The importance of regular and safe bathing for health and wellbeing
- Credit: BMAS
Having the right bathroom for your needs is about ensuring your physical safety and your mental wellbeing, explains Lee Brand, manager of BMAS (Bathing Mobility Advisory Service) Hitchin.
The family-run company has looked after customers in Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and the surrounding villages for more than two years and understands how individual a safe bathing environment needs to be. Lee, a highly experienced mobility bathroom designer, with 28 years’ experience in the business, says being able to bathe safely and regularly can transform someone’s life:
Q: Why is safe bathing so important?
A: Regular bathing is something we all do. It is the most natural thing in the world and it is important that – whatever your mobility issue or disability might be – you are able to do it safely. Our customers need to be able to bathe safely to minimise the risk of a fall or other injury so they can keep their physical health as long as possible. They also need to make sure that people can get to them easily if there is an accident. We want to keep them safe in their own home, while also ensuring they have as much independence as possible.
Q: What do you offer customers at BMAS Hitchin?
A: A complete and versatile service that is individual and meets their needs from a safety point of view, while also taking into account personal tastes and preferences. Creating a safe bathing environment is very much about how a bathroom is designed and laid out and we really take our time over this, whether it's fitting a walk-in shower or bath or completely transforming the bathroom into a wet room.
The individual customer is at the heart of every design. I meet them and carry out a free home visit and quotation, with no obligation. I do all the drawings and designs, with their input and taking their budget into account. We also try to future-proof it as much as possible. There is no point fitting something that is only going to have to be replaced in a few years’ time.
As a team, we then use our own tradespeople to carry out the whole installation. We also recycle everything that has come out of the old bathroom, and we conduct electrical tests. Our customers can come into our Covid-safe showroom during opening hours to see and test our products and to meet us. In fact, many of our former customers still pop in to see us!
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Q: Does being able to bathe safely have positive mental benefits?
A: Yes. People feel so much better when they can bathe safely at home. It means they are able to bathe much more regularly, and it lifts the anxiety from their shoulders. Keeping clean brings about a sense of feeling better in yourself. It can also allow you to stay in your own home for longer – and some of our customers have lived in their homes for up to 50 years. Some also have carers and having a safe bathing environment can avert the need to move into residential care. The longer people can stay at home, the better they tend to do mentally and physically.
Q: Working so closely with your customers, do you see a difference after they have had one of your bathrooms fitted?
A: Without question. If someone does not feel safe, it plays up with them mentally, but for many this anxiety can be completely removed by creating the safe bathing environment. We get so much feedback from our customers and their families. They tell us how much better they feel – and their children say the same. That is what I pride myself in – customers coming back to us to say how we have helped them to feel safe for the rest of their lives.
Having a mobility bathroom installed can also lift the stress for family members who are no longer worried about their parents’ bathing. One customer came back to us to say we had completely changed her life and that of her husband. She had been bathing him for the past 10 years but got up one morning to discover he had already had his shower on his own.