Saturday, July 23, 2011

My RA Bathroom...Splish...Splash!

I love to pamper myself and I believe that our bathroom needs to be one of the most luxurious places we can afford. But, as we all know, reality sets in and I am left with the realization that although my bathroom is not a spa retreat, I do the best I can to make it work.

I have come up with a hit list of things I would like to have done to our bathrooms but because some of my items will be expensive, safety items will take precedence.

So for ra's sake, we need the following in our bathroom:

  • grab bar in the shower and/or tub area
  • grab bar near the toilet if you need one
  • good non slip surface on the bottom of the tub or shower
  • bath stool to put in the shower/tub to use while showering
  • hand held shower to use while seated
  • scrub brush with long handle for our back and/or feet
  • pumps on all items we use-there is nothing worse than fighting with containers while having to shower (figure out a way to put them in a pump dispenser). I have even been considering trying that new Lysol dispenser which is hands free or I might try one of those wall mounted dispensers for the tub area
  • raised toilet seat if you need one and/or soft toilet seat if this would help make it easier on your joints
  • 1 Handle faucet for the sink- the two handle versions require too many twists for our ra wrists in my opinion.
  • Good lighting in all areas

Non essential elements of luxury:
  • heated floor
  • heated towel bar to warm towels or bathrobe
  • self flush toilet unless you have a kitty in which case you might want to leave well enough alone

Handy Dandy tools of the ra trade:
  • blow dryer stand for hands free blow drying (I don't use a blow dryer any longer but many of you still do)
  • large handled items for hair care or you can wrap a wash cloth around the handle with a rubber band to make them easier to grip and this includes your toothbrush
  • chair in the area where you do your makeup and hair
  • hands free toothpaste dispenser or consider the pump type toothpaste
  • tooth floss pics (if you have caps or partials be careful with these..the floss may get stuck and you will have no way to pull the floss out like you can with regular dental floss)

The Vital Extras For those of you lucky enough to get down in a tub

  • music to relax you
  • candles with your favorite scents
  • a bottle of wine if you can drink

And for me, I have to have my best bud...

If you have any other ideas to make our ra bathrooms friendly and usable, please comment as I know we will all appreciate your suggestions.


Nan said...

your suggestions are so perfect! When we move to our next home (retirement in maybe 8 years) I will be certain to bring along this list! great post as usual. Nan

Brigid Laurito LMT, CPhT said...

Great post! My sister actually has her tub sunken (did I spell that right?) into her floor. It's one of those deep jacuzzi type things. Having it that way plus a step inside with traction it's easy to get in an out of.

Lyda said...

Jetted tub. No question. But I like the handles idea because the worst situation was when I was swollen all over and had to call my husband for help getting out of the tub. Worst. Situation. Ever. hahaha

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Nan...I wish I could have had a tad more friendly ra bathroom in our current home. It is an older home and has few of the features I wish for but....little by little I will get them there. I have this list on my honey do list and also on my wish list.

Brigid...that tub reminds me of a jacuzzi I frequented in Valencia Calif. at our apartment complex when I was first diagnosed with my ra. Oh the wonder of it. But I will say that the hot water at times made me like jello and I had some problems getting I am jealous but in a good way. Do you borrow her tub often :-)

Lyda...I wish! But, I can no longer get down into any regular type tub. Maybe a step down one like Brigid mentioned. I do only showers now. I truly understand that getting stuck problem. I also have terrible wrists and fingers so even with the bar I could never pull myself up. I think the bars are great anyway to hold onto when washing oneself or if we get to the point were we need the shower seat. Than I could use them to help myself to maybe a standing position. I have to fess up here, I have the horrible image of me falling in my tub and having to get 911 to get me up and out. Maybe I could buy some blinders for those poor 911 souls :-) Wouldn't be a pretty sight and that is for sure:-) My heart goes out to you.

Wren said...

Love this post, Deb. Gotta say, though, that I got a chuckle out of the picture of the woman using the hairdryer stand. When my hands are bad, I can't hold the hairdryer so, yes, the stand would probably be useful. However, unlike the model, I couldn't hold a brush to style my hair, either, and it seems like it might be sorta hard to move my head and hair around in front of the dryer. It would be like a strange dance. hehehehehhh... good idea, as far as it goes.
It IS nice to have places in your home that make you feel comfortable and nurtured. I remodeled my own bathroom at my home several years ago, using woodland greens, browns and blues in the tile for the shower and counter. I'm a nature buff, so that bathroom soothes me now. The only mistake I made was to remove the shallow bathtub in order to make the whole space into a larger shower. At the time, my RA was still in remission, and the tub was too shallow for a really good bath, anyway. I've always liked showers. But now, with the RA back, I wish I'd sprung for a really good, deep tub with a handheld shower. I could appreciate that now.
Ah, hindsight. ;o)

Terry said...

Great post Deb, I didn't realize it but I have some of the essentials already in place. I would love the heated floor! A lot of good things here to think about.

Unknown said...

