Part 1: Taking a Shower Without Falling
Do you sometimes need some assistance with everyday activities? Sometimes I need a lot! If you are living independently, or don’t want to depend on somebody to help you, I have a few ideas that might help. I have used each of these and you can decide which ones might be just the idea you need.
PART 1 includes FIVE HANDY HINTS FOR TAKING A SHOWER
1. If you get unsteady or dizzy in the shower, try to orient yourself before you step in. This is as important at home as it is if you are traveling or visiting. One wall will have the knobs and faucets. If it is an unfamiliar shower, practice turning the water, volume and force until you feel it will be comfortable. If there is a stopper, make sure it is open unless you like wading in a pond with your eyes closed.
2. One wall is often where the soap dish, shampoo and other products are. In a tub, you may be using the ledge. Make sure you put each item in a place that makes sense to you. I have washed my hair in body wash and my body in hair conditioner so many times, I even have my favorites. What seems so logical in the light, seems OZical through shampoo eyes.
3. Check out the other walls of the shower stall. You need a good idea how far you would have to reach to feel a wall. You might have a shower curtain or liner, a bench seat, an actual door that opens out or slides open, a double shower, or a tiny cubical. If you get disoriented or dizzy, touch a wall. Do NOT open the door to get out until you are stable. And I have gotten lost in my own shower more than once!
4. If you have fainting or falling issues, like me, the best shower device I have found is a shower seat. Even if you have a built in shower seat, place an extra towel on it so you don’t have a slippery seat when wet. My moveable shower seat is plastic and steel, and is pretty light weight. It was passed on to me and has many years’ service to go. A squirt down with bleach water, Scrubbing Bubbles, or other cleaner while the seat is in the shower is all you need, and only as often as you clean your shower. My seat has molded handles on each side. I ordered a bed rail organizer with pockets. It was too short for my king size bed, but works nicely on my shower seat. It even gives me a non-slippery surface to sit on, and my soap or body wash, shampoo, razor, and other items are handy.
5. If your shower is in a bathtub, several helps and hacks may add another level of security for you. Use a shower or bath seat, if you can. You can bathe your whole body while you are sitting on the seat, and standing up and getting out will be much easier. At the least, put an extra towel over the front ledge to give you a seat for getting in and out, whether you can step into the tub or not. You can try using safety bars, handles, traction strips, over-the-ledge seats–any other aids that might help. Falling in a tub or shower is painful and maybe humiliating, but getting out by yourself after you have fallen may be next to impossible.
Where do you get all these helping aids? Maybe your insurance covers the cost. I have only bought one piece of equipment, and that was less than $20. Just ask! So many people get bath seats and such for a temporary disability. Many would love to pass things along for free. If you are on social media, let your needs be known. Stay independent as long as you can!