9 Best Ways to Make Tubs, Showers, Sinks Accessible | Aging in Place Solutions AskSAMIE

9 Best Ways to Make Tubs, Showers, Sinks Accessible | Aging in Place Solutions

Being able to safely access the sink, tub and/or shower is a really important factor in being able to stay living in the place that you want. There are actually several easy and simple ways to adapt these areas without spending a ton on remodeling. Let's dive in!

What Can I Do to Make a Tub Safe?

Tubs can be tricky especially when you love to soak and bathe but are having a hard time getting out of the tub. But here are our top 3 things you can do to make a tub more accessible.
  1. Tub Transfer BenchUse a tub transfer bench - this simple piece of equipment will make it so you don’t have to step over the edge of the tub and risk losing your balance.

Automatic Bath Lift on AskSAMIE.com2. Get an automatic bath lift - If you like to soak then a tub transfer bench won't cut it. So instead use this seat that will lower you into the tub safely for a long soak. When done, just hit the button and up you go! We love it because it requires no permanent installation and setup is easy! 
3. Remove the sliding glass doors - these glass doors on your tub make getting in and out more difficult and makes it harder for a helper to assist. But removing and replacing them with a shower curtain for easier access is a trick we use all the time! Usually you can just lift up on the door and lean the bottom of the door out of the track and the rest of the door will follow. Repeat with the other door and put the doors in a safe place. Then just add a tension shower rod and shower curtain and you've just created a ton more space.

How to Make a Shower More Safe

Even though it's usually easier to get into the shower as compared to a tub it can still be a real challenge depending on how much mobility one has.  Since bathrooms are where the most falls occur, here are a few tricks to reduce that fall.
Shower/Tub Treads on AskSAMIE.com
4. Non Slip Strips: Put down non slip strips inside the shower. It's a simple add, cost effective and requires no extra cleaning like non skid mats do!
Wide Shower Chair with Arms & Back on AskSAMIE.com5. Get a shower chair: It can be a small, beautiful one as long as the height is adjustable. Even if you are capable of standing in the shower, being able to have a seat when needed helps save energy and prevents falls.
24" Grab Bar on AskSAMIE.com6. Install a grab bar: Even if it is just one, that well placed grab bar needs to be done proactively because truly we never know when we might lose our balance! Plus grab bars no longer have to look like grab bars!

Using the Sink When You Need to Sit

Most people don't think about how difficult it could be to get to a sink to brush your teeth when you are having trouble with mobility or endurance. Whether it's to wash up or to do make-up, it can be extremely difficult to reach if you need to be seated. 
7. Open the cabinet doors first: Even if you don't have a pedestal sink or a
modified opening under the sink, simply opening the cabinet door under the sink can allow for a place for your knees to go so you can get forward and up close to the sink.
LionHeart Faucet Extender on AskSAMIE.com
8. Add a faucet extender: That simple add on makes the water flow closer so it's easier to reach to use the water. This is also great for little kids learning to wash their hands!
Automatic Faucet Adapter on AskSAMIE.com
9. Add an automatic faucet adapter: Screwing this little gadget on the faucet turns a standard one into a motion activated one! This way just moving hands under it ensures water comes on without having to reach for the knobs.
There are so many ways to make the bathroom adapted to your needs in a beautiful and effective way that doesn't have to break the bank. The real key is being willing to make a few changes before they are required by a change in ability. Adding a grab bar now might just prevent that fall that would have led to a hip fracture and the cascading events after that. 
If you'd like a little help planing this out just schedule a virtual visit with one of our occupational therapists so you can have an expert help you get it figured out. And if you'd rather get answers right now try the On Demand Assessment. It's self guided but the results you get come from our clinical expertise!
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Brandy Archie, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is a certified Living in Place Professional with past certifications in low vision therapy, brain injury and driving rehabilitation.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

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