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hi all - my father had a fall and fractured his hip last August. the day before his fall he had a ct scan. the ct scan came back "suspicious" for colon cancer. He was too sick for a colonoscopy. he just got it done and of course it came back positive. we are aiming for a surgery date of mid December. However. he just was diagnosed with " c. diff" which of course will delay the surgery. he also has exhausted his rehabilitation benefits which means he is coming home next week (regardless of whether or not he we are ready.)
my question is - my house is multilevel so there are steps here and there. we have a bathroom near the study that Dad can (and has) used in the past. the bathroom is tiny and we were wondering about converting it into a step in bath for the elderly. I think this is a great idea as it will benefit my dad AND my mom. has anyone had this done and any tips/tricks to advise? thanks!

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Never a truer word Susan - I had my ex (cow bag biatch )DIL make me some scented candles that work brilliantly for the most part - We use lavender ones, and my favourites frangipani or bergamot. I have a little candle holder that i can put on top of a cupboard I have so she that wants to be obeyed at all times can't reach them. That plus some 1940s music - preferably for Mum Vera Lynn and we don't seem to have war too often. If it is going to be a bad one then I let her win. The risks of a fall for her me or both are too great then.

Only once have I had to call upon my daughter for assistance and we wont be doing that again - bathing mob handed just made the minor battle WW3
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Phoenix, sometimes bathtime IS wartime. Depending on the person. ;-)
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wet room not wartime !!!!!!
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Refurbished a bathroom just 12 weeks ago and I wanted a wet room but the costs were prohibitive because of the way the drainage was originally put in plus a host of other things like getting property management permission (I just moved to live in an apartment). However if you can't afford a wartime there are alternatives. You can get very very very low profile shower bases these days which is what I did and I also made sure it was large enough to take a wheelchair both in size and in weight - mine will actually take mum a wheelchair and me should the need arise,

Then because I hate dirty grout and I also hate cleaning it I got a beautiful laminated shower board in bright sparkly red (they have dozens of colours but I wanted something that would make me happy)

Then I got a horseshoe shaped seat so when I was showering her I could get to every part of her - particularly useful for accidents

Then I made sure the shower doors were half height so I could shower her without a) me getting drowned and b) me breaking my back from leaning over more than I needed to

Finally I managed to get a 2.5 yard long hose which meant I could shower her easily from outside the shower

However there are alternatives. You can get amazing slide boards for baths so you put the person on outside the bath and then slide them across and shower them (they come with arm rests and seat belts too for safety - I couldn't get the one I wanted because it is only shipped to within the USA or I would have opted for that but I ma very very happy with the style I have and I know it will serve us until I can no longer care for Mum (physically that is - mentally she is driving me nuts already!!!!0
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A wet room sounds like a better idea with you in either a rain suit or bikini or au natural!
I would go for a huge shower with bench rather than a walk in tub because she has to be able to stand while you hose her off. When she can't get out of bed that presents a whole new set of issues.
Place the hand rails where a handicapped person can actually us them rather than conventional places. The one over my slapdash is totally useless as is the one beside the toilet. A person needs to be able to pull themselves up. I have to roll over in the tub and get up on my hands and knees. Not elegant but it works. I do let the water out first in case I slip and drown myself. (The family won't have to wait six weeks for the autopsy drug screen to come back negative)
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Or what about when she can't get out of bed??? Oh boy, I thought I'd suppressed that memory successfully.
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Aw, cwillie - so sorry you had to deal with that. With the bathroom here at home being so small, I know exactly what you're dealing with. I sometimes bring Mom home from the NH for holidays, etc - and inevitably, she will have an accident that requires cleanup. By the time I get her to the bathroom, it's on her legs, inside her clothes, etc - meaning that I have to try to strip her in that closet-size bathroom. With no space to even stretch her legs out, that means the mess gets all over her, all over the floor, all over the toilet....by the time we're done, she's clean, but I'm contemplating dragging a hose and sprinkler in from outside, putting it in the bathroom, shutting the door and turning it on.
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HaHaHa, ironic that this thread should be resurrected this morning. When I got mom up today she was soiled and soaked. Ever try to clean up someone covered in feces from their boobs to their ankles when they can't get in the shower anymore? Oh Lord what I wouldn't give for a proper WET ROOM, because once she was (reasonably) clean there was the entire bathroom to clean and sanitize. It would be so much easier to be able to just hose down everything, her included!
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I recently had my bathroom renovated because my grandmother was moving in.I had it done by avonlea renovations. I had them install a new bathtub so that it could be a lot more easier for her to use.I then installed some grab bars next to the tub and had some anti-slip coating applied to the tub.
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Walk In Tubs provide people with mobility problems the chance in getting their independence back. There are many models out there and depending on your situation you can select the tub that best fits your health needs.
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Tub wall cuts are the way to go, plus grab bars added. Home Depot can get it done for you, or a good plumber.
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FF - you definitely understand then. The quote I received included knocking a wall out, building a new wall, making the bathroom about 4' wider, moving the shower to the front of the bathroom by the door, making it a tiled floor with a roll-in shower (no lip or threshold to step over) complete with handicap grab bars, moving the sink and toilet (and all related plumbing) to the other wall of the bathroom, and finishing all the walls and cutting a wider doorway with a new door. $13,000. The house only has a taxable value of $14,500. If I were to sell it, it *might* go for $30,000, if I was really, really lucky. The value in this house is in the land it sits on, not the house itself.
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SusanA43, my bathroom sounds like the same size as yours, and the estimate to remodel the whole bath was similar to your estimate. It's just so labor intensive, thus the high cost.
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Sheesh. I just realized I answered this question twice. Duhhhhh....
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I am having our tub cut down. I had planned on tearing out the tub and surround and having a whole new, roll-in shower installed, but the cost was prohibitive, and our bathroom would have to be completely renovated to do it (to the tune of $13,000). We have a bathroom the size of a small walk in closet - it is literally only as wide as the length of the tub, and contains a tub, toilet and sink - with very little room for anything else. You can almost bump your knees on the vanity cabinet under the sink when sitting on the toilet.

