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My grandmother is supposed to come live with me soon. She's pretty much capable of taking care of herself, except that her fear of falling makes her need a small amount of assistance with certain things.


Anyway... I need to buy some things for her like safety/hand bars in the bathroom at the toilet and bathtub. I'm trying to determine exactly what she needs so we don't spend money on useless things.


I'd like opinions on the following items:


1 raised, easily removable toilet seat -$22 (she's used one in the past)


1 folding beside commode with removable bucket - $36 (this would be in case the downstairs bathroom is occupied, plus if needed, this commode can be placed over a regular toilet as it has a raised toilet seat and handle bars for support)


1 shower head with extra long hose - $19 (I'd probably pay for this myself since I can always use it later)


1 suction cup shower head holder - $11 (this would hold the shower head to the shower walls at a sitting position)


1 bathtub transfer bench with backrest - $54 - (hopefully Grandma would use this to bathe with assistance - the only issue would be with getting her legs over the side of the tub)


1 adjustable, removable bathtub grab bar - $34 (this attaches to the side of the tub and I feel is safer than a suction mounted bar)


1 non-slip bathtub bath mat - $10 (this would be as an added precaution - it may not even be necessary)


1 floor to ceiling adjustable security pole with grab bar - $155 (this could be used at the toilet and moved to the shower and back as needed by me - it eliminates installing bars into the wall)


1 wheelchair - $200 (this would only be needed to get Grandma in and out of the house as there are two small steps she's terrified to go up and down - plus I'd probably use it for her to get her to go out places as she dislikes walking long distances).


Total: $541 + tax


What do you all think?


I'm not sure how she's going to feel about bathing. Up until June, she was giving herself a sponge bath at home. Then her and Grandpa moved to an assisted living facility because he had terminal cancer. She's been recieving aided baths there, but she doesn't have to step over anything as it's a walk in bathtub. She complains about it being cold in there so she claims the nurse aide is giving her sponge baths. So I don't know what things will be like when she moves in with me. I'm not sure if I should wait on the bathtub items or go ahead and buy them. Personally, I think she needs to bathe at least once per week as she has incontinence and wears adult diapers. It just seems like a bath/shower is the best way to get everything off, you know?

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We have the vertical pole and believe me, if it is installed properly it isn't going to move! And by properly I mean straddling the ceiling joists above and with a sturdy floor below, and then cranked tight enough an elephant could use it for pole dancing lol. That is why I said they aren't designed to be moved easily! Ours is in the bathroom between the toilet and shower so there was no wall there to screw grab bars to and it does double duty for both toileting and shower, I couldn't live without it!!
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1 raised, easily removable toilet seat

Get one preferably with a closing lid to prevent spread of germs when you flush

1 folding beside commode with removable bucket

Yes plus some sort of side table to put things like toilet tissue etc on

1 shower head with extra long hose

I can use an ordinary one but an extra long one would be useful

1 suction cup shower head holder

You can get longer poles that will go from head height to child height

1 bathtub transfer bench with backrest - $54

Now I know that is a good price but there are now sliding seats and that in the long run would avoid shearing of skin the carousel one has arms too and I am just bloody annoyed they don't ship to the UK or I would get one in a heartbeat

1 adjustable, removable bathtub grab bar - $34 (this attaches to the side of the tub and I feel is safer than a suction mounted bar)

You definitely don't want a suction one you need one that screws into the tiles possibly too but you can get grab bars that fit over the taps (just not if she is bariatric the fittings won't take that sort of strain)

1 non-slip bathtub bath mat - $10

IMHO this is critical

1 floor to ceiling adjustable security pole with grab bar - $155

I wouldn't touch that - I know you don't want holes in the wall but they are far safe and in the UK no OT would recommend the vertical poles they insist on one of two things either a screwed in rail or you can now get rails that fit on the side of the bath over the side of the bath that are brilliant

1 wheelchair - $200
Do you need a wheelchair or a transfer chair? We use a transfer chair and that is perfectly adequate

Total: $541 + tax

What do you all think?

I think if she can walk into the bath I would consider a bath chair with a horseshoe front or if she has to be assisted into the bath then some sliding seats have that then you can shower her nether regions too. If she can get into the bath unaided then the shower chair is much cheaper but if you need the sliding option amazon have them Transfer Bench with Cut-Out Molded Swivel is what you are looking for.

