Recently, I wrote about how my grandmother suffers from severe arthritis and struggles to get around. She’s 82, and has had it for most of her adult life.
She still lives completely independently at home (and still drives, which is amazing!), and has had lots of things fitted in the house to make life easier for her. She has a handrail to get up the step to the front door, a chair which lifts up to help her get out, a stair lift to get upstairs and a bath lift.
Without these things, she would struggle to be at home alone, and being fiercely independent, having to go into a care home or have a home help would be her worst nightmare.
The one thing she does complain is about the bath, and how she can’t have a proper soak in the bath anymore. Her bath lift gets her in and out, but it’s not comfortable, and she can’t relax in there. She has had the lift a fair few years now, and it will probably need replacing soon. She has to put the control on charge hours and hours before using it, and she can only get it, do what she needs to do and get out otherwise it’s flat – and then she is stuck! Luckily, she always takes the phone in the bathroom with her, just in case. On more than one occasion she has had to phone either me or my parents because she’s ended up stuck in there, and we’ve had to dash over to put the remote on charge so she can get out – all the while my poor nan is sitting in a bath going cold!
When she had the bath lift installed, a long time ago now, I don’t think there were many alternatives, and if there were, they were extremely expensive. These days, there are so many more options available to make bathrooms more accessible for people who are unable to get in and out of normal showers and baths. I know she would have loved a walk in bath – one where she can step in easily and actually sit and relax without the fear of getting stuck.