It's not everyone who can boast that they have a huge bath in their living room! I wish I didn't have to... but there it is above...
We wanted a mobile bath for Heni so that it would be versatile...Originally the idea was to put it in the down stairs bathroom next to Heni's bedroom..... but together with her wheelchair and hoist, it just doesn't fit in! The room is far too small to maneuver anything around and be safe. Currently we don't know if we should seek approval to build an extension for Heni... if we were allowed to build, the bath could then easily be moved into its purpose built place... if we ever move house it could come with us... but for now it has to sit in my living room just a little longer until we prepare the place in which its going to live... at least temporarily until a more permanent solution arises.
We are expecting that in the next week or two we will be able to put it in my utility room! There will be plenty of space for it there, but we have to do some moving things around first... hopefully I will be able to show you some progress and the finished results in another blog post real soon.
Heni loves baths but she is getting far too long to lie in the one she currently uses and we can't hoist her in to it because of space.. it's a back breaking exercise even though she is small and so when the chance to get this piece of equipment arose, we jumped at it.
I spent quite a bit of time trawling the internet looking for a solution and something that would be suitable for our current circumstances and thankfully stumbled across the Handi-move shower bath and treatment system distributed by Dolphin mobility
As you can see in the picture, the whole bath is on wheels and it can be raised up and down to the appropriate height for each carer by an hydraulic system.
When it was delivered the bath was in its lowest position and also had the changing table raised to the top..... but with the use of the hand held control pad......
...you can can slowly raise the rim of the bath and the "table" section moves down so that it ends up on the bottom ....and it now looks and functions as a bath. It's powered by a re-chargeable battery pack situated underneath the tub... when it runs down, all you have to do is plug it in and power back up. Very versatile and clever engineering if you ask me!
The surface is padded and therefore soft and comfortable and easy to maintain and clean....
...and there is a head rest which can be used when in use as a changing trolley...however, it's not really for use "in" the water when the bath is full, as it floats up to the top!
The drain is a flexible pipe that can be maneuvered anywhere and doesn't require any special "fixed" plumbing. All you need is a drain to allow water to empty from the bath, and also a way of filling it up...for example with a shower attachment.
The first night the bath arrived we decided to give it a try and we moved it in to the kitchen to bathe Heni there. We don't have a shower attachment in our cooking area and so (just this once) we filled it with pan after pan full of warm water!
The bath also has metal removable guide rails to prevent the patient from falling off when it's being used in table mode... but we put them on in bath mode and it was a little tricky to lift Heni up and over them. Next time we will know differently but we can put this down to a learning experience!
Heni wondered what on earth was going on but went with the experiment and enjoyed her bath time regardless. It wasn't quite as relaxing a process as normal but when we have the bath in situ with all of her equipment on hand it will be a much smoother, easier and safer method of bathing her.
I'm going to take some before and after shots of the utility room transformation and I hope you will all come back in a few weeks time, so I can show you what we have done. We can't wait to get it all sorted, up and running and being used... as I'm sure its gong to make life a lot easier for everyone. I also think Heni will love stretching out in it and appreciate it. But for now, until we have a plumber lined up (I can't believe how difficult it has been to find one!) it is residing back in the living room...I guess you really can't get more versatile than that!
Hope to see you then.
If you would like to learn more about the bath/shower trolley you can find a pdf document here