Assisting Residents In The Shower
Among people with disabilities, one of the most common places that slips and falls occur is in the shower. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you provide disabled adults living in an adult foster home with assistance in the shower. Equipment is available to assist these patients, but nothing can replace kind and considerate assistance from a caregiver, aid or nurse.
In order to minimize the risk of a fall, it is important that the showers in an adult foster home are fitted with assisting devices. This makes the job of the caregiver easier, too. Depending on the extent of the disability, you can choose from a range of chairs, handrails and modified structures. Chairs are perfect for patients who cannot stand on their feet safely, while handrails are a good option for those with adequate mobility but lack of balance. Also be sure to install shower stalls with low edges; these make it easier for patients to step in and out of the shower.
Properly fitted assisting devices are the first step towards preventing slips and falls. It is also important for a you to assist the resident while he showers. For patients with minor disabilities, you can sit outside of the shower and simply observe to make sure the patient follows safety precautions. This way, if a minor slip does occur, you are on hand to catch the patient and call for additional assistance if needed. While sitting outside of the shower, you can remind the patient to hold the handrail or to remain seated in the shower chair. This reduces the risk of injury without invading the privacy of patients with minor disabilities.
Patients who are more severely disabled often require hands-on assistance in the shower. Be sure to provide adequate help at every step in the showering process. Assist the patient in undressing if needed, and hold his hand as you help him step into the shower and sit down in the chair. If the patient is capable of physically bathing himself, allow him to do so, as this helps him maintain a sense of independence. Otherwise, step in as needed to help with washing.
Those living in an adult foster home need varying levels of assistance in the shower. Do not avoid providing this for fear of invading their privacy. A little invasion of privacy is better than a potentially fatal slip or fall.