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Yes, your Dad requires help in the shower. A bath bench with adjustable legs is a good idea but make sure that the it is securely assembled. If installing bath aids in the home or condo, ensure that it complies to proper property standards.My mother used a secure bath bench with my help in our condo; I was home at the time when she was age 92-93 before going into assisted living arrangements.
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Jumping back to Sonny's comment- the Safeway tub people can cut out the tub wall for easy entry- pretty inexpensive. They also have a version with a door for the hole so it can still be used as a tub. The "walk-in" tubs that are being advertised can be very expensive but the choices above are much more reasonable.
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txcamper--"Soapboxes" are fine; I've been known to get on one "occasionally"! I didn't realize that so many of the handicapped rooms tended to be on upper floors, so thank you for making an excellent point.
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10j10, How are the grab bars working out? These are vital for safety in the shower.
Don't forget the non-slip bath mat, not the spongey variety.
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Samara, over the years we have traveled with my MIL a lot. I find that there is a WIDE variance in what hotels/motels call a handicapped accessible bathroom. Some are nothing more than handgrips installed on the wall and some are just great with fold down benches, handheld shower heads, bathroom heaters, raised toilets. There is no consistency. I'm also amazed that such rooms are ALWAYS on the upper level floors. How in the heck are we supposed to evacuate the room in case of fire? Cannot use the elevators. Wheelchairs and walkers down several flights of stairs??? Really?? So far, so good, but still I worry. I wish more thought went into design for the elderly.

Now I'll get off my soapbox, sorry.
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This is such interesting reading, as we prepare to make plans for a bathroom remodel. I imagine someone has already designed the perfect bathroom for seniors. I knkw from travelling with my mom that handicapped hotel rooms, have completely smooth tile from shower to bathroom floor, just angles slightly for draining. But some type of ledge or half-wall with hand rail could be very helpful. Good to read so many commenters ideas on what works. And kudos to 66 years of marriage!
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A shower chair and hand held shower wand may help. Would he accept a homehealth nursing assistant?
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I've gotten one of those handles to fit on the tub edge, but have not tried to install it yet. I hope they are not hard to install? Also like the idea of his sitting down outside to put his legs inside the tub.
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Remember his fears are all so real and not uncommon, also be prepared to lower your standards of hygiene, not saying that you are not, but many close family members have a difficult time with this. The first challenge is to remember if he has had a shower, and if he needs one. A journal in the bathroom helps with this, and picking a constant time for showering. The next challenge is his fears. He will fear forgetting to do something and cause injury, slipping, falling, getting burned, ETC... Make sure all safety bars are installed, a steady chair with good access to shower head and knobs. Constant reminders to rinse shower pan before standing to make sure all soap causing a slippery surface is removed, and to make sure all soap is off his hands, and hands are dry, keep a towel in easy reach for this. Many will opt out of an outside person to help. What may work, is to ask him to take a shower a few times with a family member present wearing underwear/boxer shorts a few times to be able to first help to get over fears. He may then be able to shower on his own, or with outside assistance. Please be cautious hiring outside, I have found that many through the agencies are not trained, but say they are, and are careless in the shower area.
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Hi, I enjoy seeing some humor in the comments. I know getting old or having old parents is no fun, but remember what it says in Proverbs, "A merry heart doth good like a medicine. In the bible the number 666 is bad stuff. I am glad Sonny got that corrected.
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To all who may be concerned! We were married 66 years...not 666! After age 85, things get a little confusing.

Thanks for the correction... Sonny

Sonny
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When I had my knee replaced, I used a lawn chair in the shower. Of course I replace my shower head so that I could hold it in my hand. Also make sure there's a bath math so he doesn't slip.
Also purchased some suction cup handles to give ne something to grip when standing up.
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My husband was getting close to 99 when I got a transfer chair. I would wheel him into the bathroom, help him sit down on it and scoot over to put his feet in. I got him a hand held shower. He didn't have any mental problems, just mobility.
He died at 101, mind still sharp. I am thankful for that. I am now 82 and I have painful knees that make it hard for me to get in the tub. I now live in a sr apartment. I have a shower chair and hand held shower. I would not suggest you put a walker in the tub. A study shower chair would be better. It has holes for the water to drain in the tub. The mit for soap sounds like a good idea.
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Ohhhhhh, I have three suggestions for a Senior who takes a shower: 1) Prepare the show with Soap, Shampoo and a wash cloth. 2) Keep the large towel right outside the shower on a hook, door knob or rollator chair.
Most important: 3) Attach at least two Grab Bars with strong suction cups to the walls of the shower. I have five Grab Bars with suction cups placed strategically around the walls. Help senior climb into the shower....holding on. No seat needed. Let him/her wash with soap and washcloth. Of course he can't reach all the places but do the very best you can. Stepping out is tricky. Assistance may be required. Do not get these "spongey" bath mats.....they hold water and keep the feet wet ( not good).
You can find good Suction Grab Bars at Walgreens ( $16.00) per grab bar which contains two suction cups each, one at the top and one at the bottom.
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So not despair - or spend tons of money renovating for my Mom, . found on Amazon great bath seat that will swivel then slide across,making entrance into tub a breeze. A Hand held shower attachment is then used.

