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By Nathalie Taylor
Special to the Village News 

Insight into showering for those with balance issues

 

Last updated 10/15/2021 at 6:48pm



Today I took my first shower in seven days. I have never gone this long without a shower, but I had no choice. I had an ear issue, which caused me to become woozy. My equilibrium was off. There was no way that I could have showered without falling. It brought to mind the problems that some of the elderly, and others, face due to balance concerns. I wondered how many people go without showering because they have balance issues, and no one to assist them in the shower. Then, I remembered that there are shower chairs. What a wonderful invention!

Since my own shower is located in a bathtub with high sides, and I had no assist bar on which to steady myself, I chose to use my elderly mother’s shower. Her bathtub and shower are separate entities. Also, about 15 years ago, I had an assist bar installed in her shower. As I stepped into the shower, I felt strong and steady when I held onto it.

While in the shower, I became aware of other safety issues. I was glad that I had installed non-slip stickers throughout the entire shower floor. This made me confident that I would not slip.

Then there is the issue of her built-in tile bench. I didn’t need to use it, but I noticed that with the water and the soap flying around, the tile became slick. I decided I would buy a slip resistant shower pad so the bench would be a safer place for her to sit.

I also noticed that the shower gel was in a bottle that required using two hands to use. I decided that my mother needed a shower gel bottle with a pump on the top. That way she could set her wash cloth on the tile bench, and pump the gel onto the cloth. With one hand on the pump, and one hand on the assist bar, she would be safer.

This was my first experience with a balance issue, and I feel that one of the reasons it happened was so that I could gain insight into the showering challenges of people with balance concerns. It brought to mind some of the safety devices that are available: shower chairs, assist bars, non-slip stickers for the floor, pump bottles, and built-in seats covered with slip resistant foam cushions. I am sure that these devices will make my mother’s showering experience a bit safer, and might work for many others as well.

 

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