Assisted Bathing Solutions Case Study:The Latham Family
Jack and Rebecca Latham, six-year-old twins with Cerebral Palsy, can continue playing at bath time with their younger brother now an Abacus Scorpio assisted bath has been installed in their home.
- Project: The Latham Family, Watford
- Installation: Bath with powered transfer seat
- Bath: Aquanova Scorpio (fixed height)
- NHS Trust: Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
The care challenges
Father, Kevin Latham, is the primary carer for Jack and Rebecca who live with Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that affects their walking and coordination. As they grew older, access to the family bath was becoming increasingly difficult, particularly as the twins require greater amounts of assistance to move around the home. Kevin’s back was under increasing strain from continually lifting his three children in and out of the bath on a daily basis, so a long-term assisted bathing solution was deemed absolutely critical.
From assessment to approval
Kevin approached Bonnie Bannon, his Occupational Therapist (OT), and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust to try and resolve this developing issue.
Adaptations improving accessibility within the family home had already been completed so Kevin was hopeful of achieving an additional Aquanova assisted bathroom solution. Following a structured assessment and specification process, Kevin’s grant to install an Scorpio disabled bath with powered transfer chair and integrated shower was approved.
First impressions last
Kevin first discovered Abacus Healthcare at the Kidz-in-the-Middle exhibition in 2014. He was impressed with the Aquanova Scorpio height adjustable bath on display as it included a powered transfer seat for lifting, rotating and lowering of bathers.
“The Abacus product specialists were very helpful when I discussed our own bathing needs at Kidz.
The fact that the Scorpio’s transfer seat could be moved out of the bath when not in use meant my children would still have plenty of room to splash around and play. Bob Gibbs, Abacus Regional Sales Manager, arranged to carry out a product demonstration at home so we could assess whether it would be suitable for the twins’ needs. Following Bob’s visit, we then discussed the possibility of a Scorpio bath being fitted with Bonnie, our OT.”
Bonnie and the local NHS Trust had originally recommended that the family bathroom should be converted into an accessible wet room. However, as Kevin’s children found bathing far more enjoyable, he was keen to retain a bath.
Bonnie carefully considered the Lathams’ preferences and following a period working alongside Abacus, the Scorpio 1700 fixed height adjustable bath was deemed appropriate.
The Abacus assessor established the Scorpio disability bath’s suitability and the proposed bathroom design identified the need to slightly reconfigure the existing layout to allow better access for wheelchairs. Once all plans were confirmed, the Lathams selected an appropriate builder to adapt the bathroom and Abacus specialist fitters were commissioned to install the bath. Bob Gibbs from Abacus oversaw the installation from start to finish ensuring the process was as smooth as possible and everything successfully met the Lathams’ expectations.
“It’s great my children can now continue to enjoy bath time and I am confident they will be far happier when bathing. Our Scorpio bath is both spacious and deep, plus they can still have fun without the transfer seat getting in the way.
The bath will become even more beneficial as they grow up and my back pain is already easing now I do not have to manually lift the twins. We use a safety belt when they are sitting in the transfer seat and as the two-button controls are so simple, Jack and Rebecca can operate it themselves while I supervise. The Scorpio looks like a non-medical standard bath and is compact so we haven’t lost any bathroom space. I do hope the difference our Abacus disabled bath has made to us can be shared with other families in a similar situation.”
AQUANOVA SCORPIO 1700 (FIXED HEIGHT) ADJUSTABLE BATH
The Aquanova Scorpio 1700 is ideal assisted bathing solution in domestic settings or for bathrooms where space is limited. The bath is 1700mm in length, so similar in size to a traditional style bath, and it comes with either a manual or powered transfer seat. It provides assistance for disabled bathers so they can get in and out of the bath simply by sitting on the transfer seat. The seat can be lifted and lowered into the disability bath with the help of an easy-to-use hand controller. During a transfer the bather feels reassured by supporting armrests and a waist belt can be applied where necessary. The Scorpio will safely lift bathers weighing anything up to 150kg and it is available with a range of taps, shower units, LED lighting and whirlpool spa options.