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New member : dad has severe copd. Tips on washing?

My dad has advanced COPD.

My mum is washing him in a chair because he can no longer use the swivel seat that is suspended across the bath to sit under the shower - it exhausts him just getting his legs over the side of the bath.

He’s considering removing the bath and replacing with a ‘walk-in’ shower with seat and rails. It’ll cost about 5 grand and he’s not sure if it’ll be much help. I’m not sure either - I’m concerned that my mum won’t be able to help (she’d get soaked), that he’ll struggle to breath in a shower now, and that in a short time he’ll need a career to help him wash anyway - in which case a shower sounds impractical/useless?

So - does anyone have any experience/advice that they could share?

I’ve just discovered this community - it’s great and i just wish I’d found it years ago!

17 Replies
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Welcome to the forum Frimleyg and I hope someone will be along soon with some good ideas. Xxxx

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Ask ur nurse they can arrange it for u

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Hi

Consider using a transfer seat.

careco.co.uk/item-p-ba04011...

Couple this with a bath-board.

careco.co.uk/item-p-ba09023...

If your mum holds the shower head in her hand she will be able to assist your father in is showering, shower gel is probably quicker and easier to use when bathing this way, you mum only needs a waterproof apron as used buy nursing staff. Plenty available on Amazon.

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Thanks - they’ve got something similar to the bath board from occ therapy but he can’t get his legs up and over the side of the bath. I’ll try the bench and see if that helps there. .. and waterproof aprons.. why didn’t we think of that!

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Please ask for an occupational therapist referral before you spend money. We had a wet room installed and it has good and bad points. One of the big problems is that the floor is slippery when wet - it is lethal. Under health and safety rules they didn’t put a hand rail in due to the wall bring a stud one and this has been a problem. We’ve just had one put in via the NHS OT but it is only for steadying, not weight bearing. I don’t get wet when showering him but I am careful and have a routine to prevent it. We also have a screen with a flip section.

I wish I had gone into this in more detail. I hate the tiled floor for safety reasons. I use Dunelm rubber mats and they are useful. However, have been thinking of buying some rubber matting to place over the floor. Haven’t had time to get my head around it yet.

He used to enjoy a bath and often laments that we don’t have one now. In retrospect I think we should have kept it and bought something like a Mangar bath lift. mangarhealth.com/uk/product...

Think about this very carefully and get professional advice but not from a bathroom company.

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Thanks Bella. OT have been round a few times but don’t suggest anything over and above very basic stuff - walking frame, a bath board seat he can’t use - should they be able to give decent advice in this area?

In terms of the shower vs bath- he’s always preferred a bath so I’ll take a look at bath lifts too. It’s hard to know what will work as he doesn’t have spare energy for trying stuff out.

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I was given an electric rechargeable bath hoist by OT it was great, it swivelled into the bath then allowed me to sit right down into the bath. It brought me right up to the rim then swivelled out again so there was no problem with having to get my legs over the rim. I now live in a sheltered bungalow and we have a shower with a seat. It has a glass panel from wall to wall which is about 2ft 6inch, it has double doors which open in either direction for wheelchair access. It's possible to wash someone who is sitting on the drop down seat without actually having to be in the shower with them. You can hand hold the showerhead so no need to drown your dad, it also has slip-proof flooring. I hope you can get the help you need

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If you have a care home that is local to you maybe once a week he could go for a half days care where he could have use of what is called a 'Parker bath' specifically designed for disabled people and perhaps even enjoy lunch as well.

The carers will be trained in safely transferring him into and out of the bath and assisting with washing and dressing.

i found this the best and safest solution for my wife Cecilia who suffered a devastating stroke which left her hemiplegic amongst other disabilities.Expect to have to pay for a days respite care unless you qualify for some assistance from social security.

I did manage to wash her hair whist sat in a wheelchair with various buckets and bowls at my disposal but it was neither enjoyable for her or practical in the long term.

Best wishes Ski's and Scruff's

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Thats a good idea skis, wish I would have known that when my Mum fist needed help x

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My dad, with late stage Parkinsons, making him almost immobile, brittle diabetes type 1, what was diagnosed for years as difficult asthma but more likely to have been copd, plus old age (83) , was let out of hospital after four months with a care package that included the installation of a wet room (no cubicles), with a non-slip floor, a shower with hand held shower head and a plastic bathroom chair, with holes all over. He sat on a bath mat on the chair for comfort, was soaped n flanneled by two kind carers, then rinsed off with the warm shower. Worked quite well. Occupational health organised it though I did have to face a multidisciplinary meeting, including consultants, ward sisters, physios and OCs to convince them that this was a better route than going into a nursing home. Daunting but we got there, and he was happy to be home. Best of luck to you, Penny xx

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Good point that it's more cost effective for NHS to pay for installation of a shower rather than a care facility.

Wishing you both good luck in finding some help on this. X

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Bath lift..unable to stand to shower and on oxygen. Sits in bath, be lost with out it supplied by OT. Please look into it at least...

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Hi, doesn't your area have baths for the disabled. Call your GP and ask to speak with your Go's secretary I am sure she will help you find one. Maximonkey

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How about a walk in bath. I see the adverts for these quite often in the newspapers

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I have c o p d and use oxygen therapy day and night .my daughter helps me with a shower every week i keep my oxygen on i have a wet room im on pension credit so didnt have to pay my daughter used to get very wet ,so i bought her a plastic apron and iff you look online you wil find plastic arm covers they cover from wrist to elbow so arms dont get wet

also she is able to put them on her legs lol she looks so funny but stays dry although she just washes my back and lower legs but being on oxygen im able to do my front hope my story has helped and does he have oxygen

xx

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I had a shower room arrangement fitted recently. As well as the conventional shower head it has a drencher fitting from the ceiling so you just have to stand under it, all hands free. There are proper non slip bathroom floor tiles available quite cheaply. We took the bath out so there was plenty of space. I love it. Lets say the patient stands under the shower, the carer can help and won't get drenched. All stood up

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Hi Frimleyg You need to do a referal to social care for an o/t to visit to look at what exipment you can have to help your wife and you, you could be able to have a wet room designed for your needs ,i have a wet room and my daughter helps me in the shower she used to get wet lol so i bout a plastic pinny with nice birds on and you can buy arm exstention that go on her arms and she puts them on her lower legs ,after showering me and helping with hair washing nothing got wet well apart from me lol so look on amazon for them and please get that referal to social care your wife if shes able can still help you

take care

etheal

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