Problems having a bath

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sunnysideup
sunnysideup Member Posts: 17
edited 26. Aug 2015, 17:31 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello....My RA has been bad again for a few months. It really helps to lie down in the bath - BUT I have difficulty getting in - my arms are not strong enough to take my weight - I have to rest on my knuckles to lower myself but the pain in my hands, thumbs and knuckles is bad, and we are not supposed to put stress on the little joints. I've sort of 'fallen in' from half way down a few times. :splash:

I get out of the bath by sort of rolling over so I'm bottom up and then I'm able to get out even if it's a bit awkward.

Has anyone any ideas? - Has anyone used the 'Bathmate' (like a plastic inflatable seat) which is enormously expensive - and anyway it seems to be plugged into the mains!!! Not really into electrocuting myself in the bath.

Thanks for any contributions.

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  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry you are struggling. I abandoned all thoughts of having a bath years ago, when the RA was at its worst, and I was unable to get in or out. We had the bath taken out and a big walk-in shower put in its place.

    Hopefully someone will be able to advise you.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It might be worth talking to your Occupational Therapist, they seem to have aids for all manner of things. I know I can ring up the rheumy OT and ask for an appointment without going via the hospital. I gave up on the bath a while ago preferring the shower because I'm less likely to slip getting in and out, and when things are rough hubby comes to lend a hand to steady my progress.

    Deb x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have a bath lift (I googled 'bathmate' and it was quite an education :shock: :oops: :lol: ) provided by social services as I've been unable to get in or out of the bath for years even for a shower. I don't think they'd provide a bath lift though if you're able to shower.

    I checked on line and bath lifts can be bought for around £170. My ancient one used to plug into the mains but my current one works on a battery which has to be kept charging when not in use. They're perfectly safe.

    Only downside is it makes Mr SW's showers a bit cramped as it takes up half the bath but, hey, he's healthy :wink:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have a shower board across one end of my bath. I get in to tne bath itself by first sitting on this, then moving down into the bath and turning around then reversing the process to get out. I can't get out either by lifting myself out due to the pain I get in my shoulders and arms.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • JPH
    JPH Member Posts: 45
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm sorry to read you're struggling and in pain with this.

    I don't know just how "bad" it is for you or how much pain getting in and out of the bath is causing, the only meager advice I can offer is that when i try, I start by facing away from the taps then gradually lower myself down either on to my knees, or just sitting above or on the backs of my ankles, then sliding my bottom down the side of the bath and turning around so i'm then sat in the bath properly.
    To get out, I do the same as above but in reverse and always have my husband on hand in case I need help. I've no idea if this will work for you or if you've already tried it.

    I'm still new to the forum, and quite new to own "bad days".
    I joined the forums and started learning just how bad a "bad day" can get for others so i really do hope with your bad days, you do find a way of getting in and out of the bath with more ease, less pain and difficulty.

    I've read through loads of the threads on here before I started posting, so have learnt that when the more experienced offer advice, many of them have suffered and lived with/through their bad days for a long long time, so can offer really sound knowlegdeable advice :)

    I do wish you well and do hope you find a solution soon. If you do, can you come back and share how you managed please? I know, myself for one will find it of use :)
    "You know you have RA when half brushed hair is awesome"
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh Sticky
    I would hve loved to have3 seen what came up when you google bathmate :lol::lol::lol:

    A bit to similar to....years ago when first diagnosed I googled hottie.....thinking of a wheat bag for the micro or something like that
    That was an education as well :lol:

    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I haven't had a bath for years, the idea appeals at times but the payback is not worth the fleeting pleasure. I now far prefer showers because they are quicker, cheaper and are far less stressful for damaged joints. My immediate thought is that the methods designed to solve bathing issues for the likes of us will have safety features to the fore, the weekend papers usually have many adverts. for the companies that specialise in these things and even in these straightened times there may be grants available from the classic sources to help one with the cost.

