If you’re a caregiver of an individual with mobility issues, allow us to first applaud you. You are a special person who undoubtedly deserves more credit than you’re likely to get on a regular basis. Whether you’re related to your care recipient or have taken on the care of others as your vocation, thank you for being the special type of person that you are.
This week’s blog, we hope, will offer you some additional insight into how to care for your loved one or client during bath time. Understandably, bathing your care recipient can be a difficult process, especially if his/her mobility issue is a severe enough one that he/she requires a wheelchair. Let’s take a look at some ways to assist wheelchair users with bathing.
Make use of bathing aids.
Not every wheelchair user can be comfortably and safely transferred from his/her wheelchair to a bathtub. In such situations, it’s best to make use of bathing aids that will allow you to go through with the cleansing process without the use of a bathtub. As Invacare’s Switzerland contingent contends, the simplest tools available are probably body washers, which can be used to reach the back, the bottom or anywhere else that is difficult for a person to get to.
“Where feet are concerned, shower sandals are clever devices that have suction cups to attach them to the base of the bath, and bristles that the user rubs soap on, followed by their feet,” notes their website, “For hair washing, a gadget called a hair washer is available. Similar to body washers, hair washers have a handle and make it easier to reach the hair if somebody can’t lift their arms to wash it normally.”
Use a shower chair.
Transferring a wheelchair user to the bathtub from his/her wheelchair is a delicate process. Depending on the severity of his/her mobility issue, it can be a dangerous one as well. As Jack Bennett of Active Seniors Club points out, a shower chair may be necessary to help make the journey from wheelchair to bathtub a lot easier for the care recipient.
“It is really not possible to give a person in a regular wheelchair a complete bath unless that person is able to stand for a few moments to have the buttocks and genitals cleaned,” he notes, “For this reason, it’s really best to bathe non-ambulatory people in bed or seated on a shower chair, toilet chair or on the toilet.”
Switch to a walk-in tub.
As explained by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, “for wheelchair users, walk-in tubs are far more accessible than a tub where you have to lift yourself over the side to get in; however, some assistance may be needed to enter the tub and get on a shower chair safely.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer walk-in tubs, which are bathtubs with doors that allow for easy entry, as one of our many home bathroom modifications. We also offer transfer benches, roll in showers, bath lift chairs and shower chairs as part of our commitment to assisting wheelchair users with their bathing routines.