To improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, a lot of special devices have been invented. One of them is bathroom lifts for the disabled and the elderly. Such devices make life easier not only for the patient, but also for those who care for him, because moving an immobile person into the bath for the implementation of hygiene procedures requires enormous efforts from relatives. What are lifts and are they suitable for an ordinary small apartment? Understanding.
Bathroom lift design
Initially, lifts were used only in sanatoriums, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Now on sale you can find the most compact models that can be used in a small apartment, and the folding mechanism only simplifies storage.
The construction of the lift is not particularly complicated. Its main part is a seat or bed, where the patient is placed. Some models provide for fastening with belts, which only increases the level of safety during operation of the lift. The seat is firmly fixed to the lifting mechanism, hydraulically or electrically powered.
The shape of the seat or bed varies from model to model. The most advanced ones have multi-stage adjustment to make the person as comfortable as possible. The most important thing is the ability to change the angle of the backrest, so that the patient can take a reclining position in the bathroom.
Even a fragile girl will be able to lower and raise a person – it literally comes down to pressing buttons. This cannot be compared to the need to pick up a patient and carry it to the bathroom. Not only is it very difficult for the person who is caring for the patient, but also the disabled person himself, during such transportation, takes not quite natural postures, experiencing discomfort. When using the lift, the patient’s spine is securely fixed, which allows to reduce the load on the musculoskeletal system.
For added comfort, the lift can be fitted with handrails and footrests.
The case is made of stainless steel – it must be as strong, stable and reliable as possible in order to withstand serious loads. The seats are usually made of plastic or fiberglass – they meet all hygienic requirements, tolerate constant contact with water well, and at the same time have sufficient strength. In the overweight patient lift models, the seat is made of reinforced materials.
For the lift to be mobile, the device is equipped with wheels. In sanatoriums, by the way, stationary systems are usually used, which are fixed, for example, near a swimming pool or a medicinal bath.
Who needs a lift?
A bath lift may be needed:
- people with disabilities;
- patients after injuries and operations during the rehabilitation period;
- To old people;
- children with cerebral palsy.
Note that lifts for disabled people are different. There are models that can be used not only in the bathroom. Such devices make life much easier, allowing you to move the patient from the wheelchair to the bed and vice versa, transplant, sit in the bathroom, etc.
How to use the bathroom lift?
As we already said, anyone can handle it. The whole procedure is as follows:
- it is better to bring the patient to the bathroom in a wheelchair. You can also use a toilet chair on wheels for transportation – it is more compact than a stroller;
- near the bathtub, the patient is transferred to a lift seat. You can put the patient in a lift and not in the bathroom, but then you must be sure that the device will go everywhere, i.e. you will have to take into account the width of the doorways and the presence of differences in the floor height;
- if necessary and possible, arms and legs are fixed with belts, a comfortable head lift is established;
- the lift is turned by means of the wheels, the lifting mechanism is activated, immersion in the bath is carried out.
After the completion of the hygiene procedures, the sitting with the patient is lifted, and the patient is transplanted into a chair or chair, transferred to the bed. If the lift is equipped with a folding mechanism, there will be no problem with its storage at all.
What lifts are there?
The lift design described above is optimal for the bath, but such devices cannot boast of versatility. If the funds and area of the apartment are limited, you can take a closer look at models of a different type. Consider all possible lift designs that can be used in the bathroom.
Bath lift only. This type of equipment is described in detail above. Suitable only for water treatments – this is a minus. But taking a bath with such a lift will make the patient as comfortable as possible – this is a plus. There are models that are fixed to the bath itself. An example in the photo below.
The U-lift consists of a small base and two sturdy straps that are passed between the patient’s legs and then secured to the lift. It may not be the most convenient device, but its main advantage is its versatility. The device simplifies the process of moving a patient from bed to stroller and back, from bed to toilet, etc. A real salvation for both the patient and the person caring for him. Such a lift can also be used to move the patient into the bath. Moreover, hygiene procedures can be carried out in a raised state.
On the pages https://au-med.ru/dly-legachih-bolnih/podemniki-dlya-invalidov/ you can find a lift suitable for all parameters. There are also stand-ups on the market to aid in rehabilitation. All devices are battery operated, so they can even be used to move a patient outside. The company “Aura-Med” provides free shipping, and if the product does not fit, you can return it.
The comfortable lift is an improved version of the previous device. Instead of straps, a semblance of a small hammock is used. This design is more comfortable for the patient, but poorly suited for washing.
The sanitary lift features slots for going to the toilet and carrying out simple hygiene procedures. When transplanting, the patient will need to hold onto the belts himself, therefore this design will not work for those who are completely weakened.
A separate topic is the lifts that are installed in the bathroom bowl and can change the height for comfortable immersion of the patient under water. Such designs do not solve the main issue – moving the disabled person from the chair to the bathroom, i.e. you will have to transplant it yourself again. For more or less mobile patients, this device can be useful, but if there are serious problems with the musculoskeletal system, it will be difficult to use it. That is why we will not consider this type of structures.
What to consider when choosing?
A huge load is carried on the lift, whatever type it may be, therefore, when choosing, you need to pay attention to all structural elements:
the material of the seat, bed, covers, belts – must be strong, resistant to constant exposure to moisture, easy to clean;
type of control – mechanical or electric. The second, of course, is more convenient, since you will need to press the buttons on the remote panel or on the remote control. Mechanical models are a little more difficult to operate, but they do not require huge efforts from you, but they are much cheaper. The main thing is that the lift is not confused in operation;
the quality of fasteners and regulating mechanisms should be ideal – no squeaks, jamming, wobbling are allowed, because safety is at stake;
the dimensions of the device are selected depending on the characteristics of the apartment. Fortunately, there are quite compact lifts that can be operated even in a standard (read – small) apartment. If there is very little space, then it is better to pay attention to folding models. Do not forget to take into account the width of the doorways – the lift should go to the bathroom, and maybe to other rooms. It all depends on the planned operation;
- good maneuverability is achieved by adjusting the base width. If you expand the base, then the lift can easily drive up to the chair, and in the standard position of the base, the structure passes through standard doorways
- functionality must meet the needs of the patient, there is no need to overpay for unnecessary functions. Adjustment of the angle of inclination of the head, the possibility of fixing the limbs – all this is at your discretion.
Once again, we note that when choosing, it is worth paying the same attention to both convenience for the patient and ease of use for the caregiver.