As ha been suggested before, have dr. order a home health care person around to bathe hi. They may have other ideas for you.
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Sonny...666 years certainly must have been an error, but also it's considered the devil's number?
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Get a shower seat and a hand-held adapter to the shower faucet. Make sure that they know not to use the shower seat as a toilet, though. My Mother did and didn't even realize it!
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Regarding grab bars..be sure they are attached to studs. Thanks Sonny Marcus for the link. :-)
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Sonny, just checked out the tub cut out! What a great idea and much more affordable then remodeling a bathroom for bathing issues.
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You could ask your doctor to put in consult for an occupational therapist. They would come to your home to recommend the best type of shower chair to get and the placement of grab bar. Then they would come back after you have the chairs and bars and show your dad exactly how to do it. As mentioned above, getting everything ready and explaining step by step is very helpful. Liquid soap was the best invention ever. I went from helping to full barhing. May be awkward at first but just be quick and have towels handy for modesty. Would place a towel on dads lap while i washed his legs, arms and back then gave him a soapy rag for him to do the rest himself . Everyone is happy they are clean when it's over. Good luck.
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Hi, this is Sonny M. again! This company does "cut outs for bath tubs. I hope this information will help you.

safewaystep/safeway-bath-step.html
Sonny
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a walk in shower makes things so much easier, as does a tub chair and a hand held shower unit. An in home aide would be great even if it were just for supervision and to help with his back and feet. I put in a walk in shower for my dad and it has come in handy. When he had surgery it was so easy for me to assist him with a shower and so easy for him to get into and out of.
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I realize your problem I took 24/7 care of my wife in all aspects of her hygiene needs. I had a chair in the tub, grab bars on all sides, a shower hose connected, and I also had a company that specializes in cutting out a section of the tub so that a person can step into the tub as if in a shower stall. With all of these changes, it was easy for me and my wife to have her take her showers and sit comfortably while doing it. Even though you are a male, there should be no shame or embarrassment to assist your wife. We had been married 666 years but unfortunately, she "passed" in May of 2014.

Good Luck,

Sonny M.
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I agree with asking him. Be sensitive to his personal autonomy and dignity. He may be able to tell you what his challenges are. Perhaps he may want to also speak with his doctor and/or peers about any concerns.

When my mother came home from the hospital last year to her independent living residence, an occupational therapist observed her activities and evaluated her needs. Adjustments were made for common tasks, one of which was bathing. Has your father had an OT come to evaluate his living space to determine his needs? This would need to be ordered through his doctor.
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We had this issue with my father (he was 89 at the time). He would procrastinate taking a shower but insisted on doing it alone. When he finally did, it would sometimes take close to 2 hours, and the entire supply of hot water would be used up, although he didn't have the water running the entire period. We would listen discreetly to be sure he hadn't fallen and that there was still some movement. We had wished there was a better way, but as long as he come out of the bathroom in one piece and cleaner than when he went in, we felt satisfied.
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We have a bench that fits in the tub. It is long enough to sit on then swing feet into the tub. My husband has used this for 3 years without trouble. We got it after total knee surgery,but he has had many complications since and continued to use. It is light weight with adjustable legs. Check with invalid supplies.
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My mother is very unsteady on her feet and uses a rollator to walk. I got a shower chair from the local senior center for her. They have a supply of donated aids for seniors, and I just signed out this chair. Part of it extends outside the tub, so she can sit down on it and swing her legs into the tub, then reverse the process to get out. Works great for her.
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Perhaps a male family member could work with him to figure out the problems areas. It helped my husband to have a detailed list of what to do in the shower. The list is in a very large font and taped it to the outside of the glass door. The list breaks down what he used to do automatically, such as 1. get your head wet. 2. put shampoo on your head, etc. Also, I changed the shower head to one that includes a hand held spray.
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put a walker in it.remove the wheels with wrench.
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When my father was close to 90 the Alz/dementia was getting worse with my mother getting him to taking a shower once a week was a HUGE BATTLE. Doctor said that Alz patients have a natural fear of water over the head so this was a factor. This forced us to get a home helper a few times a week- and once a week he gave my father a shower (shower chair and handheld wand). My father accepted that pretty well as he knew he was paying the helper anyway and the shower was part of the deal. Good luck.
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