Washing, Dressing & Using The Toilet
You may be reading this because you’ve just started to find the muscle weakness caused by your SMA is making it difficult to bath, shower, get dressed and undressed, and go to the loo; or perhaps you’ve already got equipment but it’s not quite doing what it needs to any more.
If you already have an Occupational Therapist (OT), they’ll be the best person to talk to who can sort out equipment so that doing these things is as easy and stress-free as possible for you and anyone else who helps you with your personal care. If you don’t have an OT, contact your GP or neuromuscular consultant and ask for a referral.
There’s a wide variety of equipment and new products coming onto the market all the time. These include:
- Using the bath: bath chairs, lifts, cushions, inserts and portable baths
- Showering: multi-function shower and commode chairs, mobile and wall-mounted shower cradles and trolleys, shower chairs and stools
- Using the loo: toilet seats, cushions, frames and rails, urine deflectors, travel urinals, wash and dry facilities.
You may find the information on these Disabled Living Foundation Living Made Easy pages helpful:
Your OT should be able to advise what would work best for you. They should be able to provide most items of equipment and / or tell you how to get assistance to pay for them.
SMA UK may also be able to help with funding suggestions. You can find related information in the Living with SMA section: Funding for Equipment
Managing Days Out
Days out and travelling away from home can bring extra challenges.
Changing Places toilets provide a height adjustable changing bench with hoist and plenty of space. For more information and a map of where Changing Places can be found, see: www.changing-places.org
There’s a National Key Scheme for accessible toilets that can be found in shopping centres, cafes, department stores and in bus and train stations around the country. To unlock the toilets, you’ll need a RADAR key available to buy from: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/shop/official-and-only-genuine-radar-key