Having a step-in shower was $4,000. Mom didn't want one of the step-in tubs with a door, so that was out too. So I called a local company that does bath renovations, and they came in, took one look and offered us an $800 tub cut-down - and if I have a new surround put on top of the tub, the whole thing is only $1200. Much better! They will cut down the wall of the existing tub to make a 20" opening with a 4" threshold to stop the water from splashing out and to hold the shower curtain in place. It will be finished and smooth on the sides with a textured surface on the threshold to prevent slipping, and will be painted a slightly darker color than our tub - a nice touch, I thought - they said it's because elderly people lose their perception of depth and the opening blends in with the rest of the tub if they don't change the color - and it results in trips and falls. Very nice that they thought of this small, but important detail.

We're hoping to have ours done in March.
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I don’t know if they can be called renovations, but for my aged parents, I have bought several bath safety products online and installed in their bathrooms. It includes a grab bar, a bath stool, toilet safety frame and bath mats. Both of my parents have difficulty in standing up and sitting down, but not very bad while walking. They are very much relieved after I added these extra fittings in the bathroom. In my opinion, for elders, some extra care must be taken to prevent any sort of harm happening to them.
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Lot of good ideas here. Couple years ago I got an estimate to remodel my small bath but have been dragging my feet as other stuff got in the way..... now I am glad I did after reading some suggestions above. My plan to have a built-in seat in the walk-in shower I will scratch off :)
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Another thing occurred to me as I was thinking about converting a regular tub by adding a door. That solves on of the problems -- getting over the tub wall. With a little help to steady him, my husband could get into the tub OK. The problem was that once he was sitting down he could not get back up, even with the help of grab bars and my arms. Getting upright in the tub was the biggest problem. Imagine yourself sitting on the floor with your legs straight out and needing to stand up from that position. The steps you go through can be difficult for someone with limited mobility. If you are sitting in a chair it is generally MUCH easier to stand up. And that is where the walk-in tub is so wonderful. You walk in, turn, and sit down at a "normal" chair level. The tub is deeper so the water still comes up to your chest. When you are done you empty the water, stand up, and walk out.
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freqflyer, I have air jets, not water jets. I clean the tub the same way I cleaned my old tub, and it takes about the same amount of time. I understand that cleaning the water jets is more involved.

I also was concerned about the length of time to fill and empty the tub, cwillie, but a friend raved about hers and said they didn't take long to empty. She was right. The pipes are larger and the fill/empty process is much faster. (Also makes a more powerful shower.) I wash my hair last, so I am standing up under the shower head while the tub is draining. I can also begin drying my upper body while still in the tub.

