What specialist assistive bathing solutions are available to service providers within the Dementia care sector?
There are a multitude of specialist solutions to assist carers who bathe semi-ambulant Dementia residents. These can include power-assisted baths, adapted showering solutions and accessible wet rooms with level access. In terms of baths, there is a range of designs that include variable height adjustment, bather transfer seats, reclining functionality and specialist sensory features that are beneficial to service users with Alzheimer’s or other types of Dementia. When selecting the ideal bath, it is essential that healthcare providers fully consider the needs of service users, the care tasks in hand and how operational costs can be optimised. Only by discussing individual requirements with specialist bath suppliers, ideally manufacturers, can the most appropriate solutions be recommended. This is critical for maximising care, minimising risk and ensuring efficient performance.
For Dementia care, why is it beneficial to choose assistive baths direct from a manufacturer instead of a supplier?
Healthcare procurement and management teams can benefit from several advantages when selecting a OEM to supply a specialist bath. Manufacturers can have the ability to provide more choice and a greater range of bespoke solutions at greater speed to meet rapidly changing challenges.
They commonly offer more access to specialist options for advanced care – resulting in final solutions that deliver a more rewarding and engaging bathing solution. Assistive technology is evolving at pace and leading manufacturers are striving to be at the forefront of innovation. However, product quality, reliability and ergonomics can vary between suppliers so it is always best to select a proven and trusted company. Manufacturers with an established heritage tend to deliver better solutions that are tried and tested – backed up by efficient and consistent servicing and maintenance. Bath providers with UK-based manufacturing also provide the advantage of stable pricing when compared to importers that are being affected by fluctuations in the value of Sterling.
What are the important considerations that make a bathroom layout fit for purpose in a Dementia care setting?
Dementia care homes can benefit from selecting a specialist bath manufacturer with a broad range of in-house design, technical and clinical expertise. Bath suppliers with a holistic approach to specialist bathing offer a complete package of support from site surveys and clinical recommendations through to installation, servicing and beyond. This ensures the many critical factors regarding appropriate bath provision can be considered in a more cohesive manner – resulting in a more effective accessible bathing solution.
As Dementia is a complex condition, the specific requirements of bathers need to be considered with due diligence when selecting accessible baths. This is why reputable manufacturers work closely with Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists to ensure products provide the best possible dignity, comfort and care.
Equally the risk to carers is taken into account with the provision of safe working heights through hi-lo functionality eliminating possible musculoskeletal injury from excessive bending and lifting. A powered bath with variable height and/or a bather transfer seat ensures users can be lifted and lowered in a safe manner without the need for manual handling.
The spatial planning of high-traffic accessible bathrooms is also key to the effectiveness of a specialist care bath. If space permits, 360-degree access around a bath provides greater care flexibility and the ability for carers to engage more fully with patients. It also further reduces the need for carers to bend or stretch when delivering personal hygiene or showering the bather – hence lowering the possibility of back and muscle strain.
How can the latest specialist bath designs provide a more pleasant bathing experience for Dementia patients?
Bathing service users with Dementia can be one of the most difficult activities that carers will face. It is essential that personal care is delivered in a sensitive and dignified manner. However, as the act of bathing is an intimate experience, many with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias may perceive it to be unpleasant.
Commonly residents can resist being bathed due to reduced patience or increased unfamiliarity with the process through memory loss. There are also other issues that can cause distress including the fear of falls, feeling cold and having to endure a lack of modesty. Losing privacy is very difficult for many people irrespective of whether they live with a medical condition or not. Having to rely on a carer to maintain personal hygiene can be frustrating for many service users who struggle with a loss of independence.
Increased skin sensitivity to changes in temperature and pressure are also common with Dementia patients so controlling the warmth and depth of bath water is imperative.
Features such as TMV3 temperature controlled water eliminates the risk of scalding and autofill programming ensures water levels are optimised on an individual basis.
Bath with glowing blue water – chromotherapy can relax bathers through a calming sensory experience
Anxiety, confusion and stress can be reduced for service users when bathing through use of an intelligently designed product. The process of getting in and out of a bath can be controlled and straightforward with a powered transfer seat that moves smoothly and with minimal noise.
Changing and drying processes can also be performed more easily so users remain comfortable and warm. A range of sensory features can be integrated into some of the latest baths to relax the bather including Hydrotherapy, Chromatherapy and music. These stimulating elements can improve bather mood and encourage engagement with carers so ultimately bathing is regarded as an enjoyable event.
Hair washing can be an issue for many with Dementia so giving carers access to an easily controllable, inbuilt showering system can reduce bather stress during this process. If healthcare providers select baths from a manufacturer with proven credentials in Dementia assisted bathing, then these factors will have been considered in detail.
Airspa – bathing with bubbles