Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Adaptive bath equipment, Tub bench or shower chair, Grab bars or railings, Non-slip mats or adhesive strips, Hand held showerheads Long handled brush or sponge

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Adaptive bath equipment: Adaptive bath equipment is designed to help you and your client stay safe while performing the task at hand. Become familiar with the bathing equipment available to you before you actually have to use it. In the home environment, the selection is usually limited and you may have to learn to complete your tasks using what you have. If the client really needs something that is not in the home, you can inquire through your supervisor to see if it could be supplied.


Tub bench or shower chair: A tub bench or shower chair gives the client a place to sit while showering. This is much safer for clients who tire easily or are a high fall risk. This equipment is plastic with holes that allow water to drain even while the client is sitting. Shower chairs usually have adjustable legs that can be raised or lowered. The client should be able to place their feet flat on the floor while sitting in the chair for comfort and safety. If the shower chair has wheels, don't forget to lock them once your client is in the shower. A hand held showerhead works well with this equipment, and allows the client more independence, security, and privacy.


Grab bars or railings: Grab bars or railings should be close by the toilet and in the shower stall or tub. The client can use these to stand, adjust their sitting posture, or prevent a fall. Caution your client never to use a towel bar as a grab bar. They are not strong enough to hold a person's weight, and serious injury can result from this maneuver.


Non-slip mats or adhesive strips: Non-slip mats or adhesive strips in various designs are used in tubs and showers to reduce the risk of falls. Rubber mats usually have suction cups along the bottom to help them stay in place. Caution your client that the edges of the mat can be a tripping hazard. Adhesive strips may have a sandpaper feel that can be uncomfortable on tender feet, and may even cause injury. Check the bottom of your client's feet for scratches, roughness, or other damage on a regular basis. Assess the strips regularly for loose edges.


Hand held showerheads: Hand held showerheads have a long hose so that the client can direct the spray and rinse all areas completely and comfortably while safely seated. Make sure the showerhead is hung securely before the client gets out of the tub or shower and when it is not in use. If it falls, it can hit and injure your client.


Long handled brush or sponge: A simple but very useful piece of equipment is a long handled brush or sponge. These come in various sizes and lengths, and help your client reach areas of their body that they can no longer manage without aid. Most people think of them as back brushes, but clients often need one for their feet and buttocks.