Bathroom challenges.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I found the personal care for my Mum very difficult, even though I always tried to make light of it. Until we had her bathroom turned into a wet room (there used to be a step up to the shower and the care workers weren't allowed to use it - due to Health & Safety reasons!!!!! there were 2 of them at a time and only one of me) I had to do it all by myself. I tried to do it all at arms length, sometimes with my eyes shut to try to preserve Mum's dignity, but it just didn't work. The toilet stuff was v. difficult too and I found that Mum's personal hygiene was suffering. Since the shower/wet room has been done and her wheeled commode/shower chair (minus its plastic bowl) has been altered to wheel straight over the toilet the care workers can now see to her and somehow her personal dignity is preserved more as they are not related to her and she regards them as just doing their job. I still have to take her to the toilet sometimes but as I'm not doing it all the time now, it has got a bit less embarrassing for us both. Carerswife, your husband being a male carer for his Mum must be more difficult I think, and I can only agree with the others - talk it through with the continence nurse/district nurse/doctor as there's all sorts of help out there. He won't know about it til he asks and they won't realise he has a problem unless he tells them - try it, it worked for me.
The toilet/bidet system we use is called a clos-o-mat. It gets the majority of the waste but because it has a plinth and is used in conjunction with a horseshoe seat showerchair we still have to use babywipes. I pushed for our Social Work departments OT dept to supply this - it was a bit of a fight but they did pay for it. We also have an electric height adjustable sink made by astor-bannerman which has sensors to turn the taps on and off - the housing association paid for that - again with a fight.

Eun