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BATH BENCHES & SAFETY RAILS
PURPOSE: Assistive bathtub and shower devices come in many shapes and sizes and each have a specific function. Each has the same basic purpose: to provide added stability while performing personal hygiene functions. By utilizing bathroom aids, the user can function more independently. The user must follow and abide by all manufacturers’ product and safety instructions.
BATH BENCHES: Bath benches come in two basic styles, with backs and without backs. The benches without backs are designed for individuals with normal sitting endurance and balance. Bath benches with backs are designed for individuals whose balance and strength are less than normal. The benches also come in models that fit inside the bathtub or shower, and models that straddle the tub (half in and half out of the tub). These models are referred to as transfer benches. Each type of bath bench can be ordered with many options like special cutouts or padding. In addition, each bath bench has a maximum weight limit, usually 250 - 300 pounds, although heavy duty models are available.
SAFETY RAILS: Safety rails attach to the side of the tub and provide additional support surfaces for individuals who need assistance getting into and out of the tub.
USE: Each brand of bathroom aid has specific instructions that must be followed. All bath benches have rubber tips or suction cups on the feet to help the resistance to slippage. These rubber feet or tips must be maintained. Any damaged tips must be replaced immediately. Medical equipment companies maintain a supply of these items. The user must never use the bathroom aid if they cannot use it safely and for its intended purpose. Safety rails attach to the tub by way of clamps or springs. These mechanisms must be checked before each use to verify the security of the attachment.
MAINTENANCE: Bathroom aids are water resistant, not waterproof; make sure that your bathroom aid is dried between uses. This will keep it looking and functioning like new for a long time. Never use a water spot remover on your bathroom aids. These solutions usually contain alkaline chemicals that can cause burning of the skin and are very difficult to remove. In addition, these products usually are very slippery when wet and can increase the likelihood of a fall.