Old 10-03-2018, 08:52 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Toilet Hygiene

Sorry to be so blunt, but I need help finding a toilet paper assistant device. My hands won't grasp well enough to clean myself. In reading past posts, I found almost everyone reccommending a bidet which is not going to happen at our current home but maybe in our new one later. Until then, does someone have a toilet paper holder that is easy to hold and has an easy release mechanism. We have found several online but not sure which one is best for me in this situation.

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Old 10-03-2018, 09:25 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

There is a wand that holds paper; in our experience, not sure it takes less mobility than the regular method. But maybe if you loaded it with a baby wipe, it would be more effective.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:53 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Are you aware that the bidets often mentioned are actually a replacement toilet seat, and not an actual entire bidet? We ordered one off of amazon for our Pal and took less then 15 minutes to change out from the regular toilet seat, and this one has a heated seat, heated water and it has been an amazing help, we joke that it is a “throne” fit for a queen now!
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:59 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Tledfh,
No, I was not aware of the point of the bidet being just a toilet seat in some cases. I will check that out. Thank you for that information.
However, I am still searching for the easiest way to clean when not at home or until a better solution is found. My hands are getting worse at gripping.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:34 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Cathy, I've taken to always having some sanitary wipes with me. An ot suggested this as my posture, grip and strength changed. For some reason these have helped extend my ability to take care of things by myself for longer. I also admit to being strategic about when I drink liquids so as to not have to use public or unfamiliar washrooms- which is not always an option.

You may wish to consult with the ot at your ALS clinic for other solutions specific to your own abilities. Mine told me not to bother with specialized grips, etc, and go straight to short handled kitchen tongs- which worked quite well for quite some time and did not need much in the way of muscle strength, surprisingly. Also, carrying along a squirt bottle with diluted soapy water as a portable bidet was recommended and doesn't really need to be squeezed so much as upended and pointed in the right direction. But perhaps my hand issues are not the same as yours- an ot assessment might provide you some previously unthought of solutions tailored just for you.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:31 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Cathy, even if you use a bidet seat, you need an electrical outlet next to the toilet. Bidet seats are considerably less expensive than a bidet toilet. If you look on Amazon, you’ll get ideas.

Slightly different subject, and this is a rant, but I feel safe posting it here... I’ve about had it with midget sized public toilets. I’ve started using the handicapped stalls because at least I can use the railings to pull myself up. Then if the seat is gross, I don’t want to sit on it, and hovering above the seat is now a problem with weak quadriceps. Ok, so I can throw down seat covers, but I still have to hoist myself up. Portapotties are a different story altogether — I won’t sit on those.

What do people do in public restrooms when they have no hand function? Or if they’re at the hoyer stage? I envision wearing diapers (ugh!) at that point, but is there a more dignified solution?
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:36 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

In a public restroom, at the Hoyer stage, you can have your CALS come in the large-size (not necessarily "accessible") stall with you, and use a urinal in your wheelchair (this is where the recline function comes in handy, so make sure you have enough space).

If a suitable stall is not available, you wheel into a corner near the sink or in the foyer of the restroom if applicable and maneuver "under a tent" (blanket, etc.)

You won't need diapers, but easiest to be commando underneath your layers and to wear adaptive slacks or just a lower body wrap below your shirt or poncho.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:57 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Karen,

I pee a lot. I drink tons of water to avoid constipation. Honestly, I've seen PALS do all kinds of things to avoid having to hold it.

I've already bookmarked adult diapers.

I had to get an outlet placed near the toilet for my bidet but you can always use an extension cord, if necessary.

Unfortunately, a very heavy friend used my bathroom and now the bidet isn't working.

I have the bio bidet and it cost around $600. Worked great while it lasted. I met an electrician in our condo so I'm going to see if he can fix it for me.
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Old 10-13-2018, 03:56 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

It's best if someone can help.

My PALS (my wife) and I made a lot of jokes and were quite close. So it was no big deal when I helped her in the bathroom. I bathed her, dressed her, brushed her teeth, scratched her butt as requested, and I wiped her bottom. It was not a problem with dignity--someone has to do these things for a paralyzed person.

In public, I wheeled her into the ladies room, sat her up on the toilet, held her upright, and then wiped her. For the emotional comfort of the other women, I kept speaking aloud the whole time, so that no one was surprised to find there was a man helping out his paralyzed wife. No one ever complained.

At some point, you'll want somebody to reposition your legs, scratch your itches, and do the personal things you need to get done. A good sense of humor is helpful.
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:10 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

A point may well come when diapers are a wise choice. Because there are so many variables in this disease it's hard to say which choices will suit any one person best, but it's not correct to say 'you won't need diapers'.
Many PALS and many women with other disabilities choose them and find them quite dignified in certain circumstances. So maybe you will choose them and maybe you won't. It's good to be open to all options, and be prepared to use combinations of options in different situations.

The female urinal can be used really successfully if you can tilt the PWC and I've known some beautiful male CALS who became incredibly adept at administering them under a blanket without people around being aware (eg on a plane).

I really agree with talking to your own OT and being assessed as there could be some nifty solutions for now that suit exactly the hand weakness you are experiencing.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:28 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

This is how my question started...my OT discussed the use of one of these toilet aids but didn't have experience with the best one.

Karen this has been my rant for months!!!!! I hate public restrooms. I can't get up at all. My rotator cuff injury is due to pulling myself up in this types of situatioins. Unfortunately, the hancicapped stalls are not much better-toilets still too low and the handles too high and still needing to push up with one hand!!! I have found myself avoiding drinking to avoid needing to urinate in public. Just came from a weekend trip to Kentucky with hotels, restaurants, and porta potties all not usable for my weak arms and legs. If I am with a female, I can ask for help. But I can't take my husband with me very easily. Once wheel chair bound I guess I can more easily access his assistance as Mike suggested. Thanks for that idea!

Hate toileting these days!!!

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Old 10-14-2018, 08:25 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Suggestion:

Have a female server ensure the bathroom is clear, then have hubbie "obviously" assist you into the room while the server holds the door. That should give legitimacy to anyone who sees.

Re: low toilet seats. CVS and Walgreen sell a toilet seat height extender that looks like a life preserver ring. It's big and hard plastic, so you'd probably keep it in the car until needed.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:44 AM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Toilet Hygiene

Cathy, don't hesitate to have your husband help even sans wheelchair. There are definitely take-with toilet risers, and we used an Uplift seat riser for concerts/movies for a while, but that won't solve the hand strength thing.

If others are there, just call out when you walk in, "Hi, ladies, I'm handicapped and my husband is helping me." You're going straight into a stall.
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