Adding water to any sort of surface causes a potential hazard. This is something that needs to be taken into account while using your walk-in or level-access shower.
While the installation of this type of shower does eliminate many of the risks associated with washing, a degree of care is still necessary. These units enable people to continue bathing independently, exercising due care helps this independence continue for as long as possible.
Install Grab Bars
The door and screen of your walk-in shower are not designed to support any sort of weight and therefore should not be used to stabilise yourself in the event of a minor slip.
Instead, invest in a set of grab bars. These secure bars screw directly into the wall and provide a sturdy handhold to make showering easier and safer.
These bars can be installed throughout the shower area to ensure safety at all times.
Use Specifically Designed Shower Seats
Sometimes, remaining on your feet for the full duration of a shower can be tough and draining. As you grow more tired, the likelihood of a slip, trip or fall increases; using a shower seat will help.
A specifically designed shower seat will either be mounted on a frame that screws directly into the wall and folds conveniently away; or it will be a portable unit with suction cup grips where the legs contact the floor.
Never use a standard seat in your shower. Such seats are not fitted with suction grips and can slide around dangerously on the wet surface. Not only will these seats damage your shower tray, they also pose a significant risk to your health; only use specifically designed seats in your shower.
Use Non-Slip Mats
While an easy access shower will require only a minimal raising of the leg to get in to or out of, the simple action of moving across a wet surface creates a multitude of hazards.
Plan your route from the bathroom door to the shower, always ensuring that there is no clutter or any trip hazards blocking the way. Cover any surfaces that may become wet and slippery with a non-slip mat; these mats will have rubber ridges on the upper-side, and probably suction cups on the lower side to affix the mat securely into place.
Take Other Precautions
Many experts recommend placing a cordless phone in the bathroom, close to the shower unit, to ensure that you can easily call for help if required. This is particularly useful if you live alone.
If you do not live alone, install a doorbell ringer in the bathroom, which can be easily pressed in the event of an emergency. The bell should be placed in a central room or in a place were other occupants can hear it.
While not an accident prevention tip, this precaution certainly provides valuable peace of mind in knowing that help is nearby should it be required.
For further information on mobility bathing equipment and safety tips, contact a member of the HMM team.