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Washing and bathing advice

Keeping Clean

If you don’t have access to the bath or shower, there are alternatives to help you keep clean and comfortable.

A perching stool by your basin may help support you when having a quick wash down. We have a good selection of perching stools at Independent living Centre and would recommend that you talk to us about getting the stool height just right for you and about how to avoid the risk of a wet and slippery floor.

Long handled sponges are helpful for reaching those out of reach places when washing. Some are made of plastic-coated wire that can be bent into position, some are rigid plastic that can be shaped in hot water to be just the right angle for you and some are ready-shaped to curve around to reach your back or feet. We have a great selection here for you to try.

Hair washing can be difficult if you are unable wash in the shower or tip your head over a basin. We have a selection of hair washing trays that can be used on the bed or over the basin to enable you to have a wet hair wash without too much spillage! We also have an interesting range of dry hair wash solutions from Nilaqua that we can show you.

Keeping clean when confined to bed is difficult and usually restricted to a wash with a flannel or sponge. We have a selection of hair washing trays that can be used on the bed.

Bathing in a conventional bath can be difficult as your strength, balance or movement is compromised. We can show you seats, rails or powered lifts that may fit your bath and help you to soak in the bath or have a quick wash, avoiding the risk of falls or getting stuck in the bath and a whole array of other gadgets to make the bathroom a safer place.

Lever head taps are usually easier to turn on and off than crystal head or cross head taps, we also have ‘tap turner’ lever handles that can be added to your taps.

Water temperature warning devices are simple colour changing devices; we can demonstrate how these alert you when the bath water is too hot, before you get in. We also have a floating temperature monitor with an audible alert to warn you when the water is too hot or too cold.

Non-slip bath mats are often recommended to reduce the risk of slipping over in the bath. Be aware that the small suckers on these mats will only stick to a dry, dust and oil-free surface, and if not stuck securely the mat will slide. We can show you non-slip strips and dots that stick permanently to your slippery bath and where to buy them.

Bathroom grab rails can be fitted beside the bath or on the wall to help you get in or out. Bathroom grab rails should be plastic or have plastic ends where they connect to the wall to comply with health and safety regulations. Grab rails with extra grip features are safer when using them with wet hands plus we have a good range of designs here with extra grip for you to see what will suit your needs and fit your bathroom.

A bath board can be fitted over your bath, for you to sit safely over the water to wash, they are also handy when used with an over bath shower. They come in different widths to fit your bath and can be narrow or quite wide to support you when washing. You need good sitting balance and be able to lift your legs over the bath side to use these safely. Some bath boards have integral grab handles that make them feel more secure. Come and try our selection with us and find what works for you.

Bath Board, Bath Step Bath Sea

Bath seats fit with suckers to the bottom of the bath to give a safe seat to wash in the bath water but reducing the risk of getting stuck in the bottom of the bath.  The seats can be used with a bath board, so you can get onto the board and then lower yourself onto the seat. You need good upper body strength to get on and off the seats safely and some bath surfaces are textured or too curved for the bath seat suckers to fit securely.

A swivel bather may give you more support when washing over the bath. It has a backrest and armrests which make it feel safer, but the extra support does tend to restrict reach when washing. Come and try this out with our Therapists and see if it works for you.

swivel bather

Bath steps may help you step over the side of the bath if you prefer to stand in the bath for a wash, or when using a swivel bather. We have some at Independent Living Centre with or without integral rails. They may create a trip risk, so it is helpful to chat to our Therapists about safety and alternatives.

Powered bath lifts may be the solution for you. These battery powered bath lifts support you as you are lowered into the bath water with an upright or reclined backrest. We have a great selection here for most types of bath, with supports to keep you safe and comfortable. We can also show you some inflatable bath cushions and a canvas strap bath lift at the Independent living Centre. You can try the range of lifts in our bath here and our Therapists can help you find what works for you. When you come to see us, it is useful to bring a picture or measurements of your bath at home so we can help you find the right solution.


Bath supports can be used to hold you securely in the bath for a relaxing wash. We have a selection of positioning cushions for the bath that we can demonstrate to you and also advise on other makes and models and arrange demonstrations at the Independent living Centre for these specialist products.

Specialist baths can be purchased with height adjustment, side doors, tilt mechanisms and integral seats. Our Therapists can talk to you about your care needs in the bath and advise you on the make and model that may suit you. We can give you information about the reputable companies who make these products and steer you away from those who have a reputation for hard sell! It is always best to see and try these pricey products before you buy and we can sometimes arrange a demo so that you can try it out at the Independent living Centre.

TECS for bathroom safety

Care alarm pendants can be used in the bathroom to summon assistance and are usually splash proof but not waterproof when immersed.

The extreme temperature alert can be used in the bathroom to alert a carer if your bathroom has become dangerously cold or hot these can be linked to a care alarm service or as part of your smart home system.

Flood alert sensors can be used to alert you or someone close by if the bath or basin has overflowed, but if flooding is a risk. A quick fix is to store basin and bath plugs away from the bathroom, for use when assistance is available to safely fill a

The Surestop switch is a simple switch that can be mounted to an accessible surface at home to activate your water stop valve at home, if there is a risk of overfilling the bath. It can be installed to turn water off in specific rooms at certain times of the day. We can show you how this works and where it might be useful in your home and how you can get this installed.

sure stop stopcock