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Thread: shower bench question....

  1. #1

    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. #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>

  3. #3
    Quote 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?

  4. #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; 03-16-2013 at 01:06 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>

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    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

  6. #6
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    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; 03-16-2013 at 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

  7. #7
    Quote 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.

  8. #8
    Quote 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.

  9. #9
    Quote 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....

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote 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.

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