Your dad might be just fine when you offer a helping hand as he gets up from his easy chair, but he might be considerably less gracious about assistance navigating the commode or bathtub.
Facing the loss of mobility and privacy is a challenge. Jeffrey Jue, a physical therapist with VNSNY CHOICE, says that the most useful medical equipment sought for these situations tend to fall under three common categories: bathing, toileting and mobility. Here are some tips to consider for each of the three categories:
- Tub seats or shower chairs fit in the tub and allow those with decreased balance or endurance to continue to take baths in their bathrooms. Jue recommends purchasing one that has back support.
- Tub benches straddle the side of the tub—you sit down outside the tub and lift your legs over the tub wall so you won’t have to step over it.
- Consider installing a hand-held shower, which will make bathing more convenient.
- Raised toilet seats lift the height of a toilet's sitting surface, which makes it easier to transfer oneself. “I will only order a raised toilet seat that has the ability to clamp and tighten onto the toilet. Some models are simply placed over the toilet, which can result in shifting and possibly a fall,” says Jue.
- Toilets with an oblique shape aren’t compatible with raised toilet seats. In this case, a toilet safety frame is a better choice.
- Rollators are similar to walkers but instead of two wheels and two feet, they have four wheels. “The additional wheels provide more speed and freedom, but they require more coordination and balance,” says Jue. Rollator brakes wear out fairly rapidly, so order one from a vendor who offers free repairs.
- Walkers are better for people who only need to go short distances, who have difficulty with balance or who would need assistance controlling a rollator.
For more information on durable medical equipment and purchasing, go to www.parentgiving.com.