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Thread: Grab bars and...

  1. #31
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    In defense of baths, you're not sitting in a tub of very dirty water if you don't do enough during the day to get very dirty. When I can actually see dirt in the bath water, I get right out of it.

    If you fill the tub up pretty full, that's quite a bit of water.

    And when you get into it and the warm water surrounds you completely, you can feel every muscle "unwind" into a relaxed position, or at least I can. I was having the same effect in a swimming pool unless the water was cold. My shoulder muscles seem to be particularly tight because that's where I feel the effect the most.

    I love a shower that has good water pressure behind it but don't have such a shower. If I did, I might try it more often but probably not because of the balance and vision problems.

    My bathtub's grab bars:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3J...ew?usp=sharing

    I hope this link works. I've never tried this method of getting an image here and don't know if it will be OK.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  3. #32
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Maybe this link will work too--showing the unusual grab bars to the right of the toilet. Not sure why they were done this way but they're useful for pulling up on:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...kdHTTREeFp3UXc

    I'm very glad that HUD senior housing comes with grab bars. I'm fairly sure that a resident who needed grab bars of a different type could get them.
    Last edited by agate; 10-21-2017 at 10:15 AM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  5. #33
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Both links worked for me.
    Roswell was a gift.

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  7. #34
    Distinguished Community Member nuthatch's Avatar
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    Agate, your pictures came through just fine. I like that you have more than one grab bar in your bath, especially the bar that you can hold onto as you step into or out of the tub. Falls often happen in bathrooms, more so than other rooms of the home. Bathtubs are particularly dangerous. My mother's elderly friend lost her balance and fell into her bathtub one night when she got up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. She broke her neck, literally! Luckily her daughter came over the next morning and found her lying in the tub. She survived but it could have ended very differently. Too many bathrooms are set up with the toilet placed right next to the tub with nothing to grab onto. Very dangerous for people with balance issues.

    I am like you, Agate, in that warm water relaxes tense muscles. I use a shower chair and a handheld. I continually move the spray around different parts of my body as they get cold or need more warmth to relax. The handheld also has many different spray options, from a soft rain to a hard directed spray (great for rinsing hair) and everything in between. I love a hot shower, but sometimes I get very weak. Thank goodness I am sitting down, if I was in a tub I would probably slip under and drown or be unable to get out. I like that I can adjust the water temperature as needed to relax or to cool it down to "regroup".

    We have a tankless water heater that serves the master bath and adjoining laundry room, so I never run out of hot water in the shower, even if a load of laundry is going at the same time. You can take as long of a shower as you want, so you have to use a bit of self discipline! We also have a regular tank type water heater to serve the kitchen, guest room & extra live-in quarters at the other end of the house. All this was very thought through, with the plan of aging in place and/or resale in mind. We are of the baby boomer generation and this generation is aging, for sure!

    p.s. I would guess the upper grab bar on your bathroom wall is there to steady yourself when in a standing position. In our old house we put one in like that too. It can also act as a towel bar. The average towel bar look pretty puny next to a grab bar! Most towel bars will bend or come off the wall if any weight is put on them. I know, we've had a few tenants use them as grab bars and had to replace them!
    Last edited by nuthatch; 10-21-2017 at 12:50 PM.

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  9. #35
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    That's frightening--about your mother's friend's fall! The surfaces in bathrooms are so unforgiving, as I know from falling myself. Lots of metal and porcelain. The bathtubs made of plexiglass seem to be a little "softer" than the porcelain ones but they also can be punctured easily.

    The tubs here are plexiglass, and some people's shower chairs have poked holes in the tub.

    That actually is a towel bar above the toilet. I wouldn't be tempted to use it for support but maybe it would hold. I've probably grabbed onto it at least a few times even when there are towels on it.

    The photos were taken before I moved into the apartment, and so the place has none of my stuff in it.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  11. #36
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    Towel bars are not meant for grab bars. Depending on your weight, if you are falling and grab on to one, you can pull down not just the bar but the wall behind it.

    Yes, bathrooms are very dangerous for anyone, especially folks with balance issues. Shower benches are great for ensuring you don't get dizzy in a shower, and if you get so wet you can't see, at least you're sitting down and can turn off the water with a hand-held showerhead.. Getting in/out of a tub, especially if you've taken a hot bath and are overheated, can be extremely hazardous.

    As for "dirty baths": sweat, stale body lotions, creams, old makeup, dead skin cells, fecal matter, dried urine, bacteria from stuff you've handled that day,dried food stuffs, pet fur, pet fecal matter, other body fluids....all on your skin before (and shortly after) you bathe. Many public pools require you shower *before* you get in the pool just to eliminate some of that. And nursing homes, care centers, hospitals, sterilize the bathing after each person is bathed. And those things are on your skin no matter how "clean" or inactive you might think you are during the day. Then of course if you are active, all those things plus contaminates from whatever you might have been doing - cleaning house, working on your car (put here for Howie), working in the garden, dealing with houseplants, whatever.

    So lots of "dirt" in that bathwater, dirt that you might not so obviously see.

    I keep a dry washcloth just outside my shower area, on a quickly grab-able bar, so that I can wipe my face off if I get too much water in my face to see. But again...don't use towel racks as grab bars! Not safe!!
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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  13. #37
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    Agate, I always loved a bath tub and found them to be very relaxing. Seldom took a shower, but about 3 years ago I had some scares trying to get out and finally just gave up. I don't mind the showers, but do not find them to be as relaxing. I wish I could still get in my tub, but there is no way for me to have grab bars around it, so a shower it will have to be.

    Nuthatch, thanks for posting the pictures of the shower chairs and benches. I have had mine for about 17 years now and I am thinking that I might get another one. This helps with decision if I do.
    Virginia

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