Why don't you see if they have any local to you that are second hand you might be able to pick them up quite cheaply. People who have cared for loved ones often don't know what to do with all the stuff they had and you can sanitise most of it very easily

Brilliant forethought though well done you
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Thanks for all the responses.

I already have experience with caregiving and dealing with handicapped people. I know exactly what goes into it as I've been around it my whole life (lots of elderly and/or handicapped relatives).

Grandma does not like being in assisted living, she feels alone. She didn't like it there when Grandpa was alive. Despite being the oldest person in there, she states she "doesn't belong there with all those old people." She dislikes their "old people" activities. She was only ever there because Grandpa needed to be there and he's no longer with us. She wants to live with me because she knows I have experience with caregiving and trusts me. The family agrees with her decision.

I already have homemade ramps for outside, but Grandma does not like to walk on ramps as they hurt her ankles.

I think she has medicare.
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Gee, in the time it took me to write my post, two other helpful posts have been added! Mine's almost superfluous at this point.
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A comment on grab bars: they should always be screwed into studs. NEVER use suction bars - they're not safe or stable. And the attachment into the studs should be done by someone who knows how to find the studs and anchor into the bars.

Even so, a grab bar anchored into the studs and installed in 1999 has started to slip; I think one of the screws has been stripped.

I would also suggest bars all around the bathtub, i.e., more than one. My personal opinion is that there should be a horizontal grab bar mounted on the longer side of the bathtub area as well as the front where the faucets are. A diagonally mounted bar on the longer side is helpful as well in the event that she needs to stand. Towel bars for that purpose could be on the back, but a grab bar would just provide extra stability in case Grandma gets up and wants to turn around to get a towel.

I have the same concern about the security pole. ANYTHING that someone is going to hold onto should be mounted in walls, in studs. I've seen those security bars with suction cups at either end and would never use them.

We paid a lot more at DME shops than the quoted prices you've included, so you must have found a good source. The bathtub slide-over chair, or perhaps it was the commode, was $125 alone.

As to a wheelchair, get a good one, with removable arms and legs and a thick seat. I would also get a gel pad, as sitting in a wheelchair isn't comfortable, even for a short length of time. A soft throw, blanket or afghan could add comfort to the back.

Also consider a rollator; Grandma can try one out at a DME store. In my opinion they're safer than a walker, have a seat on which she could rest, a basket underneath, and are more stable. Grandma would need to know how to operate the hand brakes though. That's a good reason to try one out.

Although you didn't mention it, I would also consider using No Rinse shampoo and bath products. I discovered these years ago at a rehab facility and now they're being used in our favorite hospital. Bathing can be done in the comfort of a warm room, slowly by body area as opposed to a complete immersion and stripping down for a shower. So Grandma doesn't get as cold as she would otherwise.

Big towels that wrap completely around her would be great. If you have a dryer close by, heat the towel before she gets out of the bath/shower and provide her with a nice comfortable warm towel.

I congratulate you on analyzing the situation before hand so that you're prepared!
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The floor to ceiling tension poles are great, but they really are not designed to be moved around.
I would skip the toilet extension and go for the commode as it will be much more useful in the long run, as you mentioned it can be placed over the toilet (be sure to get the splash guard) and used as a separate unit if needed. Make sure it has sturdy arms and you won't need to invest in extra grab bars.
I would urge you to have proper grab bars screwed into your tub walls... I know that everyone is reluctant to take that step but they really are necessary.
You mention a wheelchair and navigating steps, but you don't mention a ramp, either permanent or portable. How do you plan to muscle the chair down the steps?
Consider a rollator or walker if she is unsteady on her feet, adding railings where they would be helpful, and an assistive bedrail that can help her rise from the bed.
Incontinent? Then you will need a diaper pail and waterproof pads for chairs and bed too.
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Tracy has a point, but as to your question your doing all the right stuff. A couple of tips on grab bars:

-Have grandma show you how she gets in the bath, on the toilet etc. watch where she puts her hands and place the grab bars according to her size.

-For the grab bar in the bath or shower place it at an angle, about 30%, so as she enters her had is up high and as she sits her hand will slide down while always in contact with the assit bar.

-Don't use suction cup stuff. Always screw into studs or use toggle bolts. Don't use the little plastic dry wall anchors.
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Ok, my first question is why are you taking her out of the assisted living facility? Do you have any idea how much work it is to care for the elderly and why isnt your uncle taking her in? In regards to your list, do you have a ramp to get the wheelchair down or a lift chair? You should find out if she has medicare or medicaid?
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