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Thread: So, do I need a new bathtub?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania, U.S.

    So, do I need a new bathtub?

    My husband is still in a rehabilitation hospital, and I'm trying to prepare for him to return home. My main concern right now is the Bathtub. We just have a standard tub/ shower, and I wonder if there will be a way for one person (me) to help him into it , or if I really have to change it to a standing shower type with no tub. He is currently completely immobile from torso down, but his arms are getting stronger every day. I don't even think a shower chair will FIT into our tub?

  2. #2
    Every injury level is different and requires different equipment. If he can get enough back, though, to where he can do transfers, then you might be able to make do with a shower bench (this is what we use My husband is a T4/T5, though so my advice might be of limited use for you. I would encourage you to talk with your husband about what he thinks is most important in terms of housing accessibility. Sometimes you can't do everything right off the bat and you need to prioritize.

    I'm not sure if this is standard practice, but when my husband was in rehab, his OT came out to our home to make reccommendations for improvements. It was hugely helpful.

    Best of luck as you begin this journey. We're just over one year out from his accident, and as much as I didn't believe it when people told us this in the hospital, it really does get easier. You're lucky to have found this site so took us a couple of months.

  3. #3
    While a roll-in shower is generally the best, it is not possible in every situation, and also can be pretty expensive. I don't know this person's actual level of injury, but if they can transfer themselves to their wheelchair independently, or with only a minor amount of assistance, then a tub bench like the one above may be an option.

    Other options is he needs maximum assistance or is dependent for showers might be for a sliding tub bench using this system:

    Nuprodx MultiChair 6000

    This can roll over the toilet as well, and so serves as a mobile commode. You can transfer to the chair in the bed room, even using a mechanical lift, and then roll it into the bathroom. Obviously with this set up, someone else would need to push the chair from the bedroom into the bathroom and back, but if the person is not independent in transfers anyway, this may be the best solution. It is cheaper than gutting the bathroom to put in a roll-in shower, but is a lot more expensive than the tub bench above.

    The rehab center where he is going should be offering you advice on these options. Did they not do a home evaluation and provide you with this information??


  4. #4
    Senior Member goldnucs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Tucson, AZ USA / San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
    Take a look at my invention here; use it daily: It's not even half the price of the nuprodx and it's lighter, easier to use and can be assembled without any tools.
    Rick Goldstein
    GO! Mobility Solutions

  5. #5
    I just transfer over to a tub bench style fits into most tubs and the padded area outside the tub is easier to transfer over to directly from wheelchair...then to the middle of the chair in tub. I have a hand held shower head hooked up to bath fuacet--you can get at any home store.

    Here is one like mine...
    Last edited by sherocksandsherolls; 07-29-2012 at 12:48 PM.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Sheesh, this nuprodx is mondo expensive. I like the cheaper one better Will Medicaid pay for this? Not Medicare, (can't get for 2 yrs.), but Medicaid, which i have just applied for and HOPE that he will get. Anyway, I think we can manage with one of these sliding deals.
    The rehab hospital has only mentioned a ramp so far and I told them that I'd get on it, but they didn't have much to say about anything else. We are only 5 days in though- I'm sure they will want to be talking about all of this soon. I just like to be extra prepared and know what i'm talking about when it comes to that point.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Chesapeake, VA
    First of all, take a breath. The only thing you have to have for him to go home is a ramp and the ability to get him in and out of bed. While a bird bath may not be the optimal, it is good enough for Medicare (for future reference). Medicaid is a state specific thing. Some care if you bathe and some do not. Also, it may not become effective until he is discharged if you are doing rehab out of state.

    Is he able to roll himself into a shower now? I know it is early in his rehab. This is something that the therapists will address once they have some idea where he will be functionally when he goes home.

    We footed the bill to remodel out hall bathroom to remove the tub and put in a roll in shower. I regret it more than I can say. I now have no tub in my house and Ryan can transfer to a bench and has the trunk control necessary. Of course, he was no where near able to when he first came home. He had the trunk control be could not transfer as well as he does now.

    If your husband is able to transfer, consider a shower bench.

    Not to give you something else to worry about but I wold be more concerned with how you will do bowel programs when you get home. You bathroom may or may not allow him to transfer to the toilet depending on the space and what type of chair he uses and his ability to transfer.--eak
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    I think it's a rare state that will pay for shower/commode benches these days. Maybe check with your county department of aging. They stick disabled in there too. Call and ask if they have a lending closest and what they have in equipment for bathrooms. You can then check out sizes and once you know what your husband will need you may be set for awhile. Also ask about ramps either potable or any building help depending on your resources. Also, will you need paratransit rides to get to places after he comes home? The same department should be able to send you the paperwork to sign up for that program too. Your OT can print off some ideas on renovation basics from the PVA right off the bat.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Alpine, TX USA male T4complete
    Blog Entries
    You can use a regular tub, with nothing other than a hand held shower head and foam to sit on. Transfer directly from wc to tub by first putting your legs/feet into tub then transfer carefully onto tub edge then into tub proper. I can give detailed info on xfer if ya want.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGimp View Post
    You can use a regular tub, with nothing other than a hand held shower head and foam to sit on. Transfer directly from wc to tub by first putting your legs/feet into tub then transfer carefully onto tub edge then into tub proper. I can give detailed info on xfer if ya want.
    Virtually impossible for someone without very strong triceps to do this. The person in question has a C6 SCI and is still in rehab...doubt they will be strong enough to do this when they are booted out of rehab after an average 4 week stay!!!


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