Arthritis pain can impact everything you do, including those simple tasks you used to be able to perform without a second thought. Actions like tying your shoes or doing up your shirt buttons, going up and downstairs, and climbing into the tub suddenly become frustrating, painful, and perhaps impossible. If your arthritis pain and stiffness are impacting your ability to bathe and shower independently, here are some tips to make it easier.
Get a Walk-In Model
If your arthritis impacts your hips and knees, you might not have the mobility necessary to climb over the side of a standard tub. If you opt for a walk-in tub instead, you remove that obstacle and step in through a doorway with a low entry step. This is much easier and safer to navigate if you have reduced mobility.
Sit on a Chair
Rather than standing throughout your shower or sitting on the floor of your tub, put a simple shower chair inside the stall or a tub bench in your bath. Better yet, the walk-in tubs described above also come equipped with a high-backed, comfortable seat. Having a seat in your showering or bathing area provides you with a safe, sturdy place to sit while you wash, so you don’t have to worry about losing your balance or becoming fatigued.
Switch Round Knobs for Handles
For those without arthritis, round knobs on their tub controls aren’t an issue. But if you have arthritis in your hands, you might not have the strength needed to firmly grip that knob and turn it. Handles or levers are much more usable for those with arthritis, as you can easily press them up or down with the palm of your hand.
Try Automatic Soap Dispensers
Similar to the above, individuals with arthritis might not have the strength and mobility in their fingers to be able to open, grip, and squeeze a bottle of shampoo, conditioner, or soap. If this is something you struggle with, look for automatic soap dispensers you can mount to your shower or tub wall. That way, you only have to hold your hand beneath them to get what you need.
Add a Grab Bar
Finally, add a grab bar to your tub or shower to assist with stepping in and out. This improves safety and can help prevent a fall on a slippery surface. Again, walk-in versions of tubs, showers, and shower-tub combos usually have this pre-built into them for safety and accessibility. But you can also add these to your existing shower or tub.