It may be the smallest room in the house, but the bathroom is the most dangerous one in the home.
This is due to a blend of complex activities (occupations), restricted space, humidity and its wet environment – the combination of which can lead to accidents and injuries.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) can help design safety features for bathroom layouts and also choose the appropriate products to meet the client’s needs, avoiding potential injuries.
When designing a bathroom, a client’s unique goals should be prioritised. OTs need to involve their clients in the decision-making process regarding layout and products, while clearly explaining why certain design features or specific products are being recommended.
Below are six tips to safer design in the bathroom, from the simple to the complex:
Always recommend R10 (1) rated slip-resistant flooring, reducing potential slips and falls. Remember that slip-resistant flooring does not always have to be ‘lino’; there are some excellent R10 rated tiles which can create a less institutional look.
Despite living with severe walking difficulties, Mark Ravensdale, 48 from Barnsley, has been able to continue with his passion for wood gathering and crafting, thanks to a new off-road TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter.
Mark has unfortunately lived with spinal problems since he was 24. He fell from a significant height when climbing a tree and damaged his lower back irreparably, resulting in ongoing pain in both legs and limited walking capabilities. Since experiencing this trauma, Mark has been able to rebuild his life through the support of his parents and Claire, his 24-year old daughter. Mark is a skillful wood turner and creates beautiful vases and bowls in his workshop on a professional lathe. This full time hobby has real importance in Mark’s life, however it had become difficult to continue until he took ownership of his rugged mobility scooter. This TGA model, which is the same scooter that won BBC TV’s Top Gear Extreme Mobility Scooter Challenge, has given Mark the ability to continue sourcing natural wood in his local countryside. With permission granted from forestry rangers and Environment Agency personnel, he can load up his scooter with a few pieces that are then transported home – ready for his creativity to begin.
48-year-old Mark Ravensdale on his TGA Breeze mobility scooter in Wombwell forest near Barnsley.
Mark rides his robust TGA mobility scooter into Wombwell woods and along surrounding rivers and canals searching for workers engaged in clearing dangerous boughs or branches. This would not be possible without his Breeze S4 as he explains: “I have owned several other brands of mobility scooter before my Breeze and they were all not up to scratch. They all had many faults including dodgy transaxles and controllers, they were very unreliable, not my new Breeze though. I discovered this model online when reading lots of positive reviews – I made sure I did my homework before buying. Since ownership, crickey, my life has really changed! I can now enjoy ‘me time’ and can go wherever I want independently. I have to live with my parents due to my mobility issues, however I try my very best to avoid relying on anyone – with my Breeze I can achieve this.”
Mark continues: “My TGA mobility scooter gives me the ability to go and adventure in the woods and also enjoy the bird sanctuary in Worsborough which is a few miles from my house. I take my binoculars for a really good view of the wildlife and love driving around the scenic mill. I am also always on the lookout for interesting pieces of wood which I can craft into turned vases and bowls on my lathe back home. Now and again I am allowed to take some pieces that have been chopped down and are destined for the wood grinder. After transportation on my Breeze to the workshop, I can then get the wood on my lathe and begin turning, this always makes me feel positive about life.”
Mark Ravensdale on his TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter displaying one of latest wood turning creations