British Lung Foundation
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Rise and Shine .The best way!

If you are breathless then washing and dressing can become a difficult and slow task.But if you followthese tips they may help you feel less tired.

*Allow plenty of time for taking a shower or bath,and getting dressed afterwards

*Use a waterproof chair in your shower if there is room,or talk to an occupational therapist about having a seat fitted.

*Have a handrail fitted in the bath or shower to help you move around.

*Do not have the water too hot when you take a bath or shower because hot and steamy air could make breathing more difficult.

Richard Cornish


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"Your shower may not be getting you as clean as you think with a U.S. study finding many shower heads are dirty and may be covering you in a daily dose of bacteria that could make you sick. An analysis of shower heads found that about 30 percent harboured high levels of Mycobacterium avium -- a group of bacteria that can cause lung infections when inhaled or swallowed. Researchers found the levels of Mycobacterium avium were 100 times higher than those found in typical household water."

I was advised by my consultant that he would advise all of his patients to give up the shower and take baths.

Auntymary xx

I've been told by the social worker not to take baths but to use the shower... She came to check out the house for aids they could install and said that as I have said it is difficult getting out of the bath, through not being able to lift myself fully, I should just take showers. They wouldn't put in handles as they wouldn't be a big help to me.

Then again, I am a beggar for checking and cleaning the shower head regularly. We're in a hard water area and the jets get clogged if they're not kept clean. It's so bad that if you leave it more than 3-4 weeks you need to buy a new shower head. Actually, that's not too bad an idea as they are cheap enough, even the pound shops have them.

It's probably more like changing your toothbrush doing it that way, although I do prefer to clean the one I have than go buy another. I take the head off and put it in a plastic sandwich bag, then use a bathroom cleaner first. I squirt the stuff down the tube, until it comes out of the nozzles, then massage the rubber nozzles through the bag to make sure the fluid fully coats them all. I leave it with the head face down in the sink, so the nozzles and surface area are in the fluid, for 20-30 minutes then use a spare washing-up brush (3 for a pound at the...) to make sure all the residue is cleaned off. This is the lime scale and/or any shower gel or shampoo that may have splashed on and 'set hard'

I then run hot water down the inlet and let the head spray into the sknk, massaging the nozzles again to let any bits of remaining scale out. and give it a good rinse. Then it goes into a clean plastic bag with a good squirt of lemon juice and it is given a really good shake around. That's more to clean away any trace of the bathroom cleaner, can do without that sort of stuff on the skin. Again, a good rinse and then I put it back on the shower hose.

I got hooked on the cleaning routine a few years ago, after watching The Hotel Inspector where she stayed in one place and the shower head was really disgusting in one room she looked at. Lime scale, dirt and various hairs stuck to it. She mentioned the nasty bacteria that could be lurking there.

Far be it from me to be sceptical but....maybe the social worker is considering costs? An electric bath seat (which most of us end up with as we don't have the strength to pull on the handles) costs more than a shower stool.

Auntymary xx

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Policy, she said at the time. If there is a working shower then they advise to use that if the client has difficulty getting out of a bath. It's not seen as a 'need' :-(

Hi Gordon,

I myself has big problems getting in and out of the bath and the community care team for the disabled put in an battery operated seat I can now get in the bath have a shower sitting down, lower the seat for a bath. After wards raise the seat and dry yourself off without really moving. You are not as breathless as you would be normally. I have found this a real godsend. To me its magic.

I would rather have a shower any day and the steam helps me breathe better, I also clean the shower head very often for the same reason as Gordon.

Thanks for the tips Richard - often note down hints and tips as they can be useful for other people with long tern conditions when I volunteer and take an EPP and got one starting next week.

Hmmm, doing more research and getting further advice on the topic it seems I need to look at respiratory consultants and research on the bacteria build up in shower heads. I have just read elsewhere that the water vapour can be more harmful if these bugs are mixed in with it.

I'm in two minds about the steam myself, I try not to get the bathroom steamed up so as not to need to open the door to let some out, along with the heat of course. Indeed, Richard's original message mentions this could make breathing difficult.

I struggle getting dried and dressed after either a bath or a shower, having to stop and get my breath back often. The right sock is the worst, but that's not helped by having Reynauds as well, which seems to stiffen the leg a bit.

I noticed we have different ideas bath/shower,

I was unable to get in or out of a bath due to my back disability . The overhead shower was just as difficult trying to climb in or out had to have someone there every time,, so we had the bath taken out and had a large walk-in shower with seat. We couldn't afford a wet room, plus the floor boards wouldn't take it.

But my best tip is drying after the shower, I now get so short of breath and didn't like sitting in wet towels,in the steamy bathroom, I now put my hair dryer on cool setting and dry away no moving about getting tired out, in my bedroom of course, safety first. Result skin dryer than rubbing with towels, and it cools you down as well, or warms you up.

Have you a video of this drying action...? :-/

Sounds a bit like the car wash, when it's finished the wash and rinse it blows bool air, but it only seems to blow the excess water off, our car is never dry. Always have to stop it at the exit and go out and wipe it down.

I have Jimmy Cricket on one of my Facebook pages, he was telling me that his Mam is getting on a bit now, she's had the bath taken out and new teeth put in... :-D

Cheeky b.....r

Are you a robot then? Made of metal not skin.

Don't mock until you try it!

I met Jimmy Crickets Mam and she is a very nice lady.Full of interest.

I invested in a towelling robe - out of the bath, put it on, slide my feet into fluffy slippers and all but my face is dry. Saves a lot of rubbing.

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Memo to self. Clean the shower head a bit more frequently!

Lynne x

Have never cleaned the shower head unless the water just dribbles out instead of flowing - sorry I am just anti cleaning.Cant get in or out of a bath so have a step to get over the bath side to shower.Then have a stool and bars and a fluffy dressing gown too.I know that I am lazy

Good on youHectar.It is all about doing what we want and can do.

richard Cornish


i invested in a long toweling bathrobe,it has to be a toweling one.just.put that on when you get out of either bath or shower.put a towel round your head sit on the toilet and dry feet and legs. then by time you done them.your body is dry.......A GOOD IDEA FOR A CHRISTMAS PRESSY OFFany body who,s stuck for buying you a pressy...(marks and spencers do a realy good one £22..and its very long.....kath.x

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