For both my husband and my mother I draped a warm towel around them while they waited for the tub to drain.

As I said, I love my walk-in tub with air jets.
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I used to think the walk in tubs sounded wonderful, but the someone pointed out that you would have to sit in the tub until all the water drained away before you could open the door and get out. Not a problem for some, but it did make me re think my bathroom reno. I put in a full sized shower. I did not go curbless so it is not completely accessible, but I now wish I had. I also had the door widened to accommodate a wheelchair. No built in seat, as I think they are not really practical, and a friend of mine found hers to be slippery. If you really NEED the seat, you are better off with an adjustable shower chair. And don't forget the grab bars.
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I'm curious, how easy are the walk-in tubs for cleaning? Back when I was a residential Realtor, anytime we would list houses that had a Jacuzzi or whirlpool tub, I would ask how did they like using it as I never had one.... 9 times out of 10 the answer was *used once or twice*, then I would hear how much time it took to clean.

I am thinking of trying car wax on our shower walls to see if that would help in cleaning.
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Captain, if I had a beard I'd rinse it just as I do my hair, comfortably seated and holding the shower head. My son, who has a lovely beard, prefers to stand for his showers and removes the hose/shower head wand to rinse his beard gently. We definitely don't go in for torture at my house!
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ever try to rinse your beard under a tub spigot ? its like waterboarding torture only with detergent ..
not for everyone, indeed ..
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The converted tubs sound very interesting. I don't think they've been available long.

My husband could get into our shower just fine, but he missed taking baths and when he saw an ad for a walk-in tub he asked me about getting one. I looked into it and that is what I did. Yes, it was expensive. It did involve some new tile around the tub but that was included in the installation estimate. He truly did enjoy it. The seat height made it easy for me or an aide to help him bathe. He was able to take the small step into the tub -- someone unable to bear weight on their feet could not.

I had a light installed about the tub and I love to sit in bubbles and read. We got air jets and it is great. (I once had a jucuzzi and didn't like it nearly as well. The regular chair height bench is great.) My son and daughter love it for showering, too.

I am delighted with my walk-in tub, but it is not for everyone.

Would this be the only tub in your home, or is there one upstairs?

I am very sorry for all the frustrations and delays in your father's treatment.
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No he won't be a good candidate for coming home. He will need a Nursing Home with 24/7 care. Possibly Hospice as well. Do what is best for him. That means a place with no stairs and lots of professional help. Please.
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I am having Mom's tub converted to a step in at a very low cost - $800 - there is a company locally that will cut the side of the tub down and leave a 20" wide opening with a 4" lip (so 4" from the floor) and finish it so it looks like it was made that way.

We have a VERY tiny bathroom - it is literally only as wide as the length of the tub, and the tub is not average length. So when you walk in, you are facing the tub, and the sink and toilet are across from each other just ahead of the tub - you have to turn sideways to walk between the sink and toilet to get to the tub. I've seen closets bigger than this bathroom!
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id just build a shower big enough to accomodate a wheelchair . i actually done this upstairs in my house . from what ive learned about c - diff , the wheelchair might need the occasional shower too .. a stick built shower can be built as cheaply as the cheapest ceramic tile on clearance at lowes -- bout 70 cents per sq ft .
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That sounds like a good idea for your parents. Such tubs cost between $5,000-$7,500 including installation. But if you are having an old tub removed, it could damage the floor tile and the tile around the old tub, thus those items would need to be replaced at an extra cost, unless it is included in the price.

I see from your profile that your parents live in their own home. Will your parents be willing to do that remodeling? Instead of a step-in tub, what about a walk in shower that has a built in seat? Then that way when in the future it is time to sell their home, you wouldn't need to convert the bath back into a regular bathroom. With a step-in tub, you might have to convert back to sell the house. Something to think about.
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That's interesting! as just today I had my bathtub modified so I can step in, not over the side. Have 2 replaced knees, 1 replaced hip + a recent broken hip...This is an option that is offered by Home Depot called Safeway Safety Step, does not require any other bathroom remodeing as it is only the tub itself that is modified... The company has its own website so you can see if it is a fix for your situation... Gooood Luck!
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