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Finding New Ways to Stay Clean and Comfortable
Bathing can be so difficult with limited mobility that one can work up a sweat just getting into the tub! But staying clean always makes people more comfortable, though it may require planning, patience, and sometimes assistance. Most of us feel pretty cranky if we have to wait for help to arrive, and who doesn't treasure a little privacy?
That's why we've gathered together ideas and devices to help you have more independence. Most items are found in catalogs that carry aids for independent living or home healthcare products. Many companies have searchable Web sites and will send you their free catalog.
Mild soaps—If skin is tender from pressure sores or another reason, it's best to use a diluted liquid soap; use at least one part water to one part liquid soap. Pharmacies and sundry stores all carry soaps for severely sensitive skin. If soap feels too harsh, plenty of warm water will still get you clean. But check with your pharmacy or a home healthcare center for the milder liquid soaps.
A soaped up cloth mitt or sponge is easier to hold than a washcloth and bar of soap if you have limited grasping ability. Again, liquid soap in a pump bottle will make things easier. Mitts and cleansing sponges are sold in cosmetics departments, pharmacies, healthcare centers and health food stores.
Shower chairs and transfer benches—I know you've heard of these. If you use one, be sure to place a rubber bathmat underneath it to prevent slipping. If you lay in a tub to bathe, a rubber mat will still help keep you safe.
Inflated pillows or bumpers will prop you upright for more independence, even with supervision.
Bathe in bed—For those of us whose disability keeps us close to bed, getting clean and refreshed is very renewing. Patterson Medical sells an inflatable tub (EZ-Bathe) with a wet-dry vacuum canister and a 25-foot hose. Bathers can opt for either continuous flow of water or a long soak. An assistant can easily set it up, then drain and deflate it. A garden hose can be used to extend its reach and easy use facilitates frequent bathing.
Grooming aids you might not have heard about:
Hair washers (ETAC) have long handles for reaching and grasping during shampooing.
A hands-free blow dryer holder serves as an extra set of hands. They are sold as aids to daily living. Or, someone handy could rig a microphone or music stand for this purpose. In cold weather a blow dryer helps get your hair dry quicker.
Razor holders and shaving cream dispensers prevent slipping and cutting.
Long-reach toenail scissors aid bathers who can't lean forward or bend to reach their toes.
Now, treat yourself to a fragrant bubble bath!
Note: Infinitec Inc. does not endorse or recommend these products and has no liability for the results of their use. Infinitec Inc. has received no consideration of any type for featuring any product on this Web site. The information offered herein is a summary; it is not comprehensive and should be carefully evaluated by consumers with the assistance of qualified professionals. The intention of Infinitec Inc. is to offer consumers a brief overview of various assistive technology devices and their applications.