Washing, Dressing & Going To The Loo
The muscle weakness caused by your SMA may mean that you need equipment to help you have a bath or shower, get dressed and undressed, and go to the loo. You may be reading this because you’ve just started to find you need some help or because you’ve already got equipment and maybe it’s not quite doing the job any more.
If you already have an occupational therapist (OT), tell them what the problem is and they will do their best to sort out equipment so that doing these things is as easy and stress-free as possible for you, your parents and anyone else who helps you out with your personal care. If you don’t have an OT but you’re having difficulties, contact your GP or neuromuscular consultant and ask for a referral to an OT.
There’s a wide variety of equipment and new products coming onto the market all the time to suit different ages. 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, junior and travel urinals, wash and dry facilities.
You may find the information pages on this website helpful in any discussions with your OT / physio:
and in their factsheet:
Your OT should be able to advise you about what would work best for you. They should be able to provide most items of equipment and / or tell your parents how to get assistance to pay for them.
For information on assessments and Government funding, your family might find it helpful to see: www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities/equipment
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
Page last updated: July 2019
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