Innovative Solutions for Independent Living: Assistive Technology in Accessible Bathrooms

As Australians strive for inclusivity and accessibility, it becomes imperative to address the unique needs of individuals with mobility and/or cognitive challenges. For people living in their own homes to people residing in facilities with minimal assistive care, the bathroom can pose significant obstacles to independent living. Thankfully, a range of assistive equipment is available to transform bathrooms into safe and accessible spaces, promoting autonomy and dignity. Below we’ll explore a selection of innovative and often simple solutions for independent living, focusing on assistive technology in accessible bathrooms.

Mobile Shower Commodes: One of the primary challenges faced by individuals with mobility issues is the transition from one area of the bathroom to another. Self-propelled mobile shower commodes provide a versatile solution by combining a commode chair with wheels – enabling the user to complete toileting and hygiene tasks. These devices allow users to move easily from the bedroom to the bathroom and seamlessly transition between tasks without the need for multiple transfers. With features like adjustable heights and supportive armrests, self-propelled mobile shower commodes offer comfort, safety and convenience. For people who require support with toileting and hygiene tasks, attendant-propelled options ensure that a carer is able to assist where required.

Shower Chairs and Stools: Showering can be a daunting task for those with limited mobility. Shower chairs and stools provide a stable and secure seating option, reducing the risk of slips and falls. With various designs available, including wall-mounted foldable seats and chairs or stools with adjustable legs, users can choose the option that best suits their needs. Non-slip materials and rust-resistant components enhance safety and durability, making showering a more comfortable and safer experience.

Bath Transfer Benches: Getting in and out of the bathtub can be challenging for individuals with mobility issues. Bath transfer benches bridge the gap, providing a stable platform for users to sit on while moving across the tub’s edge. With adjustable heights and reversible backrests, these benches accommodate different user preferences. The design ensures a smooth transfer, promoting independence and minimizing the need for assistance.

Absorber Bag – Disposable Commode Liners: Maintaining hygiene is crucial for independent living, and disposable commode liners like the Absorber Bag offer a practical solution. These liners fit most standard commode chairs and are designed to absorb and solidify liquids, minimizing odors and simplifying the cleanup process. By providing a mess-free and discreet solution, disposable commode liners contribute to a more dignified bathroom experience.

Shower and Bath Mats: Slippery surfaces in the bathroom can be hazardous, especially for individuals with mobility challenges. A simple preventative aid are shower and bath mats with non-slip backing to provide stability and reduce the risk of accidents. These mats are available in various sizes and designs, allowing users to choose the option that best fits their bathroom layout. Additionally, the soft and cushioned texture enhances comfort while standing or sitting in the shower or bath.

Rails and Handles: Having a secure handle or rail to grab onto whilst maneuvering around the bathroom are simple aids that can make all the difference to someone’s independence. Having rails and handles installed by a professional at practical locations around the bathroom ensure that a person is able to support themselves when transitioning from seated to standing positions as well as moving from one part of the bathroom to another. Rails come in various shapes and lengths to accommodate almost all bathroom and toilets with some folding up for convenience.

Over Toilet Aids: Raising or lowering one’s self on the toilet can be a challenge for individuals with mobility issues. Sometimes this could be temporary due to a surgery, or could be more longer-term as part of ageing or a disability. Innovative over toilet aids such as raised toilet seats with arm rests, spring-assist over toilet aids like the EasyUp Commode or adjustable toilet surrounds allow individuals to safely use the toilet independently – a simple addition to any bathroom that can make a significant impact on a person’s daily life.

Incorporating assistive products into bathrooms can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges. The right equipment can empower users to navigate the bathroom independently, promoting both safety and dignity. We always recommend discussing equipment needs with a qualified clinician such as an Occupational Therapist prior to As Safety and Mobility look to continue promote accessibility and independence where possible, it is essential to raise awareness about these innovative solutions that contribute to a more inclusive and supportive living environment.