April 2nd 2021 - Blog
Creating a sensory friendly bathroom
Bathrooms4U are highly experienced in designing and fitting mobility bathrooms for all ages and a range of requirements. We work with occupational therapists nationwide to supply bathrooms that meet high standards of fit and quality. Most importantly, we deliver what you need to ensure the bathroom experience is comfortable, enjoyable and accessible for all bathers in the household.
We have selected some of our top tips for creating a sensory-friendly bathroom. If you have any more let us know.
Bathrooms are usually emptier rooms and tend to produce an echo, which can act as a sensory trigger for sensitive ears. You can counter this by including plants and soft furnishing such as fabric blinds, towels and bathrobes. If the bather will be triggered by the sound of the tub being filled make sure to fill the bath for them, preferably out of earshot. Don't forget, showers can be noisy! There are quiet and silent running showers available to minimise potential overwhelm.
Choose calming sounds
Include calming sounds such as their favourite music or a meditation track. Try and keep the mood mellow and relaxed. Remember to keep any music devices away from water, unless you've opted for a bathroom-friendly radio.
Bubble machines, jelly bath bombs and even a fun rubber duck are a great way to occupy younger bathers. You may want to include this at the start of the bath experience and focus on the relaxation more towards the end.
Reduce bright, hard lights
Bathroom lightening can be bright and overstimulating. Including soft wall and under panel lighting and under water lighting will soften edges and help to create that relaxed setting.
Relax with scents
Bath time is a great opportunity to introduce scents such as lavender or chamomile, known for their calming effects. If using essential oils, make sure to keep the bottle out of reach, and only add a couple of drops to the water or on a flannel which can be draped over the bath. Use of soaps is another alternative.
Routines are predictable! If the bather understands verbal communication you can explain what needs to happen step-by-step. This will help to put them at ease, knowing what to expect from the experience. With non-verbal bathers, you can use a picture based communication system such as PECS. PECS are small cards with images or icons that depict actions and experiences such as ‘brushing your teeth’ ‘washing hair’. You can create a picture based routine for morning and night if those routines are different. Sticky Velcro and a laminator help to make splash proof timetables.
This usually requires some level of bathroom refurbishment, however a space such as a wet room is ideal as you aren’t worrying about water spilling out of the bath should there be lots of splashing and you can create a space suited to the individuals needs.
It can also be useful to install mobility equipment such as integrated shower seats, a walk in bath or perhaps you need to expand a shower area should it be a care ratio requirement.
Did you know that bathroom grants are available for persons of all ages who require adaptions? Speak to us to find out more and apply. You can also apply for the grant more than once if needs change.