Hair spray bottle is the most difficult for me when my hands are stiff. I would love the heated floors. Sometimes the cold floors in the winter are felt all the way up my legs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, sorry it has taken so long to check out your blog while you've been commenting so often on mine!

You've managed to sum up all the things I've wanted to find solutions to in one post! I am stuck having showers at the moment because I can't get in/out of our huge tub. I miss having my long soaks though and feeling my muscles relax though... in the future I will definitely be getting an RA friendly bathtub.

I'm going to find a toothpaste and shampoo/shower gel dispenser - I really do struggle with those things even when I'm not at my worst. The hairdrier stand seems a good idea, I do have one good arm at the moment to hold a brush, I just can't do both at the same time. Can see it being fun if you can't use either!

I'm off for a nosey around :)
Take care

Gisela said...

I take a bath every morning. When I had frozen shoulder (twice!), I learned how to get out of the tub without hurting my arm/shoulder. I roll over in the tub, get on my knees and then get up from a kneeling position. It's much easier than pulling myself up with or without the help of a bar.

Sunshine said...

Great ideas!
My hubby and I just had the bathroom redone before my diagnosis. We were lucky enough to put an oval-shaped grab bar in the bathtub so I could grab it from separate levels. It's a whirlpool bath too-I love it, but it is tough to get in and out of. Need to keep the cane or the man nearby!

Deb aka AbcsOfra said... a chuckle fromt the picture but a pic says a thousand words in my picture world :-) I don't blow dry my hair anymore either. I figured maybe some people might have some strength to still do some things and it might be good for them. This drat disease sneaks in to sooo many different areas and we are so personal as to how it decides to party on us. I am now into the oh natural look. Anyone say blinders again?

Tharr..glad you cycled over (smile here) and dropped in a line. So glad you did :-) A friend of mine (hi Cathy if you are reading this) redid her home. It is fabulous. She redid the baths and kitchen and put in heated floors. She loves them! That is what gave me that idea for this post. She lives more north than me and I remember our home in NJ having burrrr cold floors in the winter. I should have also added a heat lamp in our ra bath. Those are wonderful. My brother installed those in his home years ago and they are great! They are these like light bulb things installed in the ceiling. They emit alot of heat when turned on. I would imagine that would be also be wonderful in the cold months. And I suspect everyone is ahead of me on their bathroom. Mine has none of any of this. It does have a pretty easy turn on shower know instead of two knobs which I love. Trying to look at the glass half full!

Cathy...hairspray. What is I just get out and go with my do! Yeah I know...scary. I have to do a dye job on my mop soon. I do this on my own and let me tell is a comedy show here at my home. I play that song...your so vain everytime I do it to so I am reminded how trivial some grey is in relation to the real world we live in..but vanity prevails. mmmm...I would say try mousse but that might require more work then hairspray. are now our official toothpast/shampoo tester on this blog. Do let us know how it works for you. I have tried pump toothpastes but not broken down to spend the extra money on the other type or the wall dispenser in the tub.

Gisela...shoulders can be the most painful! Although for me rolling over on my knees would make me probably pass out. Knees are bad on my body. I would I am fortunate in that ra is just now starting in my shoulders and hips. For some reason mine started at the extremeties (hands and feet) and has been progressing inward for twelve years and now has made it to the shoulders and hips. I say, we need to do whatever it is to do what we love and still find pleasure and joy in. Roll on in my book!

Sunshine...sooo happy for you to have redone your bath. I believe in doing whatever we can financially swing to help us out with this drat disease and the others that come along with it. I have no doubt a whirlpool tub would tempt me. Of course I would probably get stuck. I have decided that if and when I get money enough to redo my baths, I am visiting some hotels to do a few test runs :-) Enjoy your new bathroom!

Anonymous said...

Such great ideas! We have a few of these in place already, but I really palmed my forehead about the mounted shampoo dispenser! We had one on our latest cruise and it was brilliant! I don't know why I hadn't thought about getting one for home- we're constantly knocking bottles over and I have a hard time opening things even when my hands are dry! (I'd just leave them open, but curious cats have poured more shampoo down the drain than you'd believe!) If I can't sell my husband on it I'll get one just for me- with body wash no more dropping the bar of soap! Whee!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and big on my wishlist? Rounded corners on the counters!

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Redefininggood...rounded corners is a great idea. I had sharp corners in alot of the apartments I rented over the years and lots of bruises to show for them too! And I have kitties also and yup..they are devils when it comes to the bathrub/shower. Love to get in there and lick the water everywhere and thus knock over anything and everything. Daredevils :-)

Anonymous said...

These are great suggestions. I didn't know they made a stand for blow dryers. That's a great invention. It's funny how I am still surprised to see these kinds of posts. People working through problems like mine. Most of the population probably wouldn't "get" what's being said. I should say it's funny, but comforting. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. All the best!!!

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

dreamzncolor...most of the population don't have these drat diseases and we have got to stick together :-) I started this blog for that very reason...the more practical side of ra. Not that I don't get onto the non practical side often as I love to laugh to keep my pain at bay :-) And you can count on me snooping around your blog often :-)

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