Commodes/raised toilet seats/shower seats…

A sweet lady named Lesli e-mailed me with some questions she has, along with some information on why she is curious. Please comment if you’d like to answer any of these questions. 🙂

These
questions are directed at patients that use commodes/raised toilet seats and
shower seats:

  1. Do
    they use a commode or raised toilet seat at home?
  2. Do
    they use a shower chair at home?
  3. Are
    they typically seniors
    (i.e., elderly with weak
    upper strength)
  4. Do
    they have an illness or paralysis which causes this mobility impairment?
  5. Are
    some patients required to use commodes/raised toilet seats and shower
    seats as a result of knee or hip replacement surgery?
  6. Is
    it possible to determine the percentage of patients using these assistive
    devices:
    1. How
      many use a commode/raised toilet chair?
    2. How
      many use a shower seat?
    3. How
      many use a cane?
    4. How
      many use a walker/rollator?
    5. How
      many use a wheel chair?
    6. How
      many are temporarily impaired due to surgery, accident, etc.?
  7. Are
    they able to use handicap toilets in public areas?
    (i.e.,
    height of toilet and placement of bars is adequate for lifting purposes)
  8. Are
    they afraid to leave home because they are unsure if they can use a toilet
    without the assistive device they have at home?
  9. If
    they are not comfortable leaving home, how does this affect their mental
    attitude?
  10. Do
    you find that the older the patient is, they are less willing to discuss “toileting
    issues” with you or other OTs?
  11. Do
    you find that the older the patient is, they are more accepting of their
    physical limitations?
  12. Have
    patients expressed frustration about not being able to travel because of
    their need for these devices away from home?
    (i.e.,
    another home or hotel most likely does not have these available to them)
  13. If
    a travel product were available that would assist them with toileting and
    showering away from the security of their own home, would they be
    interested in purchasing one?
  14. Can
    they place a value on this type of product?
    (freedom,
    peace of mind)

You are probably curious as to why I am
asking all these questions. Well, it started with my Mom and
Mother-in-Law, both with Rheumatoid Arthritis. My Mom also has a painful
muscular deterioration (myopathy). They are both required to use
commodes/raised toilet seats and shower seats at home, and use walkers/rollators
to get around inside and wheel chairs outside. Both are quite social, but
with their physical limitations – and the need for these assistive
devices – they are uncomfortable leaving home for any length of time,
just in case they need to use the toilet. Handicap toilets in public
restrooms are no longer an option for them, as the toilets do not provide the
required height and the bars are awkwardly placed so they do not provide the
support they need. They will both wear diapers away from home “just
in case”, however, it can be extremely humiliating for an elderly person
(they are in their 70’s) to actually “use” one.

Traveling has become more difficult has
well, as hotels do not provide commodes/raised toilet seats. Fortunately,
I am able to store these items at my home for their visits. When
traveling by car, we actually need to take my truck and a sedan (the truck for the “gizmos”,
as I call them), and the sedan because it is low enough for them to get into!

Well, all of this has created a significant passion
in me. Life needs to be easier, less stressful, and more accessible for
the mobility impaired. Statistics show that people are living longer;
however, we know that we will not be free of physical limitations. I
truly believe that the older generation was more accepting of this (and
succumbed to staying in the home). Fortunately, this is not acceptable to
the baby boomers and those to follow. We will not accept staying home,
nor do we want our aging parents to.

Karen, any comments that you, your
classmates or other OTs can provide would greatly assist me. Also, if you
can direct me to any website or contact person that can also provide me with
statistics or other valuable information, it would be wonderful also.

Apr 17, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

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