How to Evaluate Bath EquipmentBy McMillin, Cathy; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: November/December 2009
Article discusses bath equipment for the safety and fall prevention of older adults and individuals with disabilities. Therapists and caregivers should consider several factors as part of a bath equipment evaluation, including the following: (1) demographics, including age, height, weight, and disability of the user; (2) medical conditions such as pressure sores, seizures, spasticity, spinal deformities, and limitations in range of motion, postural control, and head control; (3) current equipment, if it is being replaced; (4) mode of transfer into the bath or shower; and (5) the dimensions of the bathroom environment to ensure that the recommended equipment will fit. Options for bath modifications discussed, in addition to low-cost solutions such as grab bars and nonslip surfaces, are (a) tub transfer benches, providing a seating surface above the level of the water and generally used with a handheld showerhead; (b) bath transfer chairs, which enable users to slide in and out of the tub safely; (c) bath chairs, which allow patients to sit in the tub at the water level while providing support for those with decreased balance and trunk control; (d) bath lifts, which move the user in and out of the tub by means of rechargeable batteries or hydraulic water pressure; (e) static shower chairs benefiting patients with decreased balance and limited sitting endurance; (f) rolling shower chairs, which reduce the need for transfers in the shower while allowing for a stable sitting surface; and (g) shower gurneys for patients who are unable to sit upright for bathing. Reimbursement resources for bath equipment, including Medicaid and private insurance plans, are also discussed.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2009-11_08.asp