Thanks to a next generation Abacus bath Norma Beaumont can continue to bathe her 31-year-old daughter who lives with physical and mental disabilities.
Lucy Beaumont, aged 31 is a delightful disabled adult who lives with her mother in Swanley, Kent. Lucy lives with undiagnosed physical and mental disabilities that were probably caused by a developmental brain defect before birth. Lucy is able to tentatively walk with carer support however has limited mobility and cognitive abilities, no speech and requires care 24/7.
During the week Lucy attends the Gravesend Community Day Service Centre which allows her mother, Norma, to work part-time. Apart from these weekday visits Norma cares for her daughter at home which is an uncommon situation bearing in mind Lucy’s age. This is possible by ownership of only one piece of specialist equipment – a power-adjustable assistive bath from Abacus Healthcare.
Second Pisces in 20 years
The variable height bath with integrated platform which Norma uses is the second Pisces she has owned. Her first Pisces provided assured performance for over 20 years. Both Pisces baths have been regarded as ‘life savers’ by Norma. Without them Norma would not have been able to bathe Lucy as manually lifting her has been impossible since she was aged 12. Before each installation Norma was recommended a wetroom by the local council however she rejected this in preference for a bath. Considering what was best for Lucy and day-to-day practicalities, Norma believes bathing is far more therapeutic and rewarding than showering on many levels.
The Beaumont’s new Pisces provides many benefits over and above their previous model including quieter and smoother operation, a roaming hand controller and integrated shower.
Better than a wetroom
When re-applying for a new grant Norma was adamant she wanted another Pisces. She explains: “I took ownership of our first Pisces in 1995 following grant approval from Sevenoaks District Council. At the time this was an absolute necessity as I was struggling to lift 12-year-old Lucy in and out of our standard bath. This was causing me back pain which was getting worse. Owning our first Pisces made all the difference as I was able to position Lucy on the raised platform and then lift the bath and gently submerge her in the water. Back then we were offered a wetroom however I really didn’t want one as Lucy loved lying in the bath relaxing and playing with her toys. Plus showering Lucy and washing her hair would mean I would get soaked too.”
Norma continues: “Our trusty first Pisces was still performing ok after 20 years however I felt it was time to upgrade to a newer model as Lucy was missing out on several new features and some parts were demonstrating wear and tear. Bob Gibbs, the Abacus Regional Sales Manager, was brilliant as he supported us by submitting recommendations to the council regarding the DFG and the need for a new bath. I am delighted to say we were successful so that my daughter can continue to be looked after at home without the local council having to fund residential care.”
As the latest Pisces is the same size as a standard bath the specialist Abacus fitters were able to install it in a compact en-suite facility without the need to alter surrounding decor. Despite a few technical challenges the installation was completed within a single day.
Norma adds: “Our latest Pisces is quieter, smoother and includes temperature controlled water for added safety. The integrated shower is also much better than trying to use a separate wall mounted unit.”
New benefits, greater comfort
“This latest Pisces is an improvement on the previous model. Simple features such as a roaming hand control connected by a wire means you have more flexibility whichever end of the bath Lucy is using. Previously the operating buttons were fixed on the side of the bath, which were sometimes tricky to use. As Lucy is quite small, the long hose on the shower attachment is also great for washing her hair without stretching.
Our Pisces is a life saver, without it Lucy couldn’t live at home. It makes the simple pleasure of bathing possible for Lucy and I would recommend a Pisces to all families in a similar situation. I am so pleased I rejected the installation of a wetroom and went for a specialist bath”