Physical Rehabilitation and Bathroom Use

The information in this guide is intended as general information only and is not a replacement for official health guidance by your local medical providers. Please always consult an occupational therapist and/or local healthcare for more specific guidance.
Roll-InBuddy Lite SB6c over toilet

Helpful Guides

Recovery Journey

5 Tips

Stories

Resources

Welcome to our in-depth resource for physical rehabilitation and bathroom use.

Rehabilitation is a different story for every person who goes through it. In many cases, the process can be long and challenging as the individual goes through physical therapy to regain body movement. Physical rehabilitation might be the result of an accident, a health condition or a sports injury. Our community of Showerbuddy users who are coping with physical rehabilitation engage with us because of the need for help during bathroom use. An environment that’s hazardous to begin with, the bathroom needs to have measures in place to protect the mobility impaired individual and their support person.

In this resource, we provide some insights around bathroom use during physical rehabilitation, from the perspective of an assistive equipment provider. For more information related specifically to your physical rehabilitation, consult with your physical therapist, occupational therapist or health provider directly.

Roll-InBuddy Lite SB6c Video Overlay Image

MODEL SB1 “ShowerBuddy”:  One of the most defining features of the Showerbuddy Transfer Range is its transfer bridge design – allowing clearance over the edge or lip of a shower base.

Our Helpful Guides

Petite-Buddy P2 on SB1 Frame with caretaker 02

Using The Toilet With An Injury

It’s not until we’re dealing with a serious injury that we realise just how difficult the body movements are during toilet use. In this guide we provide some insights around these challenges and how those recovering from an injury can navigate this process easier.

How To Bathe Comfortably During Rehab

Bathing should be one of the more relaxing moments of the day. But without the right support in place, it can be anything but when rehabilitating a physical impairment. In this guide we draw upon our extensive knowledge in the area of bathing with mobility challenges to provide some useful tips.

Equipment To Help Bathroom Use When Injured

A key part of any physical care plan in the bathroom is the assistive technology that’s employed. Having a good process and equipment in place can remove a lot of stress involved with bathroom use. We cover some of the key pieces of equipment that may be worth investigating.

Common Injuries And How They Prevent Bathroom Activities

With bathroom use requiring all sorts of movements and parts of the body to carry out, there are many different types of mobility impairments that result from injuries – each of these need to be catered to differently. In this guide we cover some of the more common injuries we see within our Showerbuddy community and the tasks they can prevent or hamper.

Planning Bathroom Routines During Rehabilitation

Having a good plan in place to use the bathroom is as important as the support and equipment itself. Being a very personal space, the bathroom process should be collaborative and make the individual as comfortable as possible. Our guide provides some useful insights around being prepared during the rehabilitation process.

Recovery is a journey

Bathroom Use During Recovery Is A Journey

Rehabilitation from a serious injury or illness is rarely a quick process. Serious physical setbacks require intensive programmes to work through. This might involve activities like:

  • Physical therapy to relearn mobility and build strength
  • Support with mental wellbeing throughout the process of rehabilitation and coming to terms with the event that caused the injury.
  • Occupational therapy assistance to complete daily life tasks.
  • Support from family or a carer.
  • Learning to use assistive technology
  • Journalling the process to keep track of progress.

The bathroom presents one of the more daunting parts of daily life for someone with a physical impairment. For those who’ve lived life with full control over their body and bathroom routine, suddenly relying on others for what is quite a personal ritual can be very challenging to accept.

It’s important that the individual and their family alike understand that in the case of a physical rehabilitation picture, bathroom use may look one way this month and another way next month. The rehabilitation programme and OT’s planning will map out different levels of independence as milestones to work towards.

Bathroom use may start out as reliant upon others, eventually getting to a place where the individual can bathe themselves alone with the help of some assistive technology.

Make bathroom use easier

Petite-Buddy P2 on SB1 Frame with caretaker 02

MODEL “TubBuddy Tilt” SB2T:  One of our most popular models with a bridge transfer system to clear the edge of a bathtub and a tilt feature for user comfort.

5 Ways To Make Bathroom Use Easier During Rehabilitation

Bathroom use isn’t easy with a physical injury or condition that prevents full mobility. With serious injuries that leave parts of the body entirely incapacitated for a period of time, bathing and toileting can be even more of a challenge. But there are things that families and support people can do:

1. Bathroom atmosphere.

Create a bathroom atmosphere that’s inviting, open and hazard free. With the manoeuvring and physical support needed for someone going through a physical recovery, the bathroom shouldn’t create more barriers to the showering and toileting process.

2. Detailed planning

Have a detailed plan in place straight away. Lack of planning or understanding as to your loved one’s physical limitations will make it hard to offer the correct help. The OT should have a plan designed around the individual’s needs and home that they will onboard you to as the support person.

3. Communication

Listening and cooperation. A mistake that can really derail the bathroom experience for someone going through physical rehabilitation is when they don’t feel heard. Ultimately, the bathroom (and any daily tasks for that matter) should be up to the individual. If the bathroom routine doesn’t feel right or in line with personal preferences, there’s more opportunity for stress, frustration and arguments. Much of this can be avoided when open discussion is allowed and the OT’s care plan has been contributed to by the individual themselves.

4. Simplicity

Keeping it simple. Over complicating the process of bathroom use can just add to the stress and exertion of all involved parties. A toilet process, bathing process and washing up process may be all that’s required. Any non-essential activities that may have otherwise been completed in the bathroom may be worth bringing out into another room – getting hair done, applying makeup, getting dressed etc.

5. Use good equipment

Make use of good equipment. Physical rehabilitation will require a range of assistive technology that helps re-engage the body and bring back key movements. But at home in the bathroom equipment can be used to make bathing and toileting easier. There are a number of options available, some of which you’ll learn more about in this resource.

Recovery stories

ShowerBuddy SB1 in shower with caregiver removing bridge

Do you have a recovery story? We want to hear from you.

Hearing about other journeys through physical rehabilitation can really help someone experiencing it themselves.

We’d like to hear from anyone who has been through the trials and tribulations of an injury or condition that required rehab. How was your bathroom experience? What tips do you have for others going through this? Reach out to us via our contact page and we’ll chat to you about sharing some of your story in this resource.

Resources to help your recovery

Downloadable Resources

Here you’ll find our downloadable resources about physical rehab and bathroom use:

List Of Physical Rehabilitation Resources

Are you looking for some help with the physical rehabilitation process in your country? Perhaps you’re looking for additional information beyond the current programme of care. We’ve compiled a number of resources from health to support to community websites that may be of use.

Checklist For Preparing A Bathroom For An Injured Person

While not an exhaustive list, we’ve drawn upon thousands of interactions with injured Showerbuddy users, their families and OTs to pull together a bathroom prep sheet for someone with an injury. You’ll get some tips about keeping the bathroom clean, clear and accommodating for someone without full mobility.