No one, huh? Well, the facts are simple: If you cannot address the basic living needs of an individual, including seniors, what is the choice?
As baby boomers are in their 60’s, many of them are facing not only the prospect of life in a nursing home themselves in not too many years, but many are currently facing the issue straight on with their parents. They want to make it possible for Mom and/or Dad to stay either in their own home or move in with their baby boomer children. And in many cases, the bulk of their day-to-day needs can be met well by one or the other of the children or spouses being able to be there with the senior. And, care from agencies both public and private can be excellent. Food, medical attention, even housekeeping can be obtained, and even paid for, by Medicare and other programs.
The rub is bathing.
It is not that some bathing alternatives may be available, especially if you have money. You can do an accessibility re-model to a bathroom, or install one of the “walk-in” tubs. You have to own the house, though, and you have to recognize that the value of the house will not be increased, but will most likely be decreased with this type of remodel. If your parents are in their 80’s, they may not have the financial wherewithal to do a $25,000 remodel. And, baby boomer children may not want to make a permanent change to their house to meet their parents’ needs, especially when they see that the years remaining may not belong.
Even if a “walk-in” tub is selected, the basic requirement is still the ability to walk in. While many elders can still move around, their mobility is likely going to decline, not improve. And for seniors with permanent disabilities who require a wheelchair, this option makes no sense.
Unfortunately, the cost of a nursing home stay in most locations across the country can be $10,000 per month or more. Not a good option to get a bath.
Fortunately, there is an alternative which offers a low-cost solution and can allow for home care in the largest percentage of cases. That is a portable wheelchair shower. This is a solution that can be set up in any location where there is access to a sink. So not only homeowners but also renters can use this solution for safe, effective bathing.
About five years ago, the FAWSsit™ Fold Away Wheelchair Shower came onto the market. It was designed and patented as the only truly portable shower stall for use with a wheelchair. It is completely portable, weighs less than 30 pounds, comes completely assembled, and can be folded up and stored away when not in use.
By using a portable wheelchair shower, the senior can stay seated in a simple wheelchair, then roll into the shower stall. A front support bar is then lowered to which the fourth side of the drain pan is then attached. No lifts or transfers are required.No plumbing changes are required.No tools are required. And best of all, no second mortgages are required to pay for it!
The cost of a FAWSsit portable shower starts at $1500 for a Standard model, and there are both a Bariatric and a Recliner version available for larger individuals or those who require a reclining wheelchair.
The biggest benefits, though, are:
SAFETY, since no lifting or transferring is required, no slipping or falling since the senior stays seated in the wheelchair for the whole shower.
EFFECTIVENESS, since there is plenty of water that can run over the skin, and with the hand-held shower head, even perineal cleaning is not difficult. Infections and skin lesions are prevented.
AFFORDABILITY, since these portable showers cost literally 1/10th of a bathroom remodel, and can in most cases keep an individual from going into a nursing home, at the cost of $10,000 per month or more.
DIGNITY, which matters to all of us, but is particularly critical to seniors who feel that they have no choice but to lose their dignity when requiring help with bathing, or worse, to suffer the indignity of poor hygiene.
People in wheelchairs deserve showers too, and none of us wants our parents given sub-standard care.