Mike: So, Cameron asks, what adjustments can I make to help me get in and out of the bath?
Steph McElroy, Occupational Therapist: For anybody, getting in and out of the bath is a risky business. It’s one of the most dangerous places to be in the house, I think, and I think nobody should ever have a bath or a shower unless there’s somebody else in the house. I don’t mean they have to be there, but they can be in the house in case something happens. You get into the bath, it’s slippy, if you start using lotions and potions, you’re easily going to get slipped, and so on and so forth. So I guess some of the things to think about is how you’re actually getting in and out of that bath, what you’re struggling with and therefore to look at that environment. Is it something that you need to sit down before you get into the bath? So it may be looking at equipment with a bath board to actually sit down and swing your legs over, because actually stepping into a bath, like a stork, we can all be susceptible to falling. It may be you need a rail somewhere that’s positioned just for you to actually hang on to so you’re feeling safe. Great these things are on the market which are suction rails, but quite often if you’re actually holding on to them they can come off, so you need something that’s a little bit firmer and fixed.
Mike: So how would someone go about accessing information about aids to get in and out of the bath or generally around the home, and is that something that they may be able to get some funding for?
Steph McElroy: Yes, certainly. Aids and adaptations are something that, depending on which area of the country you live in, and that is a big thing, so I can only sort of say from things that I know are available, is there is a way to actually access these things. I guess if you go to your GP and say you’re struggling with a particular thing within the home – it’s usually bathing – that they can refer you on to see an occupational therapist who should come out and assess your bath area, because everybody thinks everybody’s bath is the same, it’s actually not, so it’s looking at what is actually available to fit that’s going to be safe for your bath. If a bath is not something that’s going to be safe for you, maybe you’re looking at a shower, maybe eventually looking at something like a wet room, which is going to be great for you. Some people find standing in the shower great, some people want to sit down in it. So it’s about looking what’s right for you and some days you may want to sit down and some days you want to stand up, because it’s depending how you’re feeling at that particular time. But whatever it is, it needs to be safe.
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