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    shower bench question....

    My father is a 70 year old incomplete para that can walk with AFO's and crutches short distances. He hates all medical equipment and does not value comfort/safety that it might provide. He has fallen 6 times in the past month. He lives in an old 2 story house with a small, poorly-accessible bathroom.

    Currently, he hates his shower bench. It is similar to this...

    http://www.exmed.net/p-3762-medline-...wer-chair.aspx

    He wants to get rid of it and get something simple - like a shower "chair" - that only sits inside the tub. Something like this?

    http://www.exmed.net/p-3023-moen-adj...ower-seat.aspx

    His reason? He doesn't like shower benches that are partially outside the tub because sometimes water will spill out of the tub if you don't tuck the shower curtain in "right" to prevent this. An additional reason? I think he wants something that can be removed more easily if he isn't using it in case he has guests, and he hates medical equipment.

    These shower chairs seem much more dangerous for him getting in/out of the tub safely - especially when the tub is wet. He is often alone when he is taking showers, so if he fell.....

    Wondering what you walking quads/paras use, especially those who use AFOs and have poor balance. Any other options/compromises we can make?

    #2
    I use this folding bench. And suction-cup grab bars similar to this one. These grab bars will not support full weight but are wonderful stabilizers. Mine have prevented many potentially nasty falls.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by chasmengr View Post
      I use this folding bench. And suction-cup grab bars similar to this one. These grab bars will not support full weight but are wonderful stabilizers. Mine have prevented many potentially nasty falls.
      Thanks so much for showing me what you use. I'm amazed that is comfortable/stable enough for you. Do you stand up in the tub with wet feet? That is what we are most worried about... how do you get out of the tub safely with wet feet if you don't have a bench that extends outside of the tub? Do you use crutches/walker/AFOs?

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, I can stand in the wet tub, but I hold a grab bar (I shower with a handheld shower head suction cupped to the wall). I installed anti-slip strips on the tub's floor, and have rubber-backed rugs on the bathroom floor. Most of time I sit while showering, but I stand to peri wash and rinse. I also use Simple Human wall-mounted soap/shampoo dispensers, which are operable with one hand, so I can continue holding on to a grab bar with the other.

        I can walk some, and typically use only walls and furniture to get around inside the house. When I leave home, I use a manual wheelchair (it's actually fun). Prior to the wheelchair, I used a rollator for a year; the wheelchair works much better for me. I have never used crutches since the onset of my walking difficulties.

        It's too bad your dad doesn't like DME. The right ones are wonderful. Does he wear glasses? They're durable medical equipment
        Last edited by chasmengr; 16 Mar 2013, 1:06 AM.
        Chas
        TiLite TR3
        Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
        I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

        "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
        <
        UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

        Comment


          #5
          I use this:
          http://www.amazon.com/Conair-PTB1R-T...a+shower+chair

          I like it because it does not look as medical as others. I do not stand in the shower but do have grab bars installed along the inside wall for balance. The most difficult things for me to learn were how to transfer onto the seat safely and how to avoid falling backwards. Honestly, I doubt I will be able to use this system at 70 yo. By then I hope to have a spa like bathroom with a wheel in shower and built in benches. Something similar to this: http://www.casedesign.com/blog/wp-co...uploads/23.jpg

          However, my husband and I have many more years of hard work before we will be able to afford something so opulent.

          Good Luck,
          E
          There is no such thing as a stupid question but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots. -modified from despair.com

          Comment


            #6
            I just switched to this last month. I hate, hate, hate relying on electricity or handicrap ... but this thing has changed my life. Easier transfer than the bench, and as your father says, no water spillage from a bench hanging outside the tub. Even if the motor should give up the ghost, I like it better than a bench.

            Bubbles, warm bath, circulation .. it's all good! I can't say enough good things about this (other than there's minimal padding so I keep my showers brisk and it doesn't matter when submerged as I'm weightless). Cannot wait to get a whirlpool bath in the coming years!

            ETA: It's a lift that goes up/down so I have the choice of shower or bath like a freaking normal person should have.

            http://www.invacare.ca/cgi-bin/imhqp...OID=-536886175
            Last edited by lynnifer; 16 Mar 2013, 12:01 PM.
            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by chasmengr View Post
              Yes, I can stand in the wet tub, but I hold a grab bar. I installed anti-slip strips on the tub's floor, and have rubber-backed rugs on the bathroom floor. Most of time I sit while showering, but I stand to peri wash and rinse.

              I can walk some, and typically use only walls and furniture to get around inside the house. When I leave home, I use a manual wheelchair (it's actually fun).

              It's too bad your dad doesn't like DME. The right ones are wonderful. Does he wear glasses? They're durable medical equipment
              Thanks again for all of this info. Very helpful. You are higher functioning then he is. It is interesting what equipment people choose to use.... He never uses his wheelchair outside of the house, but uses it a lot inside the house so he can use his hands/carry things more easily.