    I hope you find a suitable solution. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • sunnysideup
    sunnysideup Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks all. Maybe I'm not being realistic. JPH I'm going to try that - maybe I can as it's the reverse of how I get out. I'll let you know how I do. :)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just another thought - with a bath lift you can't lie down, only sit so maybe not what you were looking for anyway.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • sunnysideup
    sunnysideup Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You're right Sticky - if possible I want to lie down in it.

    Anyway I tried the 'reverse turn' and it worked quite well thank you JPH. :D
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just to say I do have a bathmate and it's great, worth the expense). I can now lie on the base of the bath once it is deflated and get my neck and shoulders under the water. Did have a bath lift (from Social Services) for years but it only got to 3" from the base of the bath and did make it difficult for others using the shower over the bath. Too heavy to keep lifting out. Hard to clean under too.

    We plug it in the hall outside the bathroom (live in a bungalow) so can't shut the door of the bathroom when having a bath but who cares - hubby has to come and wash my hair while I'm in anyway as I can't hold the shower now.

    You have to be able to get your legs over the side of the bath when seated on it, so balance must be reasonable.
    Takes a while to dry it out afterwards, but no big deal.

    After year of not being able to have a bath I find it bliss.

    Just my personal experience, hope it helps.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    OK I'm now intrigued. I've been to half a dozen online disability stores, put 'bathmate' into their search engines and found nothing. Could one of you give me a URL please?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • JPH
    JPH Member Posts: 45
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You're right Sticky - if possible I want to lie down in it.

    Anyway I tried the 'reverse turn' and it worked quite well thank you JPH. :D




    Great! I'm really glad it worked for you and hope it continues to work well for for quite some time to come. :)


    Just please remember to have one of those non slip mats in the bath if you don't already have one. They aren't exactly comfy when trying to have a relax and soak, but its better than slipping when getting out, and those can be brought from around 99p upward (if you have 99p shops and pound land type shops in your area).
    "You know you have RA when half brushed hair is awesome"
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    This is the link for the type of bathlift I have. There is also a similar one called Bath buddy :wink:

    http://www.nationwide-mobility.co.uk/inflatable-bath-lift.php

    Expensive yes, but worth it if you like lots of baths!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for that, mermaid. I note that there's no price, though. That's usually a bad sign :wink:

    Does it plug in direct? My ancient bath lift did require mains electricity but a safety feature was that it plugged into a compressor which had another lead to the 3 point plug.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The R**** Times has adverts for various mobility devices and one of them is a battery driven retractable belt that goes right down to the bottom of the bath and can be got out of the way for other users.
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Mine is like this one:

    https://www.activemobility.co.uk/bath-lifts-seats-c223_22_23/bath-buddy-inflatable-bath-lift-p-787.html

    They seem to be around this price. All details on website.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for the info, mermaid. I think, for me, the solid one is better even though I can't lie down. Mine seems easier to get on and off as it has a 'lip' that goes over the side of the bath. Useful to know what's out there though.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • sunnysideup
    sunnysideup Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks everyone. I'm making some progress with JPH's suggestion (thank you!) of getting in with back to taps and lowering self and then turning round. Done that a couple of times now and gaining confidence.

    Glad no-one apart from Mr SSU has ever seen me performing this strange aquatic dance! :)

    I wonder how many baths I had in the past when I never needed to think about it - would just get in and out!
  • JPH
    JPH Member Posts: 45
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Great!, thanks for coming back in and letting us know how you got with it, i'm really glad it worked for you :)

    You are right on the 'strange aquatic dance' hahaha, yeah, not exactly my first choice on how i get in either, but i'm determined i'm not losing my ability to have my long hot soak in the bath. My feet have started slipping a few times when i've accidentally stepped off the mat on the bottom of the bath, so am considering non slip flip flops of some ilk i can quite comfortably wear in the bath so it won't matter where i stand in the bath, i shouldn't then slip.

    So glad it is working for you now though :)
    "You know you have RA when half brushed hair is awesome"