Occupational Therapy Advice and Information
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Solutions to problems with Taps:
- Purchasing a set of easy to use tap turners are a simple solution if you are having problems turning taps on and off. They are available for both crystal and cross head taps and are also colour co-ordinated for the hot and cold water taps that will also help if you have visual impairment or some cognitive loss. (F20729 – crosshead and crystal); (F31431 – crosshead lever taps)
- Changing the taps to lever taps might resolve your difficulty if turning the taps on and off is a problem due to poor grip or loss of function in your upper limbs. You can use your elbows to turn these taps on and off, by fitting some longer lever taps, if you are unable to grip the handles with your hands. Lever taps tend to come with either 75 mm or 125 mm operating handles.
- Some companies provide conversion kits that will convert existing taps into lever taps from crystal taps.
- Thermostatic temperature limited taps are also available to ensure that you do not put your hands under scalding hot water. These are usually limited to 43 degree water temperature
- There are also now options to provide sensor flow, timed flow taps or click action taps, which will increase your independence if you suffer from more extensive difficulties.
- The sensor flow tap will operate when you put your hands under the tap and will stop when you remove them
- The timed flow taps will operate for a short length of time and are usually operated by pushing or clicking down the top of the tap. This can be done with hand, wrist or elbow giving greater flexibility of operation.
- The click action taps are very light touch sensitive and therefore require very little strength to operate.
- Changing the wash hand basin to one with a single hole may also enable you to fit a mixer tap with a lever tap handle, which is also preferably thermostatically controlled to prevent any possible risk of scalding
Problems with turning taps on and off to enable You to remain independent can easily be resolved by either purchasing some simple pieces of equipment or by changing the style of taps on your wash hand basin or even changing the type of wash hand basin you use for a more practical design.