Expert insights from an occupational therapist on how height-adjustable wash basins add value for users with physical disabilities and their carers.
Height-adjustable wash basins can be a life-changing investment for old or disabled people and the health care professionals taking care of them.
This article includes 2 central points from a talk with the occupational therapist, Catherine Young, who provided several expert insights on the benefits of height-adjustable wash basins for both its users and health care professionals.
1. How does a height adjustable wash basin benefit an old or disabled person?
- It enables them to vary the height of the wash basin and compensate for loss of physical function, impaired standing tolerance and coordination.
- The wash basin can adapt to improvement or deterioration in the disabled/older person’s health and physique, strength and stamina.
- In relation to the needs of a disabled child, the basin can be repositioned and adjusted to support the child’s growth and development.
- A height-adjustable wash basin may support a rehabilitation program/graded activity. It can assist people to ‘regain’ or ‘relearn’ skills that have been lost or impaired due to illness, injury, and disability. It may also support the ‘retention’ and ‘maintenance’ of skills and function.
- A height-adjustable wash basin may be an integral feature of managing/mitigating risk issues (person, task or environmental). Support safe moving and handling techniques.
- The physical accessibility of the basin allows personal choice and independence over water temperature, water pressure and sensory experience.
- The versatility promotes independence and wellbeing, autonomy over task, privacy, intimacy, dignity, self-worth, age appropriate independence and it may address cultural or religious considerations.
- The basin may enable a disabled person to maintain a role within the household (e.g. parenting role – supporting a dependent to use a basin).
- Having an accessible wash basin makes the individuals accountable for their own hygiene.
2. How does a height adjustable wash basin support a health care professional in his/her work?
- It supports assessment of task, activity analysis and care planning.
- It can be used as a tool within a personalised treatment plan.
- It can be used to ‘grade’ an occupation to make it appropriate in terms of need and ability.
- It enables and supports risk management of the occupation.
- It promotes independence and helps lessen the need for ongoing care and support from statutory services.
In conclusion, height adjustable wash basins may have a great impact on users’ independence and support health care professionals’ work on several levels.