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Although stroke and heart attacks are entirely different things, the effect on mobility for those that suffer them are similar, and that effect can be devastating to their confidence as well as their ability to move around the house.
It's worse when it comes to certain areas, and one of those is the bathroom. This is why Eastern Adaptations specialise in that area. If a person's balance is slightly off, they're going to need all the help they can get when it comes to using the bathroom the way they are used to.
And if a person is wheelchair bound due to a stroke or heart attack, moving a wheelchair around tight spots becomes that much harder. With that in mind, the following guide will help you get to grips with some of the adaptations you may need to allow you, or those you love to stay in the comfort of their own homes.
Before we start, you may find the following statistics on stroke and heart attack in the UK rather surprising.
Although 28% of deaths in the UK are caused by heart and other circulatory diseases, this figure has halved since 1961 according to the British Heart Foundation.
But that still leaves 7.8 million people who are currently suffering from coronary heart disease (also known as CHD or Ischaemic Heart Disease).
I'm happy to report, though, that the trend is still heading in the right direction - downwards - as people start to understand that a healthy diet is perhaps the most important contributing factor to a healthy heart.
Whilst heart attack sufferers can experience mobility issues, stroke is by far the biggest cause of long term debilitating effects, and stroke is also the largest cause of death and disability in the UK.
Thankfully, the number of deaths from stroke has also halved in the last 15 years according to the UK Government.
Stroke often causes loss of power in our limbs. This is more prevalent on the right side of our bodies and means we can have difficulty doing everyday things like turning on taps and showers.
It also means that should we trip, we may not be able to steady ourselves by finding a suitable grab rail. This is particularly true where a bathroom has not been adapted in any way to those with mobility issues.
A great deal of care is needed to ensure that grab rails are positioned in appropriate places that makes sense for the sufferer depending on which limbs are affected.
For example, even something as simple as turning on a lightswitch can be hard when limb power loss is part of the symptoms following a stroke.
For this reason, the switch itself must be easily accessible, and it should be located in a place suitable for left or right-handers to use - depending on which arm is the stronger.
It's attention to details like this that separate standard bathroom fitters (who have little knowledge of the needs of those with disabilities) and specialists such as Eastern Adaptations who work with the elderly, less-abled and disabled (along with medical professionals) every day.
Another important consideration is the type of flooring used in a bathroom. It's not just the surface that matters, it's the flatness of the floor and the avoidance of multi-levels and steps (often the case when it comes to showers).
For this reason, most people prefer a wetroom style of bathroom adaptation with a single level floor throughout the whole bathroom.
Low level showers are also possible provided the person is able to lift their legs unaccompanied, but a completely level floor with no step into the shower is always preferable - so for that reason, wetrooms are the choice.
A wetroom adaptation also opens more space in a bathroom, which usually means other specialist equipment including hoists and lifts become possible. This is vital where someone has great difficulty moving at all.
There are specialist baths that include floor level access as well as hoists (electrical or manual) to let people safely enjoy an envigorating hot bath once again.
A modification from standard bathroom to wetroom also allows for easy wheelchair access so is highly recommended as a starting point to remodel an existing bathroom to allow the user to enjoy it again.
The type of flooring is of great importance for those who have difficulty walking. It must be non-slip, and it must also be non-slip when wet. Do not accept anything less.
A specialist bathroom adaptation company will know what you need and will be able to offer a choice that fits in with your budget as well as your taste.
It is vital with level flooring that there is no possibility of any part of it becoming unattached (as so often happens when builders fail to take into account the extreme environmental conditions of bathrooms and water), so the way your new flooring is attached is important too (Eastern Adaptations are members of the British Health Care Association, the largest of its kind in the UK and uphold their very strict compliance regulations).
People who have suffered from a stroke can end up wheelchair bound. This may be permanent or temporary, but either way, access to all areas of a bathroom will be problematic without some adaptation.
The most important being a single level floor. It also means access to the shower area must be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair with ease, and just as importantly, the shower controls and height must be taken into consideration.
Having taps that are physically hard to turn on (as so often the case in most shower installations) makes it harder for people with disability problems, so make sure your bathroom adaptation specialist understands this.
Wheelchair access to the bathroom sink is also something to consider. Pedestal-less sinks are the option to choose here, allowing a wheelchair user access right up to the edge of the sink.
Specialist movable shower chairs are also an option where someone finds it hard to stand up for any length of time and come highly recommended.
High rise toilets are also available where someone has difficulty with their lower limb movement. Hand grab rails may also be necessary, allowing the person to feel secure.
Specialist self-cleaning toilets are another option to make life not only less stressful for both user and carer, but also give an extra level of hygiene and confidence at a time when people need it most.
Eastern Adaptations is the fastest growing specialist mobility bathroom company in the Midlands, East of England and South East.
Simply call us direct on 0800 955 8810 to arrange a FREE home assessment or order a FULL COLOUR BROCHURE.
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At Eastern Adaptations, we have been helping those less-abled in the comfort of their own home for years. Whatever the shape or size room we have to work with, we can transform your space into an less-abled friendly, instantly accessible bathroom. If your needs include the use of a wheelchair this is not a problem for us. We will come up with a solution that will facilitate this.
Creating or adapting an existing bathroom into one that's friendly to people with any kind of disability is more than an art, it's a science. This is why we work with medical experts to ensure we deliver the best possible result for our clients.
It's also why we're able to source specialist equipment where it's necessary to do so. And it's not just the simpler things like walk-in bathing, it's also about hoists and specialist toilet equipment.
If you're not sure whether your needs can be fulfilled, give us a call on 0800 955 8810 and we'll be happy to advise.
Every accessible bathroom we install is unique because we customise its design with the user in mind. We’re here to listen, so we can tailor our services to your exact requirements – we want you to feel safe and comfortable in your very own home. Our main focus is to provide a simple solution that’s no-fuss and gives a stylish, functional finish.
We understand that time is of the essence when it comes to installing a new bathroom due to its regular use, which is why we get the job right the first time around. You choose what it is you need, whether that’s a comfort height toilet, wet room or level access showers, and we will make that seamless transformation.
Eastern Adaptations are a close-knit team who offer extensive knowledge and experience with reduced mobility and disabled clients. We’re invested both professionally and personally because we want you to feel comfortable and settled at home – we will facilitate the entire process from the first phone call to the final installation.
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