BATHROOM GUIDELINES FOR FAMILIES AFFECTED WITH PARKINSON’SCategory:
Submitted by James D. (Jim) Lawless after attending a PRO Round Table meeting
A few common-sense bathroom ground rules for those enduring the challenges of Parkinson's.
I. Help, I Have Fallen & Cannot Get Up. Why wait for the Fire Department to unlock the door? Preempt this challenge by having your partner, or caregiver or yourself (if you are still able to):
- Replace the Bathroom’s locking doorknob with a non-locking passageway doorknob, and
- Prior to #1 Install sign that says PLEASE KNOCK FIRST & WAIT FOR A REPLY (NO CHEATING!).
II. Help, I Have Slipped In The Shower & Cannot Get Up. Why wait until the paramedics arrive? Pre-empt this challenge by researching available rain room safety devices at a big box store, online or at a medical supply store:
- Consider the type, dimensions, and quality of safety bars, handles & grips that are commercially available for shower installations. Take the time to position yourself in the shower and realistically mark with tape (masking tape is inexpensive and readily available) ~ Note: do not use a permanent marker remember permanent means permanent, where the position of bars or handles will provide you the most assistance during your bathing activities. You, of course, recall that the building of Rome was not done in a day. So, take some time, and review your needs over a week, 10 days or longer regarding the best placement of these assistance devices in and around your rain room. Don’t forget the vertical bar(s), shoulder to waist height, to assist you with actual rain room ingress/egress.
- The last significant item for the rain room is the anti-slip pads on the shower floor. Most big-box stores have these readily available along with suggestions on application design and adhesive to employ.
III. Help, I’m Stuck To The Commode & Cannot Get Up. Again, why wait for the paramedics to arrive? Pre-empt this challenge by researching available commode safety devices at a medical supply store, on-line or at a big box store:
Again, consider the type, dimensions, and quality of safety bars, handles & grips that are commercially available for commodes. You can also ensure fantastic evening performances by obtaining motion activated toilet bowl lights!
IV. Installation. Installation can be a challenge for the novice. Invading tile and other waterproof surfaces in the rain room require competence & experience ensuring: 1. New safety devices are secured to a stud, 2. Drilling holes have not aesthetically ruined the rest of the wall, and 3. Some form of waterproof seal has been employed prior to the external application of the safety device. Contractors are available (always obtain referrals). Competent handymen (always obtain referrals) may suffice. Three to four bids should provide you with price ranges. I personally never take the lowest bid!