Bathroom Aids

The bathroom is a dangerous place but using the right bathroom aids will help you stay safe.

What are the Problems with Bathrooms?

Well, to start off, they're wet and crashing down on that new hip is just not what you want. But there are other challenges like: -

  • How do you get in and out of the tub with a hip that won't bend?
  • How do you get washed when you can't reach your toes?
  • How do you use the toilet?  Is it only people with hip problems that struggle getting up and down?

But there's a solution for all these issues, so let's have a look at the most essential bathroom aids available.

Bathroom Aids

Grab bars and grab rails

Grab bars (and rails) are an absolute essential for your tub or shower.  The earliest versions of these bathroom aids required drilling into the wall but the newer ones are based on suction and have a simple system that allows you to fix and remove them.  Position them where you need support both getting in and getting out of the tub.  These may well be in different places. 

A shower is simpler and you'll probably only need to fix one.

If you are likely to use these long term, then I would suggest getting them drilled in by someone who really knows what they're doing, but for shorter term use, the suction ones are ideal, and don't leave a mark on the wall once you no longer need them.

A Bathroom Step

These are so simple but will make a huge difference to your ability and your confidence in getting in and out of the tub.  Two important points to bear in mind: -

1.  Try and get one that is as wide as possible so you can get both feet on at the same time and so that, when you're getting out of the tub, you don't have to wave a foot around trying to find where it is.

2.  Absolutely essential! Get one with a hand rail or a pole you can hold onto.  Ones without rails/poles can be a danger.

Other Aids for Washing

My other two favourite bathroom aids for washing are:-

1.  a long-handled washing tool.  I've called it that because they come in different types and I need a phrase to include them all.  Your choices will be have a sponge, a brush or a loofah end.  Some manage to combine the two.  If you are opting for a sponge make sure it is good quality as some of the cheaper ones just fall apart after a few washes.  The brush and loofah ends seem to be more robust.

Which ever you chose it will help your clean those difficult to reach parts of your body- like your feet.

2.  A non-slip bath or shower mat.  Really simple, and you've probably already got one.  If not its definitely worth the small cost involved to keep you from slipping over in the tub or shower.

Toilet Seat Raiser

I'm told some people are shy about talking about the toilet but let's get real its something we all use more than once a day.  However, using the toilet with hip problems can be a real struggle.  The process of lowering yourself down and then hauling yourself up can be very taxing but the solution is so simple - a toilet seat raiser.   

Honestly, once you've tried one you'll wonder who on earth decided to build toilets so low. 

One thing to bear in mind when choosing a toilet seat raiser is you will need somewhere to put your hands to lever yourself up so I strongly advise (I would insist if I knew you better) that you get one with that is either build into a frame or one that has handles attached. Using one without being able to use your hands to help will be very difficult and possibly dangerous in the earlier days of your recovery.

Don't try and opt for using your walker to lever yourself up as that can slide away in front of you and just isn't safe.

Definitely one of my favourite bathroom aids.

Commodes

Whilst we're on the subject of toilets what about a commode?  Another 100% recommended bit of kit.  Your commode lives by your bed and saves you struggling to the bathroom in the middle of the night , which can be a real struggle in the early days post-op, when even lifting the duvet and getting out of bed feels like a real job.

Commodes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the very basic to the luxurious.   But In essence they all work in the same way.  The seat of the chair lifts off to reveal a bed-pan, which can be lifted out easily for emptying and  cleaning.  When not in use replace the lid

If you think you'll need a commode long-term, then its worth splashing out on one that looks great.  If its for short-term use, then make-do with the more basic but functional design of the less-expensive models.

Portable Urinals

My final word on toilets, I promise!  So what happens when you go out?  You're at a friends house and the toilet seat is too low?  One option is a portable urinal for women - they go under different brand names, like She-Wee but the idea is they allow you to pee whilst standing up.  I strongly advice practicing at home before you go out on the road, as my first attempts didn't quite go according to plan!  Interested? Then here's a link to more information about portable urinals.


There's more detailed information about toileting aids available, which includes a few extra tips on bed-pans, access to disabled toilets and one essential tip on using other peoples' toilets.