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 Does anyone use a walk-in tub? 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Coy saw an add for a walk-in tub and I'm looking into it for him. He hasn't had a bath in several years, since once he couldn't get out of the tub by himself and I had a heck of a time helping him out. He has no problems with showers but being immersed in water would probably give him pleasure.

I see that they are available in small sizes that would fit where our master shower is, and in sizes that would replace a full-size tub.

If anyone has experience with this item, please share!

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
A few in our local support group get these. Probably half have regretted it; they can no longer use the tub due to the severe rigidity of their LOs.


Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:09 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Thanks, Robin. Who knows how much longer it would be useful to Coy? But I can't go back and get one 6 years ago. 8) The thing is, I think that I might enjoy it, too. Not that I have trouble getting in and out of the tub, but I'm not getting any younger, and the jets sound kind of nice, maybe.

I thought that getting into an empty tub and sitting there while it fills, and sitting there again while it drains might be Not Fun, but an older friend (without any disabilities) who has one raves about it.

Do the half of the owners who don't regret their purchase find them pleasurable for their LOs?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:17 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
I wouldn't say "pleasurable." More like necessary.


Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:02 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Oh. I suppose they only had a tub before? For us it wouldn't be necessary. We have a shower not in a tub, with a shower bench. It is no harder to step into it and sit down than it would be to step into a walk-in tub and sit down. The only difference is the ability to be surrounded with water, which Coy thinks he would enjoy again. We don't need it to get clean. It is more a quality-of-life item.

Has anyone here used one, personally or for your LO?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:02 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 718
Location: LA
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
If you can do it and Coy wants it, I say go for it! You will never know if you don't try and later you will wonder. You said Master shower? Do you still have another facility if rigidity sets in and you need a back up? DrP


Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
No Dorthea, I don't have a backup plan. But I don't think that converting a shower into a walk-in tub would change that one way or the other, do you? The shower we have would not accomodate a wheelchair.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:08 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
I hesitate to comment here but we do have an indoor hot tub in our spa next to our bedroom and it became dangerous for Dale to use a few years ago.

We considered changing it to a walk-in but we were advised against it because there was the possibility that Dale would panic when sitting in the water and not want to wait until it drained to get out. Toward the end, Lewy made him quite unpredictable and unreasonable.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:48 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
You are right, Leone, and thanks for pointing out the possible risks.

Coy could definitely use it now. The only problem with a tub bath for him at this point is getting in and out of the tub. Things can certainly change, and quickly. There is no predicting what direction a change will take. If it gets to the point where he can't safely use the tub -- say he panics as the water drains out, then we will use it dry, as a shower. (I am always there when he showers now, and I wouldn't be letting him bathe alone.) If he is unable to get into the tub/shower, then I guess he'd have to get sponge baths or bed baths, or whatever is called for. I can't see that we would be worse off than we are now. And for a while, we'd be better off. Or at least that is the theory. I wish we had done it years ago. Now I'll have to consider the cost/benefit -- they are not inexpensive. How long would Coy enjoy it? Three months? Three years? Who knows?

I didn't know how long he'd use a scooter when we bought it. It's been several years and it has certainly justified its cost. Every time we go on a trip, I wonder if we'll manage the entire journey. If he is fine flying out will he be fine flying back? He was great on the train going. Will he be great coming back? So far it has worked. Some day it won't.

Leone, I know that you did everything you possibly could to squeeze out the best quality of life for you and Dale as long as you could. That is what I'm trying to do, too. I'm trying to figure out how this fits into that picture, if it does.

Are you having a quiet night?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:52 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 718
Location: LA
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
I know we are all in tune with how things are going with Leone as each day draws to a close. Her first hand story has been heart-rending and I know my prayerful thoughts are with her and Dale, morning noon and night.

Three years before Mr Bobby died, he became fearful of sitting on his transfer bench in the bath tub. He was positive he was 13 feet off the floor and would feel for the floor of the tub to see if he could reach it. We gave him a "time out" from shower/bathing. Home health nurses and I kept the top and bottom of him clean and he sponged off his private parts in his little half-bath. Then that stage passed and he once again enjoyed sitting on the bench for combination shower/baths up until one week before his life came to an end. Some days when his legs could not move [You see they were broken in four places, all three of them] he would get wipe downs but then the stiffness would relax and he would again enjoy his showers while sitting on his bench or standing in the tub holding onto the sturdy bars. I believe that is what you envision for Coy. As we always say, they are all diffirent and we cannot predict how any of our loved ones will react under any given circumstances. New decisions everyday. Once you decide, this is what you do and don't look back. It seems to have a way of working out in spite of our bumbling and "on the job" training. We think with out hearts and some of our loved ones react to the illness in one way while others are different. Maybe someday there will be a sure fire formula for all the answers but at this time, we must continue trying to make the decisions as we think best in every situation.

I believe the decisions, every minute of every day, is the thing that drains the caregivers and brings them to their knees. So make a decision, follow through, some you win, some you don't but you do the best you can, don't look back.

Dorthea

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"See this lady, she's 85, but she's nice"


Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:06 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Thank you, Dorthea. That's a great message from one who has been there!

And thank you for the laugh. Poor Mr. Bobby, with all 3 of his legs each broken in 4 places. No wonder they didn't work! :P

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:13 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
JeanneG wrote:
Are you having a quiet night?
The nights are quiet now with the medication for 'rattling' and 'hiccups' which I mentioned in another thread. However, I find myself listening to his breathing rather than sleeping. I'm trying to remember to take naps during the day. Thanks for caring.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:28 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
Posts: 276
Location: Washington State
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Dorthea wrote:I believe the decisions, every minute of every day, is the thing that drains the caregivers and brings them to their knees. So make a decision, follow through, some you win, some you don't but you do the best you can, don't look back.

Boy, Dorthea, I really needed that message right now. My LO's disease is accelerating and I'm still working and I'm doing my best to keep up. She just developed the Lewy Lean and she's going to fall 'cause her balance is terrible and she's still mobile. The decisions on medication in particular haunt me. Thanks for posting that comment right now. AnnieN

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Annie, daughter of brave Marie, dx 2007 and in ALF


Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:37 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Quote:
I believe the decisions, every minute of every day, is the thing that drains the caregivers and brings them to their knees. So make a decision, follow through, some you win, some you don't but you do the best you can, don't look back.
Dorothea, that is so very true and such good advice, as AnnieN has noted.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:25 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Does anyone use a walk-in tub?
Leone, thinking of you and Dale all the time.

Dorothea, that is such good advice - difficult to follow at times ( I find myself questioning my decisions a lot of the time) but so very true.

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:36 am
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