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Hang on to Your Shower Cap

Wednesday January 16, 2019
Hang on to Your Shower Cap
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I have an observation to share with you.
 
If you live alone and get stuck while trying to get out of the bathtub, your cat will not be able to help you.
 
How do I know this? Well, it's because while I was in the bathtub, I got twisted around in an unnatural position trying to reach a washcloth, and wasn't able to immediately get straightened out. Although Norman (my cat) was close at hand, he did nothing except look handsome, and meow. There's a reason I didn't name him Lassie.
 
Like many people with Parkinson's, I have balance issues. I used to mostly take showers, but now am primarily a taker of baths. This most recent experience solidified the realization that I needed a grab bar. And so I'm devoting this Tuesday with Terry snippet to the subject of grab bars a/k/a safety rails, and my experience with them.  
 
Yeah, I know. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, hang onto your shower cap. Tuesday with Terry makes bath time fun (and safe).  
 
There were a variety of things to consider. I wanted my grab bar to be adjustable and moveable - high enough for me to use when showering*, and low enough to use while seated in the bath. It had to be sturdy and secure.  And I didn't want it to be the focal point of my bathroom. That last one is all me.  
 
I discussed the matter with Mumsy, and lo and behold! - it just so happened that she had exactly what I was looking for. It is an adjustable height bathtub safety rail, made by a medical supply company called Drive. And it checked off all the boxes:
  • moveable and adjustable - the safety rail clamps very securely onto the outside part of the bathtub. All parts of the rail that touch the bathtub are covered by a substantial rubber-like padding.  
Since the rail can be moved, it would be easy to take it on a road trip. Just put it in the box it came in - it has a handy plastic carrying handle. Aren't we practical? It is fairly heavy, so I don't think it would be ideal to take along if traveling by air.  
  • sturdy and secure - it was quite simple to tighten the rail, and it felt very stable. The rail is made of a heavy, cast metal and there was nary a wiggle or a wobble when I got in and out of the tub.  

 

  • don't want it to be the focal point of my bathroom - a flick of the wrist is all it takes to cover the rail with your shower curtain. Presto change-o! No one but you (and maybe that snoopy guest who always checks out your medicine cabinet) will ever know.
 
So - hopefully this has proven to be an informative bit of material for all you bath and shower takers. Remember to watch your step, and don't forget your rubber ducky.
 
-Terry Harrigan
Northwest Parkinson's Community Member
and fount of useful information
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* the safety rail is not intended to be used as a grab bar when showering.  When I shower, I lightly hold onto it with one hand when washing, and shampooing my hair. As the description on the box says, it is an "adjustable height bathtub safety rail".  
Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

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