Bath lifts: the key to taking a bath more safely and independently
A bath lift is a battery operated chair designed for easier and safer bathing. By simply pressing a button on a hand control, a bath lift gently lowers you into the water and then lifts you up securely once you are ready to get out. They help when getting in and out of the bath is difficult. Their designs provide increased safety and independence in everyday life.
How is a bath lift different from a bath hoist?
Bath lifts for adults come in a variety of styles. Bath hoists lift the user on a seat that is mounted to a column, which is attached either to the floor or ceiling. Bath hoists are a good solution for wheelchair users who have a bath at home that they can’t currently access. Bath hoists can be manual or powered, and manual hoists normally require another person to operate them. Checking with your local Occupational Therapist is recommended.
In contrast, bath lifts sit within a bath and lower the user in and out of the bath. They are ideal for people who can sit on the edge of the bath and raise their legs over the edge into the bath. Because they are removable too, bath lifts can be more convenient than bath hoists for homes where other people also use the bath.
Why choose a bath lift?
For many people, the ability to enjoy a relaxing bath is a small but important luxury. But if you struggle to step in and out of a bath, or can’t get to your feet easily when sitting at the bottom of a bath, this can make what should be an enjoyable activity stressful, uncomfortable and sometimes even unsafe. Particularly if you don’t have a level-access shower at home, a bath lift can make bathing safe and comfortable, leaving you to relax and enjoy your downtime.
Bath lifts can be suitable for standard baths, and are usually easily removable too. This means they are a great option for busy homes, where the bath is used by others in the family. In addition, many can be folded and stored away when not in use.
Features to look for in a bath lift
Most bath lifts come with features that make them convenient and comfortable to use. So what features should you look for to help you make the most of what a bath lift can offer?
- Easy to use and store: your bath lift should be easy to fold down and remove from the bath when needed.
- The weight limit: check that the weight limit meets your needs. For example, the Aquatec Kogia bath lift has a weight limit of 140kg (22stone).
- Comfort: Some bath lifts are more contoured and fit with the natural position of the body. Others offer optional cushioning. Comfort is an important consideration
- Compatibility: there are many styles available, so it is easy to find one that fits into your existing bath.
- Convenience: look for removable covers and easy to clean designs. For example, the Orca bath lift is equipped with a textured surface, which improves grip and therefore your safety and comfort, without the need for a cover.
- Headrest: if you need head and neck support, a height-adjustable headrest can be helpful to allow you to recline in comfort.
- Reclining backrest: some bath lifts have a reclining back. This means the backrest reclines to varying degrees. This is a great option if you are looking to immerse in water and relax safely.
- Safety features: features such as safety belts help to provide extra reassurance whilst taking a bath.
Bathe easily and independently with a bath lift
A bath lift is ideal for people looking for a bath aid that is simple and convenient to use and store, such as in a busy family bathroom. In the UK you can look for trusted companies who are members of British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) to ensure you are getting a quality bath lift that will continue to support your comfort and independence for many years to come.