"Sean," I told him in earnest on the phone, "we are senior citizens and both of us need to sit down in the shower. Hubby doesn't like me bossing him around, so when you come I just know that you can do wonders, because he doesn't want me bossing him around. I think he will listen to you."
Knight Sean (Occupational Therapist) drove up in our circular driveway to our door in his Hummer-looking large black four-door jeep. When Sean came in the door, Sean told hubby, "Mr. Johnson, I am here to have you take a shower." With one command at a time, Sean skillfully broke down the process and hubby took a sit-down shower! He raised the sturdy shower bench I couldn't raise and was using in the yard for weeding. He remarked that the port-a-potty we have would also work in the shower.
Solution One. Sean told me to get grab bars installed for the shower. I once had bought them when the shower was retiled by homeowners insurance for a mold problem we had maybe six years ago before dementia entered our household, However, the construction crew did not install them and I had taken them back. I surmised that the grab bars were not part of the original construction and not needed in the repair. Bummer.
|Twice as good a deal as six months ago|
Tiffany: Welcome to the Home Depot! My name is Tiffany and I am a Bath Product Specialist. How may I assist you today?
Carol: I need a grab bar installed in our shower.
Tiffany: Hello, Carol.
Tiffany: In regards to installation/remodeling, please contact our At-Home Services at 1-888-480-9500, press "1", and then enter the three-digit code "267." You will be asked to put in your zip code and then will be connected with a representative who may better assist you with your installation/remodeling questions and concerns.
When I called, I found out that they sell grab bars, but do not install them.
|. . . But, Home Depot doesn't do grab bars!|
So I decided to still try to obey the knight with the four-door black jeep and see about getting grab bars installed from Lowes. Lowes also does not install grab bars, but they did have something that might work--Safe-er-Grip, Balance Assist for Shower or Tub. The Lowes clerk knew what I was talking about, as his own mother had fallen and had to have surgery for a broken hip and with the anesthesia her dementia had gone downhill. If hubby can avoid falling, he can avoid the possibility of anesthesia for surgery and the accompanying decline of dementia following anesthesia. If I can avoid falling as I have done twice recently, I can continue to take care of my hubby at home. Physical therapist Susann talked me through the installation of the two Balance Asists and the best use of them--for balance, not for pulling oneself up. One fell down that first night, however.
|Two large bricks covered by a rug |
and Safe-er-Grip on toilet
Just as Physical Therapist Susann left, Occupational Therapist Sean came. The timing corresponded with another event. Sally and I were having lunch with another friend. Jake came over to have his lunch with my husband and Susann left and Sean was there with Sally and my Alzheimer's husbands.
|The two balance assists in the shower|
Sean liked the two brick idea between the toilet and shower. Sean asked if they would be okay when he left and I told him the two Alzheimer’s buddys would be fine. The two men love being together and are so funny together. When hubby sat and waited for me at Best Buy recently, he said to me that it felt strange not to have Jake by his side. These men have a unique bond and fantasy life about things they have done together. When Sally and I came home from our lunch date, the hubbies were indeed happy and had planned the four of us would go to dinner and we did that. We women can’t do all the planning!
So it has been up to me to persuade hubby with our new sit-down shower arrangement. Getting him to shave is easier because he can feel his beard. He thinks he showered yesterday, when he hasn't. Alzheimer's patients need a routine and we just have to manage somehow so he can remain in our home without falling and with strengthened muscles.
Solution Three. Now hubby had injured his knee taking socks off to put in the hamper. This is how the last hospital trip happened. I got him new socks that are easier to take off. Hubby is not using this walker now, but I put the hamper between the legs of that walker so he can carefully balance himself as he takes off his socks. I notice he does hold those handles on the walker when he uses the laundry hamper.
|Laundry basket in walker|