23 May 2016
Bathroom solutions to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients
We use the bathroom without even thinking about it, yet it can be a major challenge for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Activities they’ve taken for granted most of their lives become muddled and confused, leading to accidents and embarrassment.
The UK’s ageing population, with growing numbers of Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers, means it’s increasing likely you’ll be asked to help install specialist bathroom and showering equipment. Fortunately AKW is dedicated to bathroom and shower solutions for the less able, and can supply all the equipment mentioned in this article.
Ensuring safety is critical. Grab handles and non-slip surfaces have obvious benefits, yet there are other ways you can help make showering safer and easier. Low-level shower trays are available for walking and wheelchair users, with just a small lip rather than a significant step.
For those who may find even this an insurmountable obstacle, perhaps because of impaired vision, a wet room eliminates the worry of dealing with steps or causing floods.
Eliminating potential concerns
Dementia sufferers sometimes don’t recognise their own reflection, and think they see another person. This can cause particular distress in the bathroom, a place usually associated with privacy. So as well as avoiding mirrors, use frosted glass for shower screens to prevent reflections.
While considering the surroundings, it’s worth thinking about the use of colour. A coloured wall panel for the shower can do more than just cheer it up; it can create a colour zone to help a person with dementia associate showering with that colour. A different colour for the toilet seat then establishes a separate zone, and helps reduce confusion.
Dementia sufferers can be vulnerable to burning and scalding; they may not realise when the water is too hot, could be confused by shower controls or taps, or might grab something hot if they start to slip. Again, AKW has a range of solutions to protect them.
These include low surface temperature radiators and towel warmers, and showers with high contrast controls that are easy to distinguish and use. A genuine breakthrough in safe showering for anyone with mental or physical disabilities, is the new AKW SmartCare Plus shower, available exclusively from AKW.
The AKW SmartCare Plus shower
AKW SmartCare Plus allows a carer to supervise the temperature of the user’s shower, without the physical intrusion of being in the room itself. This can be up to 10 metres away via a wireless remote control that operates the power, temperature and flow functions.
Sophisticated remote control
Alternatively, the AKW SmartCare Plus shower can be controlled via the iShower app for iPhone. The app allows many more control options. It offers ‘wake-up alarm/shower on’ so the shower is ready for the user before they get out of bed, and a ‘shower ready’ notification when it’s reached the desired temperature.
Additionally, the app can store several user profiles, to instantly recall and activate each individual’s preferred shower settings. This is very useful for care homes where a shower room may be accessible to several residents.
The AKW SmartCare Plus shower is designed for easy installation with a number of power and plumbing options. It’s an outstanding example of what’s now available to help you create a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
To discover more about our comprehensive and industry-leading range of showering solutions, just call one of our experts today on 01905 823299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org