Old 07-09-2015, 12:46 AM #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Agree, Star, the contractor is wrong. And the doorways (you would only be renovating one bath, though, yes?) are too narrow as is.

This may also be a time to pause and think about life expectancy -- I'm not sure of your dad's respiratory status these days -- and the lesser of evils. I can give you door #2 since Larry did without a bathroom for a couple of years after the threshold became too much. It may also be apropos to give your parents the option of doing nothing, if they are truly upset about tearing things up. They can hear the other side of the coin to make an informed choice.

If they don't renovate, that would mean moving ultimately to bed baths or perhaps using a public facility to shower as Mike & Krissy did, and using a bag-lined bucket instead of the toilet. That's not ideal, either. But it is possible and it is what we did.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:25 AM #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

We have a small 1/2 bath downstairs and no bedroom--I'm agonizing over the day this no longer works. So I've been doing a lot of searches--what's the possibility for you to just make the bathroom a "wet room" to eliminate any steps or curbs? There will still have to be a slight slope and large drain to contain any water in the room (away from the doorway). And a shower curtain goes a long way to eliminating spray over the entire room during shower but can be pulled back out of the way the rest of the time, opening the entire space for chair/lift/transferring. The next major concern with this would be making sure floor material is non-slip even when wet.

My father didn't have ALS but he had ankylosing spondylitis and, ultimately, cauda equina (lower body paralysis). He still had enough core strength to sit fairly upright for a short time, so I used a transfer bench over the shower ledge. He had to transfer from wheelchair to seat on the bench (with back and arms for support). We then unlocked the seat to slide it over the bench into the shower, manually lifting his legs over the ledge. It wasn't the best solution but worked for several months. Just a thought...maybe a temporary solution?
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:57 AM #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Thank you Lori. I have thought of those same things. In the meantime I've also looked up linear drains and a small (4 inch?) 'ramp' leading up to the shower base. Just so much to think about.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:06 PM #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

A wet room is sometimes used in small spaces such as an RV. The entire room becomes a shower. Between showers the room functions as a normal bathroom. The big concern would be getting the wheelchair, especially a power chair, into position for transfer to the toilet. A simple shower head may not work if there isn't room under it for a shower chair. A hand held shower head would be better. I strongly encourage drawing out the bathroom layout including the hallway or entrance in chalk on the driveway or in tape on the living room floor. Try maneuvering your chair in the space. If you don't have a power chair yet, look up the typical size of one and consider that too. Even an architect's floor plan may need tweaking to work well!
That said, it is not necessary to have a shower at all. In my experience, showering was exhausting for me and my husband. Too many transfers involved. Too cold for me coming out of the shower. To hot and wet for my husband who was doing all work. It wasn't long before we gave up on showering and went to washing my bottom half while I sat on the toilet, then a shampoo and upper body wash while I sat at the roll under sink. So much faster, easier, and more comfortable for both of us. When I could no long use the stair lift, we moved me down stairs into the family room. There is only a half bathroom downstairs and no reasonable way to expand it. Since I had already found showering intolerable, converting the sink to a roll under was easy. The doorway was a problem because the bathroom was off a hallway so getting my power chair in was impossible. We solved that with double doors. See An Accessible Half Bath
When I could no longer balance to sit on the toilet, we switched to bed baths for my lower body. It doesn't require basins of water! My husband just brings in one soapy washcloth, one wet one for rinsing, and a hand towel for drying. Done in minutes! Then he dresses my lower half, uses my overhead lift to put me in my chair, and move me to the bathroom. With me at the roll under sink, he does my teeth, shampoo and upper body. I am clean, ready to finish dressing, and and get on with my day. Showering is highly over rated!
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:23 PM #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Thank you so much Diane !
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:31 AM #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Star an OT would really help with working out the changes needed?
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:51 PM #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

I Totally agree Tillie. OT came when neither my brother or I were around. I heard that they didn't feel a need to
Come back because there was nothing they could recommend based on his situation. Huh? They left a booklet on home safety with mother that she never looked At. Some days I just scream. Other days I try to undo these types of situations to make sure we have what we need. It's an enormous challenge. Once these people come in and make a recommendation that their service isnt needed and my mother doesn't speak up, it's like silent agreement. We lost the visiting nurse for two months like this.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:08 AM #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

That's awful Star.

I do sometimes hold back from posting things like that because Australia is rather different (yeah I know we even talk strange).

We were lucky and were assigned an exceptional OT. We were doubly lucky because she was assigned to us, and she happened to be the OT that looked after our home care service. So we got her here for each piece of equipment needed as she would order it from our MND NSW loan closet, then she would have to come and train me in using it. Then she would also be sent by the home care provider to do workplace safety checks and advise the staff who came here on how things needed to be done. That was a pretty unusual situation, we were just lucky it happened to all be the same OT and that she happened to be brilliant.

Can you appeal this week and get an OT back to go through all your ideas with you?

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Old 07-12-2015, 04:32 PM #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

We were having a hard time with an accessible shower too. It's an older house, peer and beam foundation. The contractors who looked talked about having to shave joists to get a slope. Most of them declined to even bid the project. It's a small room too, just 9x9 and that was adding to the level of difficulty. What we finally did was install a prefab shower unit. It's 3 sided. The open side sits flush to the floor. That side has a collapsible rubber gasket that stretches from wall to wall. It keeps the water from running onto the floor but is easily rolled over with the shower chair. The shower is 4x6. It came complete with safety rails, the sliding shower head, a bench which we didn't install because my PALS uses a shower chair. We did enlarge the drain when we installed it so water drained quickly. It's worked very, very well for us. The gasket is a wear item which will have to be replaced from time to time. We've had it for 4 months now and it's holding up just fine, but when we do need a new one, the replacement gasket is about $50 and can be placed by hand in about 2 minutes.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:42 AM #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Autotellic, that sounds like a practical and efficient way to go. That shower with a pocket or bifold door to the bathroom may work for us. Thanks for describing it.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:45 AM #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

Ours wasn't that fancy, just the base.

I put an extra curtain rail up so we could protect the vanity from water splash.

It worked brilliantly, no remodel of the room and very low cost.

I do have photos, you just need a floor drain.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:06 AM #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doorways

> because Australia is rather different

drive on left and water drains backwards! pretty strange ...
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