What are some budget-friendly ways to keep my mom safe during bathing?

4 answers | Last updated: Dec 07, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...
I'm on a pretty tight budget, but I want to purchase some safety gear to keep my mom from injuring herself at bath time. What are the most important areas to focus on?

Expert Answers

Think prevention. At the very least, you should have a rubber tub mat, a handheld shower hose, a tub chair, and a nonskid floor rug.

If you can't afford a tub chair or bench, which cost $40 to $100, look for a small plastic chair with a back that will fit in your tub. But be cautious: Some plastic chairs are flimsy and hazardous. You'll want a sturdy chair, especially if your mom is on the heavier side.

If there's any money left, install grab bars or rails, which you can find at medical supply stores. Also make sure the lighting in the bathroom is good.

Don't be afraid to ask for hand-me-downs or loaners. Try your church or family members. Many people have equipment in storage they're not using anymore. Or you can suggest these items to friends and family as Christmas or birthday gifts for you or your mom.

Also check out secondhand stores and the Internet (for both new and used items). If possible, check the condition of used gear before paying, just in case something's been around for a few too many years.

Community Answers

Bernice answered...
When my parent insists on privacy when bathing, we have someone standing outside the bathroom door to listen to the crash and help.

Yoly answered...

I went to the Goodwill store around my neighborhood. Found a great unused still in the box rail for the tub. Additionally, I found a wide tub chair with a back and also a walker. I brought them to my home, put them in the patio, took a mix of bleach/water, a brush and scrubbed, rinsed, and scrubbed/rinsed some more. In addition, we put a large mat in the tub. Her sense of safety has increased. She is not hesitant to get in/out of tub by herself. However, she has fallen within her place several times. Yesterday, she fell and was taking to ER to get stitches in forehead. First time she fell was 4yrs. ago, getting out of bed. She tangled in sheets and down she went. She lives 2hrs. away, refuses to leave her place, but has good neighbors who keep eyes on her. She is stubborn and will not move!

Hugs4me? answered...

I had to put on my thinking cap regarding the bath issue and while I was at the community hospice thrift store, I bought a portable potty chair with a lid for $5 (brand new)and it seems to be working very well since my mother cannot get in and out of a bathtub, I just placed it into the shower so she could sit down. It's rather a snug fit, so there's no danger of it falling over. I also bought smaller bottles of shampoo and so forth, since she cannot hold bigger ones.