5 Best Bathing Aids Introduction
Having an energy limiting chronic illness makes it hard to take a bath or shower. It’s an activity which can cause a lot of fatigue and require significant recovery time. There are aids available which make it more accessible and less energy-intensive. In this post I share my 5 best bathing aids, these are my absolute essentials! I share the types of aids I use but there are a lot of models to choose from. Everyone has individual needs, so it makes sense to work out which ones are right for you. I hope this post will provide you with some ideas though!
- Bath board
- Bath Water thermometer
- Bath cushion
- Long handled brush
- Grab rail
Having something to sit on in your bathroom is a game changer! Bath boards are not permanently fixed to the bath so can be (fairly) easily removed and replaced. They come in different sizes too, the one pictured has 4 slats but you can also get 6 slat ones.
I use my bath board a lot. The basin is quite close to the bath so I can sit on the bath board and brush my teeth. ME often comes with a side order of POTS, so standing up for 2-3 minutes is impossible. A stool works just as well if your sink is further away. I also use my bath board for taking a bath as it makes it easier to get in and out. And for showering (again standing to shower is impossible). If you have a screen ensure you have enough clearance to close it with the board in place. If you have a curtain, close it and then loosely fold under the board before pushing the board firmly into position.
These cost £30-40 depending on size (all the disability aid retailers have them, as does Amazon). If you have a needs assessment from the local authority (council) occupational health team, it’s the sort of thing they can usually provide.
Bath stools are another option, these can be height adjustable and some have a swivel seat. Tip: if you’re buying one, make sure you measure the bottom of the bath and compare it with the footprint of the stool. The sides of baths are typically narrower toward the bottom compared with the top edges. Stools range in price from £30 to £60 depending on whether they have arms and/or a backrest etc.
Bath Water Thermometer
Temperature dysregulation and very slow reaction times mean I’ve got into bath water that’s far too hot. I sit in it wondering why my heart is racing and my skin is lobster red *facepalm*. A baby’s bath water thermometer is the perfect solution. It’s especially useful as I don’t run the bath myself, my carer does it for me. So they can be confident the water is a safe temperature for me. This one pictured is from a brand called Aycorn and costs around £15 (Amazon).
I have trouble holding my head up without support. Leaning it against the bath is uncomfortable. So, a waterproof memory foam bath cushion makes a huge difference. There are suckers on the back so you can adjust until you find the ideal position. They’re also really easy to clean under the shower and hang up to dry.
I got mine on ebay for about £10, but there are lots of online retailers which stock them. Larger ones with a back rest and neck roll are also available for around £20.
Long Handled Brush
I get help washing my hair as I have difficulty lifting my arms. For the rest of my body I find a long handled brush to be useful for reaching without the need to bend or stretch. My skin is sensitive so soft bristles are essential. Also it needs to be a lightweight brush that won’t tire my arm out.
I love the Eco tools brush (pictured) which costs just £5.99. It’s one I have re-purchased I like it that much!
Grab rails are handy (literally… sorry, couldn’t resist!). They can make it much easier to get in and out of a bath or shower. They’re also useful for when you get dizzy or lose your footing. The grab rail pictured here is a non-permanent one, it’s fixed to the tiles by strong suction cups.
Grab Rail Bathing Aid: Temporary v Permanent
The non-permanent type is great for deciding where a grab handle or rail is best located. You can move them around and adjust accordingly. Once you’ve decided the spots which are most helpful for you, you can get permanent ones fixed there instead. Don’t get rid of the non-permanent ones though, they’re useful to take if you’re away from home e.g. staying at a friend’s or in a hotel.
Grab rail prices vary depending on the size, type and material. As a ball park, the suction ones are about £10. The permanent ones typically cost £20-40, with plastic usually cheaper than metal. Again, this is the type of aid which may be provided by your local authority as part of a care package following an occupational health assessment.
5 Best Bathing Aids Conclusion
These are my top 5 aids for taking a bath. I do also use other aids too (I’ll share in another post). Those severely affected by chronic illness and disability, aren’t always able to bath/shower as often as they’d like. Remember, it’s totally OK to use wet wipes, dry shampoo and the like in between baths or showers.
Do you use any aids for showers or baths? Let us know in the comments what you’ve found useful and any top tips!
If you’ve found this post useful, you might like to see the other posts in the Aids and Adaptations section.