Occupational Therapy Advice and Information
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Solutions for problems with standing at the sink to wash:
- The fixing of a simple grab rail on a wall either side of the wash hand basin maybe all that is required and will provide sufficient support for you to hold onto when either standing at the sink.
- A suction grab rail can be easily fitted and does not require any drilling of holes into the wall. They have a comfortable handgrip with two pressure switches at each end, which creates a strong vacuum that adheres to the wall surface to provide a rail that will allow for a powerful grip and have weight limits of up to 11 stone or even 15 stone, depending on the type of suction rail purchased. You simply have to make sure that the wall where it is to be fixed is level and You are not trying to fix it onto different levels or surfaces. To release the rail simply release the switches and the rail will come away from the wall. These rails can be fitted at any angle.
- If you require more assistance with transfers then it maybe more appropriate to fix plastic fluted or natural grip type rails, as a permanent fixing, to the walls in either your toilet or bathroom next to the wash hand basin. They are warm to touch, fit the contours of your hand and with their design give safer grip, confidence and comfort and reduce the risk of your hand slipping if wet. They can be used up to a weight limit of between 15-25 stone so are more versatile than the portable suction rails and will also cope with people who have to pull heavily upon rail/rails to stand or maintain their balance because they are fixed directly into the wall.
- Consider using a coloured rail if you have visual impairment or have memory problems as these can be easier to see.
- An adjustable height stool with back and/or armrests would enable you to sit at the wash hand basin whilst washing. Able 2 would recommend that you use one with both back and armrests as they are more supportive and would allow for any deterioration in your sitting balance. The armrests also give you valuable hand holds when both sitting down on and standing up from the seat. This option is also available in a bariatric size to provide extra width and additional weight limit up to 40 stone instead of the standard 25 stone.
- A perching stool would enable you to sit at the wash hand basin in a semi-standing position, due to the sloping, angled seat. With this option you would need to be able to take weight through your feet to ensure that you do not slip forwards and down due to the sloping seat. This option takes up less room space and would enable you to sit nearer to the wash hand basin to reach into the water and to also reach the taps easily.
- Mounting the wash hand basin on the wall and doing away with the pedestal underneath or a vanity unit will also enable you to set the height of the basin to suit your particular needs and also enable you to sit closer to the basin on either a stool or whilst sitting in a wheelchair.
There are some very simple solutions to these difficulties that should resolve your problem in a very inexpensive way. Other solutions required may be a little bit more expensive but it is not always necessary to immediately think about major adaptations to your bathroom to resolve issues. These pieces of equipment are readily available from local suppliers/dealers and would not require a specialist assessment, unless you have a combination of difficulties and/or you are worried about risk of possible injury.
This has resolved my problems but I am having problems turning the taps on and off – Click below