One of the biggest challenges with taking care of a loved one is to adequately bathe them. Most of us have ample experience bathing a baby, which of course brings it's own set of challenges. Now imagine the baby is 245 pounds! It's extremely hard to hold that person with one hand and safely turn them or position them in a tub or shower to easily wash their hair for example. That's where these products come in. These are the products you use when your Mom or Dad have significant mobility limitations. These are appropriate for someone with ALS, spinal cord injury, or other conditions that do not allow them to stand and move freely in the tub or shower.
Another benefit of our hygiene chairs is that they raise the level of the patient for easier examination. For instance, folks with diabetes need to be very careful with their feet. They need to be regularly looked at for any cuts or ulcers that may be developing (called DFU's; Diabetic Foot Ulcers). If this exam needs to be performed by the spouse, get them in the habit of doing the exam when their loved one is on the hygiene chair to make it easier. Also simple tasks like clipping toe nails become a lot easier in our chairs.
As for the tubs, they all offer upgrades over what you probably have at home today. In the case of the Freedom tub, there's a space along the bottom if you had to use a patient lift to get Mom or Dad into the tub that way.
Medicare will not cover the products shown below. These products exist because professional facilities (hospitals and nursing homes) use them, as they recognize the safe patient handling challenges around bathing, and want to protect their staff, as well as their patients. Typically, Medicare will cover some sort of shower chair. These are fixed into the shower (Usually with suction cups), with a version that has two legs outside of the tub and two in, and have a sliding seat so you can sit down outside of the tub and then carefully lift your legs into the tub. For a lot of folks, this is adequate, but you need enough mobility to be able to move your head around to wash your hair. Almost as importantly, the caregiver needs to be able to get your loved one on and off of this shower chair easily. That person is commonly the spouse, which in many cases doesn't have the ability to appropriately support their loved one during transfer. Remember, if the primary caregiver spouse gets hurt taking care of the patient spouse, it could mean that BOTH of them end up in a facility.
If you are looking at how to keep Mom and Dad at Home, consider upgrading their shower area to accommodate a walk-in shower that allows for easy wheel in of the type of products shown below. If the bath room does not have the width to accommodate the shower/hygiene chairs, consider the tub gurneys. They are thinner, so you should be able to get them into the bedroom. You fill them with water, and then using a patient lift, lift your loved one out of bed and into the tub, bathe them, and then lift them back out off of the gurney and back into bed.
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