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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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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 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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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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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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Phoenix, sometimes bathtime IS wartime. Depending on the person. ;-)
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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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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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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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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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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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