“Ben used to be able to walk and stand up in our old standard bath to be washed. Unfortunately, after he broke his leg, Ben never recovered his mobility and his health has become worse. The doctors are investigating if Ben has developed a new condition and the epileptic seizures have also damaged his brain. As a result of these changes, we found ourselves unable to cope adequately with Ben’s bathing regime which to be honest became ridiculous. We did try a seat that rose up and down in the bath which helped somewhat, but I found I was too frightened to bathe him in case he fell again. The process didn’t feel secure or safe.”
Supported by Ben’s Occupational Therapist, the family applied for a Disabled Facilities Grant from Wrexham Council. This was to include improved bathing facilities as well as an extension to increase the size of Ben’s bedroom.
“Social Services recommended we install a wet room. However, I felt strongly that this was not suitable for several reasons. Firstly in my opinion, it was too high risk due to Ben’s daily seizures and because he can break his bones so easily. Secondly, Ben very much enjoys bathing rather than showering. He doesn’t get much enjoyment out of life so this was a really important factor. He can stay in a bath for 10 to 30 mins and be happy – I was determined that he wouldn’t lose this.”
Ben’s OT began to research suitable assisted baths and found one that might have been appropriate. However, because of Ben’s seizures, Dorne felt they needed a way to remove Ben from the bath quickly and easily. Hence the OT recommended a Gemini height adjustable bath from Abacus – which would have a platform for Ben to sit on and height adjustable bath sides for raising and lowering the water level efficiently.
The family felt the Gemini looked ideal and contacted Abacus who sent David Bertorelli to demonstrate the bath and assess Ben’s requirements. This confirmed to Dorne and her OT that the Gemini was the correct choice and with the support of Ben’s Osteoporosis Consultant and Epilepsy Consultant, the family proceeded with the grant application.
The Gemini has now been in place for several months and the family are delighted that they made the most suitable decision for Ben’s requirements. Dorne summaries:
“I have been very happy with Abacus and would recommend them to other families looking for a specialist bath. They came and fitted the bath in a day and it has made such a difference to our daily lives.”
“As Ben has more seizures in the evening, we have always bathed him every morning which is an important part of Ben’s routine. With the Gemini, the bathing risks have been greatly reduced and I can help Ben bathe again which I absolutely love. Even though he has three carers, I am quite happy to help and I sit next to him and have a chat. Ben is very relaxed in his new bath and it has hugely benefited his carers as well.”
“As we want to keep him as mobile as possible, Ben currently can stand using the grab rails and then sit in the bath chair. We then swivel him around into the bath. The platform has made the bathing transfer so much easier and we don’t have to lift him out of the bath anymore to dry him, providing increased back protection for those assisting him.”
“In fact, the new bathroom now has the ideal space and equipment. We have had a hoist fitted in case Ben becomes worse and a new shower chair. The Gemini’s platform and height adjustment are brilliant, the bath looks fabulous as well. I don’t need to worry anymore about putting my back out or Ben falling. I have no regrets at all about choosing a Gemini.”
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