My 5 Assistive Technology Devices under $100 for Bathroom Use
My 5 Assistive Technology Under $100
In this blog post, I’d like to share five assistive technology products under $100 that have helped my husband keep his independence and privacy while using the bathroom.
Recently, we have had to face a new reality; my husband’s sudden leg amputation. This was a life or death decision that had to be made on the spot. Choosing life meant living without a leg; a new reality we weren’t ready for.
Before amputation, we had no idea the number of things we had taken for granted regarding mobility. Things like using the bathroom, taking a shower, etc. require both legs if we are to do so without help. Thank God for the people that make assistive technology devices.
I don’t know if these five recommendations all qualify as assistive technology devices, but I do know how much they have helped my husband and I feel comfortable recommending them.
One of our first challenges was getting my husband into and out of the shower when he was home. We had a shower bench that we had used for my mother. But my mother had both legs and could easily walk into the shower and sit on the bench. That was not my husband’s case.
He needed a bench to transfer from his wheelchair into the shower. A transfer bench has an extra “seat” that goes outside the shower or tub. He moves from his wheelchair to that part of the bench and then slides over into the shower. It was also important that it had a backrest and armrest so he could feel secure.
When you set this up, you can place the backrest and the armrest either on the left or the right depending on your need. I tell you this because when we were looking for one, this was one of my concerns and the product descriptions didn’t make this that obvious.
This tool is amazing! In our home, we installed grab bars in the shower and toilet area for my husband, but when we moved in with our son, he didn’t have grab bars. We didn’t want him to have to permanently modify his home, so we purchased this grab bar. OMG! It is great! I wish I would have known of this before I made holes in my shower.
The suction cups are great. They grab on well. And I love that it is portable and can be moved from one place to another as needed. When we travel, we can take this grab bar with us and install it for him wherever we go.
There are less expensive suction grab bars available, but I’m glad we purchased this one. It gives us peace of mind. My husband weighs close to 200 lbs and this grab bar has remained secure on the shower wall since we installed it over a month ago. It hasn’t moved, fallen, or slipped once.
In order for all that water from the shower not to pour on my husband’s head, we invested in a handheld shower. For us, the number of settings wasn’t as important, and actually having a handheld for him to be able to use without help.
In addition, having a handheld shower head helps not to splash water all over the floor. Remember, we have a transfer bench and a portion of it stays outside the shower, so some of the water will wet the floor. A handheld shower helps to control the flow of the water splashes.
This one goes hand in hand with the one above. I have tried several of these and this one is definitely my favorite. I put it in our shower and it has not fallen once.
I’ve installed it low enough that my husband can easily use it. To help him, I just kept the shower head on this holder instead of the shower bar above. This way he can take a shower whenever he needs to without asking me to lower the shower head for him.
5. Urine Bottle
Yeah, I know this one is unexpected, but it is so convenient. My husband is diabetic and gets up quite often to urinate. Because he has an amputation, getting up to use the bathroom consists of transferring to the wheelchair, going to the bathroom, transferring to the toilet, urinating, and doing it all in reverse to get back to bed. If you wake up only once, it’s not so bad. But when you have to go several times a night, it’s a lot of sleep to lose.
Now we keep this urine bottle by his bed. He uses it, wipes his hands with a wipe, and goes back to bed. In the morning, he empties and cleans it and it is ready for the next night. It is also great to use when you travel on long car rides.
Bonus: Wheelchair Seat Cushion
This has nothing to do with bathroom use, but I had to include it because of how much it has helped my husband. He complained a lot about his back and tushy hurting. We had read the reviews for this cushion and decided to try it. It has worked great for him. He loves it. So, why not spread the love and share it here with you?
Life changes drastically when a loved one is unexpectedly incapacitated. Everyday tasks that you take for granted, you begin to see with new eyes when someone can no longer perform them without help. But in our situation, we are so grateful for life itself! We look at this as a new chance at life… a bit different, but life. So, we look for ways to make independent living an option as best we can.
One of the areas of life that require more independence and privacy is the use of the bathroom. That’s why assistive technology is so important. It gives our loved one the privacy they need to perform basic tasks on their own.
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Are there any bathroom devices that I haven’t recommended that you find really helpful? I’d love to know. We are always looking for ways of helping my husband be more independent.