              Getting in/out of a wet shower is his problem.... He can only stand/take a step safely with crutches or a sturdy walker, and shoes - and nothing can be wet at all. A crutch tip can slip so easily even with a small amount of water. So standing up in a wet shower and stepping out of the shower with wet feet onto the bathroom floor without crutches is a problem. He still would need to sit down outside of the tub to dry his feet, put on shoes etc.. and the bathroom is so small that it would be hard to fit another chair in there.

              The shower bench actually works perfectly, in many ways. He can sit down from his walker/crutches without stepping into the tub, then turn and lift his legs one by one into the tub. After the shower, he does the reverse... and dries each foot before putting them into shoes and standing up onto a dry bathroom floor with dry crutches. I just don't see how you can get in/out of the tub safely if you are dependent on crutches if you don't have a bench that extends outside of the tub.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Essie View Post
                I use this:
                http://www.amazon.com/Conair-PTB1R-T...a+shower+chair

                I like it because it does not look as medical as others. I do not stand in the shower but do have grab bars installed along the inside wall for balance. The most difficult things for me to learn were how to transfer onto the seat safely and how to avoid falling backwards. Honestly, I doubt I will be able to use this system at 70 yo. By then I hope to have a spa like bathroom with a wheel in shower and built in benches. Something similar to this: http://www.casedesign.com/blog/wp-co...uploads/23.jpg

                E
                That is a cute little chair - but I am worried about exactly what you say is hard... how do you get on and off the small chair safely (and in/out of the tub), and with wet feet... and then how do you then get out of the bathroom safely etc...? It also looks like the feet of a a lot of these chairs don't secure very well.

                I have also thought those fancy bathrooms look nice.... but our big fear is taking a step on a wet surface is so dangerous that even walk in showers have their downsides.

                I appreciate your input. It is so helpful to hear what other people are using.

                Also, it is helpful to hear what other people think is hard/reasonable. My father always thinks I am too careful/worried, and I always think he isn't careful enough. He falls so much.... and a bad fall in the shower when you are 70 years old (and taking the blood thinner coumadin....) could be devastating.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by lynnifer View Post
                  I just switched to this last month. I hate, hate, hate relying on electricity or handicrap ... but this thing has changed my life. Easier transfer than the bench, and as your father says, no water spillage from a bench hanging outside the tub. Even if the motor should give up the ghost, I like it better than a bench.

                  Bubbles, warm bath, circulation .. it's all good! I can't say enough good things about this (other than there's minimal padding so I keep my showers brisk and it doesn't matter when submerged as I'm weightless). Cannot wait to get a whirlpool bath in the coming years!

                  ETA: It's a lift that goes up/down so I have the choice of shower or bath like a freaking normal person should have.

                  http://www.invacare.ca/cgi-bin/imhqp...OID=-536886175

                  Wow - that is totally luxurious! But how do you transfer onto it? Does the seat rotate so that you can transfer more easily from outside the tub? Could someone standing outside the tub easily "sit down" on it without stepping into the tub, and step off it back into the bathroom when you are done?

                  How nice to take a bath... I think he would love it. But he would never buy that. Way too expensive. He will complain about a $50 shower chair and will look for the cheapest thing he can find... ugh....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by hlh View Post
                    My father is a 70 year old incomplete para that can walk with AFO's and crutches short distances. He hates all medical equipment and does not value comfort/safety that it might provide. He has fallen 6 times in the past month. He lives in an old 2 story house with a small, poorly-accessible bathroom. ...
                    Hey hih, like your dad I’m grumpy, old, hate med equipment and walk some too.

                    A small bathroom can be good. Lots close by to reach for. Years ago in mine I installed a stainless towel bar just outside the shower with big-screw mounts set deeply into underlying studs – same with a thick stainless steel shower-curtain rod. Expensive stuff but I can grab either without worry. The overhead shower rod is particularly useful as I can grab it when easing my questionably-balanced 6’2” down or up from a kneeling position or shower chair sitting position. Not ideal but it works for me.

                    When showering standing (which I favor when very confident), I always drop to the bench, partially towel off then, still seated, swing the legs out to a floor towel to finish up and stand with the help of the towel rod and/or counter which is near-enough to lean to. I NEVER step directly out of the shower anymore – the momentum could destroy me and/or the bathroom!

                    No water about to slip on, I step on out along the counter and wall to the hall and the chair – which can’t get into the bathroom because I spec’d that particular door too narrow years back when the house was built and I wasn’t what I am now – if all that makes any sense.

                    One day, I’ll probably have to widen it.

                    Your dad may need back support but if he doesn’t – like you say – a simple shower chair might work just fine, won’t interfere with the curtain and stows away quickly when desired.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by hlh View Post
                      But how do you transfer onto it? Does the seat rotate so that you can transfer more easily from outside the tub? Could someone standing outside the tub easily "sit down" on it without stepping into the tub, and step off it back into the bathroom when you are done?

                      How nice to take a bath... I think he would love it. But he would never buy that. Way too expensive. He will complain about a $50 shower chair and will look for the cheapest thing he can find... ugh....
                      Yes, yes and yes. The sides fold up when it is descending into the bath ... this folding section rests on the edge of the tub so essentially I'm sitting on the edge of the tub. One could easily pivot and move their legs in/out. The only different is the shower bench doesn't hang out of the tub now.

