Disability aids, equipment and technology
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DEALING WITH SHOWERS ON HOLIDAY ?

My son Vigo is 5 in wheelchair with Dystonia of CP. Shortly we (him, his 18 month brother and myself - single mum) are going to Sicily on holiday. However all the farmhouses I want to stay in only offer a shower not a bath (much easier as I lie him in a shallow bath to wash him). Can anyone advise how I get round this problem ? Lie him on the floor and shower him (if its a wet room) ....... can't shower him in his chair / can't take a separate chair with me/ he'd need a shower chair with hip straps .....

All your ideas very welcome ! :-)

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  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering

    Hi @gladys

    I have known parents get round the issue of not having a bath available by taking along an inflatable bath tub, which you can readily find to buy on the internet, filling it up using the shower hose or from the sink. But for younger/smaller children you might be able to avoid the expense of buying a proper inflatable bath, and having to transport its weight and bulk to your holiday destination, by using a small inflatable paddling pool or toy dingy. Obviously normal safety precautions need apply and the child must never be left unsupervised. Emptying it out might be a bit of pain but should be possible to bail it out or tip the water down the shower drain.

    Hope this helps and you have a great holiday

    Jean.     

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi Jean and Victoria

    Many thanks for your input. 

    Inflatable bath is a very good idea. However I am just wondering if that would fit into a suitcase. 

    I have come to the conclusion that I need to get my son used to sitting on a foldable shower chair (which goes into a suitcase) without going into extensor. And then gradually introduce a hand shower. And use those suction cap shower holder things on the wall ...... We will start the training now ! Thanks a lot , Emma 


  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering

    Hi @gladys

    Emma, it sounds as if you have come up with an excellent plan and I wish you every success with it.

    I totally take your point about inflatable baths and the like being bulky. Not normally too much of an issue if people are driving but potentially problematic for those that are flying. However, most airlines will allow a free extra suitcase for those needing to travel with essential equipment necessary due to disability. You will normally be asked to evidence that the equipment is essential by getting a doctors letter and arrange the extra language with the airlines 'additional needs' office well in advance of the travel date.

    Hope you have a great holiday

    Jean


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi there Jean . I never knew that ! We leave tonight so it’s too late now , but very good to know . Seeing as you seem to know a lot about this can I ask you a couple more questions? 

    - what on earth do people do about getting hold of a WAV when abroad ? Seems to be very difficult to find those. 

    - my son uses a Rifton commode for toileting at home , there is no light weight version . What do people do about supportive toileting seating , with a hip strap when abroad . Do you know ? I was wondering if there was one that folds down to fit into the extra suitcase you described above. 

    Apologies for picking your brains , but just in case . Thanks so much !
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering

    Hi @gladys

    Emma, I wouldn't claim to know a lot about the specific topic of travelling with a disabled youngster, but I have been responsible for delivering disability related information and advice for a very long time. During that time I have had the privilege of talking to lots of Mums, Dads and other carers, that have come up with all sorts of innovative solutions to dilemmas they have encountered on their travels.       

    There is no doubt that finding a WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) to hire aboard can be tricky and expensive, although availability within European capitals and USA is much improved in recent years.

    Tourism for All is an organisation which specialises in advising people on accessible holidays:  

    https://www.tourismforall.org.uk/

    I believe they hold listings of vehicle and equipment hire companies operating overseas. For some people being able to find a WAV taxi is sufficient.

    https://www.wheelchairaccessibleholidaytaxis.com/

    With regards to commodes, there is a 'portability kit' available for the Rifton HTS, you can see a video of it in action on the jiraffe website:

    http://www.jiraffe.org.uk/products/bathroom/hts-hygiene-toileting-system/

    Obviously, I can't comment on the specific needs of your son so it would be best to talk to his OT about the suitability of any equipment before you invest in it.

    For people that don't need so much support there are a range of portable commodes on the market, some of which are light weight fold down fairly small, for an example see:

    https://www.essentialaids.com/deluxe-folding-travel-commode.html

    I have known people adapt such products to their needs by Velcroing on foam blocks etc to provide additional support/comfort. As this is a public forum it is important that I stress that safety should always be a primary consideration and children should always be appropriately supervised at all times.  

    Hope this helps in some way

    Jean

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi Jean . That’s excellent! Thanks so much . I have just called jiraffe about the portability kit for the Rifton . That could double as toileting chair and showering chair in one go. I wish I’d asked you before as we leave tonight . Still . 

    I tend to like to go to different more remote countries , so will deffo try out the Tourism for All site . Although I think he could go onto a child’s raised chair base at a push a bit later .... 

    2 Big travel dilemmas solved . Thank you SO much ! Emma 

  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering

    My pleasure Emma, have a great holiday!

    Jean


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

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