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 Bathroom 365

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Successful Bathroom Transfers
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 4)

If a pre-established shower will not allow grab bar placement, a walker can be used for support in and out of a shower or tub. informs caregivers that towel bars are NOT enough support for transfers. They were made for supporting light towels and not a person’s full weight.

 Using a towel bar may seem like a good “quick fix” but have disastrous consequences if it breaks under the pressure.

Also, make sure the grab bars stand out from the place they are attached to. Many people with special needs have a hard time seeing and distinguishing colors. A white bar placed on a beige shower/tub is asking for trouble.

Below are some other guidelines for general safety in the bathroom, not necessarily transfer-related, but that will make for easier transfers and a more positive experience. This information also comes from the article, “Bath Safety for Seniors”

  • Use anti-skid material for the bathroom floor.
  • Keep the floor clean and dry.
  • Limit obstacles in the floor plan thus ensuring free movement in the area.
  • Use non-slip strips in your tub or shower.
  • Select impact-resistant shower and bathtub attachments.
  • Put a bath mat with non-skid base next to the bathtub and shower.
  • Install scald-prevention devices, these devices will keep a check on the water temperature.
  • Electrical switches and plugs should always be kept away from water sources.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Use door locks that can be unlocked from both sides.

When in Rome...

Do as the Romans? What if the Romans aren’t set up the way a caregiver needs them to be? It’s much easier to predict transfer hazards in a private home, but in public, there are many challenges a caregiver cannot control. Here are some ways to be an advocate for a loved one, in any situation, all while keeping them safe in a public restroom.

First, it’s obvious to choose restaurants and attractions with up-to-par handicap-friendly facilities. Even though most places today are up to code, that doesn’t mean the layout works in a caregiver’s favor. The best option is to have a loved one use the restroom before leaving, and in the event of a short outing, this works well.

However, there will be times a transfer does need to be performed in a public setting. Always wait for the handicap-accessible stall to be open, as it is the widest and most transfer-friendly. Allow the loved one full access to the grab bars, and a caregiver should assist as best as possible.


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