                      My employer's insurance won't cover anything in the bathroom (thank you expensive medical products and the last generation who maybe abused the priveleges of having work insurance) ... so I picked mine up on kijiji.ca for $200 cold hard cash. It had only been used 3x.

                      The sucking part about aging with paralysis is compromise; having to accept those little technological advances (yes, handicrap) in order to have a better quality of life. A hard lesson learned by this paraplegic - it's taken almost the entire 28yrs for that one.

                      This one's a little more advanced than the one I have but you can see how it works:

                      Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                      T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by nofuss View Post
                        Hey hih, like your dad I’m grumpy, old, hate med equipment and walk some too.

                        A small bathroom can be good. Lots close by to reach for. Years ago in mine I installed a stainless towel bar just outside the shower with big-screw mounts set deeply into underlying studs – same with a thick stainless steel shower-curtain rod. Expensive stuff but I can grab either without worry. The overhead shower rod is particularly useful as I can grab it when easing my questionably-balanced 6’2” down or up from a kneeling position or shower chair sitting position. Not ideal but it works for me.

                        When showering standing (which I favor when very confident), I always drop to the bench, partially towel off then, still seated, swing the legs out to a floor towel to finish up and stand with the help of the towel rod and/or counter which is near-enough to lean to. I NEVER step directly out of the shower anymore – the momentum could destroy me and/or the bathroom!

                        No water about to slip on, I step on out along the counter and wall to the hall and the chair – which can’t get into the bathroom because I spec’d that particular door too narrow years back when the house was built and I wasn’t what I am now – if all that makes any sense.

                        One day, I’ll probably have to widen it.

                        Your dad may need back support but if he doesn’t – like you say – a simple shower chair might work just fine, won’t interfere with the curtain and stows away quickly when desired.
                        Hey grumpy! Great to hear about you. My father is also tall like you, which makes the sitting down/rising to stand all the more exciting.

                        What worries me about the small shower chairs are that they look like they would flip if you don't sit down on them slowly, and perfectly centered. Can you actually sit down on one "sideways" while your feet are still outside the tub and then turn around while seated? That looks like potentially pretty uncomfortable (or unstable...) to sit down on sideways. My Dad also tends to "plop" down sometimes... if you know what I mean. Not terrible if you are plopping onto a Roho in a wheelchair or into a Lazy boy, but problematic if you are plopping onto a very low, hard plastic, small seat in the shower... sideways.

                        I like your idea about strategically placing grab bars to help in getting up from the tub. He will probably refuse that.... but I will take a look to see what options we have. We have two long grab bars in the tub, but they are too far inside to help getting out. It is just tricky when you need to get your arms into crutches to stand...... He can't even take one step without an assistance device.

                        You bring up another good point about small bathrooms... we complain because it is hard to turn around in it or to get a walker or wheelchair in, but while sitting on the toilet he can reach the sink, and all of his supplies etc.. easily.

                        Thanks for all of your input. I wish my Dad lived near you so you could could share your ideas and grumpiness.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by lynnifer View Post
                          Yes, yes and yes. The sides fold up when it is descending into the bath ... this folding section rests on the edge of the tub so essentially I'm sitting on the edge of the tub. One could easily pivot and move their legs in/out. The only different is the shower bench doesn't hang out of the tub now.

                          My employer's insurance won't cover anything in the bathroom (thank you expensive medical products and the last generation who maybe abused the priveleges of having work insurance) ... so I picked mine up on kijiji.ca for $200 cold hard cash. It had only been used 3x.

                          The sucking part about aging with paralysis is compromise; having to accept those little technological advances (yes, handicrap) in order to have a better quality of life. A hard lesson learned by this paraplegic - it's taken almost the entire 28yrs for that one.

                          This one's a little more advanced than the one I have but you can see how it works:


                          Thank you for this additional info Lynnifer. It does sound like a more accessible chair/bench then I realized. What a great deal you got!! I will keep this item in mind as I am scanning online for deals.

                          If you can believe it, my father purposefully refuses to make things more accessible in his home or to use a safer option most of the time.... his rationale being that the WORLD is not accessible so he needs to be able to survive in the WORLD by practicing doing things the harder way. If falls are part of it, so be it.

                          All I can say is.... ugh.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I was the same way for two decades. Pride and stubbornness ... if he's Catholic, maybe use that against him. lol
                            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by hlh View Post
                              If you can believe it, my father purposefully refuses to make things more accessible in his home or to use a safer option most of the time.... his rationale being that the WORLD is not accessible so he needs to be able to survive in the WORLD by practicing doing things the harder way. If falls are part of it, so be it.

                              All I can say is.... ugh.
                              Is he responsive to the "inconveniencing others" argument? Like, "Dad, by refusing to use assistive devices and be safe, you're inconveniencing me and other family members and the paramedics and hospital staff who have to patch you up"?

                              Comment

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