positioned your towels nearby, you can dry in safety and security, without worrying about slipping on a wet floor.
Whilst on the subject of wet floors, it is also helpful to have a bath rail to hold on to just for extra security. This can be fixed to the wall quite easily.
A static bath lift chair has a control panel which is powered by battery. The control panel is fixed to the wall of the bath and allows the bath lift chair to be lowered and raised as next. For this, you use a remote control. These can be made with large buttons for those who are sight impaired, or with noise for those who are hard of hearing.
Swivel bath lift chairs
It is convenient to use a static bath lift chair if you are able to swing your legs from the chair into the bath. However, for those who struggle with leg mobility, or have injury to the knee, there is another solution. This is the swivel bath lift chair.
This comprises a chair that is fixed into the bath and fixed to the wall with brackets. The chair seat swivels round forty five degrees, so that it is facing the long side of the bath with the seat towards the wall. The bather then has to just sit down onto the chair and the chair will swivel round forty five degrees, so that the bather is positioned perfectly to be lowered into the bath. Once the chair has been moved to the correct position, the remote control is activated and the chair can be simply lowered into the water.
The remote control which activates the chair can be made of floatable material which avoids the possibility of it being lost at the bottom of the bath.
Pros and cons of the types of chair
- Static chair – Pros
- Suitable for those with less severe mobility
- Can be removed from the bath for other bathers
- Foldable and portable
- Easily controlled
- Handy flap to allow easy access from the rim to the bath
- Back rest for extra stability
- Retractable back to achieve a more horizontal position
Static chair – cons
- Not suitable for those with less leg mobility
- Has to be assembled to be put into the bath
- Swivel bath lift chair
- Ideal for any level of immobility
- Easy to use and manoeuvre
- Secure back rest for extra support
- Easy to control
- Safe and secure carriage in and out of the bath
- Cannot be removed from the bath for other bathers
- Cannot be retracted for horizontal lying
A bath lift chair is an ideal purchase for anyone who is struggling to bathe because of mobility issues. It helps to improve safety and independence and also allows those suffering from chronic pain to experience the soothing relaxation of warm water. This is a known healing benefit which is vital in treatment of many conditions and affords some welcome pain free relaxation time. The addition of whirlpool jets and soothing bath gels can be beneficial as treatment for muscle and joint pain which are often the causes of reduced mobility. Therefore, a bath lift chair is a welcome aid to recovery for many people, as well as a safe and secure method of bathing as we move on in life towards our mature years.