For disabled or elderly people, taking a bath can be one of the most difficult tasks. Every step can be a challenge, from keeping their balance to getting in and out of the tub. Their limited movement makes them prone to slips, falls, and other common bathroom accidents. Fortunately, there are bathroom products designed specifically for such users.
One of the most popular bath accessories is the long-handled brush. Scrubbing can be especially difficult for those who have trouble moving their arms. Long-handled bath brushes work like arm extensions, allowing you to scrub hard-to-reach body parts without having to ask for help.
There are various options when choosing long-handled bath brushes, from the handle shape to the bristle materials. Here are some of your choices:
Straight. Brushes with straight handles are great for people who have trouble bending down or stretching their arms. With a straight-handled brush, you can reach your lower legs and feet while sitting or standing, without having to bend forward too much. If you have stiff arms or elbows, you can also use a straight-handled brush to reach extremities while keeping your arm in a comfortable position.
Curved. Curved handles allow you to reach around bends such as the waist and hips. They are especially useful for reaching your back, which can be difficult even for people without disabilities. They also provide better grip, because the handle matches the curve of the hand.
Flexible. These are usually curved handles made of rubber or other flexible material. They allow you to control the pressure and scrub on curved surfaces, such as the neck and shoulders. However, they require more pressure and can be hard to use for people with weak arm muscles.
Cloth head. Cloth heads consist of foam covered in a soft washcloth. These are very gentle on the skin, but they don’t clean as deeply as sponge and bristle heads. Use a cloth head brush for rinsing and wiping off spills from the skin. For better cleaning, look for a cloth head with a slightly abrasive fabric, or a mesh overlay. Make sure the cloth will not chafe or irritate your skin.
Sponge tip. These brushes create a rich lather when used with bath soap. The sponge tip can be rough or fine, and may be covered with mesh to protect the foam and add texture. A good sponge tip should allow gentle but thorough scrubbing. Make sure the tip is soft enough to squeeze between joints and folds, but with enough texture to scrub off dirt with minimum pressure.
Bristles. This is the most common style of bath brush. Bristles are best for removing dirt from joints and folds in the skin, such as the knees and elbows. The bristles are usually made of nylon or plastic, and may be loose or tightly packed on the brush head. Avoid bristles that are too fine and dense,
because they can scratch your skin and accumulate dirt with frequent use. For a light massage effect, look for round-tipped bristles that are slightly flexible.