A guide to independent living aids

What are independent living aids?

An independent living aid is any device that enables people to maintain independence, particularly as their needs change through ageing or injury.

Dan says the aim is to make the home safer without making it feel like a hospital. When it comes to bathrooms, Dan adds, “Our range is designed to blend into the home so that people can still have a beautiful bathroom.”

shower holder

Installing a grab rail

A grab rail is a reinforced hand rail that is easy to grip. They can be installed in wet areas like the shower, compact spaces like toilets and outside the home where walkways change in level. “We have a great range of grab rails available, from 300mm to 900mm and you can choose from white, black or polished chrome.”

Grab rails are easy to install in your bathroom but If you can’t drill into the wall, a suction grab rail is a good alternative that can be fitted to most smooth surfaces.

holder

Discrete grab rails

Several bathroom fixtures incorporate grab rails into their design to blend seamlessly into your décor. Dan says the corner shelf with grab rail looks like any other shower shelf, while providing added support.

“My favourite is the shower and grab rail combination. Regardless of your age and mobility it provides a great shower as well as an additional safety element in a highly slippery area – and it still looks great.”

Another clever device is the toilet roll holder with grab rail which is especially helpful in compact spaces.

chair

Help getting up and down

When knees, legs or balance are an issue, an adjustable transfer seat is helpful for getting in and out of baths and showers. Once inside the shower, a height-adjustable shower seat provides a safe bathing experience.

Dan says one of the most simple and useful independent living aids for the bathroom is a bathtub step. “Unlike a general use step, the Evacare step has a non-slip lining to minimise slipping in a wet environment like a bathroom.”

A hinged support rail provides assistance when lowering down or standing up from the toilet. The hinge makes it easy to fold away, which is handy for toilets located in bathrooms and ensuites.

tap

Easy-to-use taps

While many of our independent living aids provide support and stability, an extended lever basin mixer can simply make life easier.

Dan says, “It is particularly aimed at people who are suffering arthritis or struggle with the strength of their grip. The lever makes it much easier to turn on the tap because you have a larger handle to push with your hand or forearm.”

chair

Explore our independent living range

Check out our full range of independent living aids.

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our DIY videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member

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