The Blue Bath

Don would complain bitterly that they had made him have a bath, and that he hated the “blue bath”.  I didn’t know why they called it that, but I knew that he never liked a bath, he always said it wasn’t clean just sitting in water, and he always preferred the shower.  But he objected so strongly, and the staff started telling me that he would be shouting at them that he didn’t want a bath.  I asked him why he hated it so much, and he said, It’s humiliating.

Apparently this procedure only took place once a week, the rest of the time it was just a bed wash.  I quizzed the staff about why they had changed from giving him a shower, and they told me that he doesn’t have good enough balance any more to sit up in the shower chair.  They thought it wasn’t safe; he might fall. 

This is what the shower chair looks like:

Ottobock Mobile Shower Commode                

This is the blue bath.  Only, as you can see, it is on a trolley, and it can be raised to waist height so that the nurses can wash the person lying in it.

Mobile Shower Trolley

No wonder he found it humiliating.  He said to me, it’s one thing to get used to people doing all sorts of personal things for you in the way of hygiene, but this is beyond embarrassing.  I’m so exposed, and I hate it.

I tracked down a high-backed reclining shower chair, which I’ve had on trial for the past week, and he had  two showers in the past week.  The nurse said they just wheeled him in and left him to it, and when I arrived a bit later on, he was refreshed and relaxed and very happy with it.

Ottobock Reclining Shower Commode                        

The snag?  Don’t want to sound as though everything is about money, but it’s $3000 (yes, that third zero is correct!) and I could hire it for $360 per month, which is $45 per shower assuming they use it twice a week.  Too much!

It’s all good, however.  I’ve tracked down a different brand from another supplier which isn’t as super-duper but has all the necessary features (according to the staff I consulted) and is 1/3 the price!   I plan to get that next week, unless my other plan comes to fruition, which is that the nursing home purchase one for the facility as a whole.  I’ve asked, they are checking with corporation headquarters (I’m not holding my breath to be honest, but worth making the request), and assuming the answer is no, then I will purchase Don’s own.

You can’t put a price on dignity.


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