Adaptive equipment can help make life easier and allow you to retain more independence despite having arthritis. A primary concern among those recently diagnosed with this condition, along with their loved ones, is trips to the bathroom. In most homes, powder rooms have tile floors, no slip proof shower mats or grab bars, all of which can lead to falls and debilitating injuries.
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in every home and in it, a highly frequented fixture-the toilet. As you get older, you may find you spend more time in the bathroom but are less comfortable, especially if you have arthritis.
To help keep you safe and maximize your level of comfort while on the throne, you may opt to use some of the adaptive equipment specifically designed for the toilet. If you have difficulty getting up or down or just bending your knees too much, a raised toilet seat may help to alleviate this problem. For additional comfort, you may even opt for a seat cushion that is quite thick, adding even more height to your toilet seat raiser or commode chair.
Bathroom grab bars placed near the toilet offer further assistance by providing support and stability when sitting, standing and moving throughout this space. If you prefer life without bars, find them unnecessary or feel like taking extra precautions, try a raised toilet seat with built in bars at the sides. This feature provides extra protection against falls and makes positioning easier on your achy joints.
More worrisome than the toilet is the shower since it is a slip and fall hazard even when you do not have arthritis. To secure the area and minimize the risk of accidents, you can do a number of things, starting with the cheapest and easiest piece of adaptive equipment –the shower mat.
Simply throw it on the shower floor and next time you need to wash up, you can do so without worrying about falling. Another useful device is the shower chair, which comes in a variety of styles and sizes. You can opt for one that is free standing, snaps to your tub or slides in and out of the shower, thus eliminating the risk of falling while trying to step out of the tub.
Bathroom safety grab bars are also good to have in the shower, even if you do not like the looks or want them in other areas of your home. They are reliable safety devices and the peace of mind you get while taking a shower without anyone’s help surely makes them worth installing.
Your powder room is probably starting to look like a handicap bathroom with all of these various types of adaptive equipment and it may take you time to adjust to the change. The important thing to remember is that this is all for your safety.
For those most personal hygiene tasks you will find the long-handled toilet paper holder to be the best bathroom aid you could find.
Some of the other bathroom devices are pretty cool, like the foot cleaner and massager in one or the conveniently sized back washer that gets all the spots you could not reach even before you had arthritis. The no rinse shampoo is a great time saver and the therapeutic bath salts give you a reason to indulge, relax and cleanse without having to worry about slipping.
Some of this adaptive equipment is by no means inexpensive but your insurance may cover some or all of the costs for certain items. Still, if you can afford it, you should invest in at least a few devices, as preventive measures help eliminate injuries that could keep you in the hospital, put you at risk for infection and could create a new site of arthritis.
More Self-Care Aids
Toilet Aid - A toilet aid can be a lifesaver for the elderly or people with disabilities who have difficulties with basic hygiene.