Some friends recently raised money for us to remodel our bathrooms.  Our son is only 9 and so we are aiming to kit out the bathrooms now with an eye on the future.  We were expecting to build a level access shower but have read that boys prefer the warmth and bouyancy of a bath, at least in the long term. We are also told that with an appropriate hoist it is more pleasant.

Can anyone support or challenge that advice? (We live in Cape Town, South Africa, so the summers are hot and the winters cool.) 

If we do install a bath what size would you recomend?  Any other tips on boys' preferences when it to comes to bathrooms and bathing would be greatly appreciated.  Advice is hard to come by at the tip of Africa, so we look forward to the broader community helping us out.

Thanks - Dave & Sharon

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Hi Dave and Sharon: I can’t really make an argument for or against either choice.  I had a standard tub upstairs and a shower downstairs designed for my son.  I can mostly share our experience with the shower.

The shower was a level surface (roll in some say), and about 6x4?? space so I could be next to him in the shower to assist.  He was only 85 pounds, so I mostly lifted him on to a plastic shower chair, where it was very easy to clean him all over.  He was always worried about being cold, so I had two showerheads installed; one fixed behind him, and the other a hand held showerhead in front of him.  So, when both heads were running, he was pretty well covered and warm.  I also found it relatively easy to lift him on and off the shower chair with a towel wrapped around him so he would not slip.  I could also get better body position to lift him.  I did install a Surehands Lift System (a track along the ceiling with a motor that moves the swing from place to place), but did not ultimately use it that much because of my son’s low weight.  If you can, make the bathroom and shower/bath area as generous as possible to accommodate equipment and room to maneuver.  One thing I did, was to install a low matt table that folded up into the wall.  With the low matt table in the bathroom, I found I could more easily change him, dry him, and stretch him before and after the shower.  I had the space so I did this and it helped me quite a bit. The idea came from one of Anthony’s Personal Care Attendants.  I hope this helps a little and that you get additional input from the community.

Hi Thomas, thanks so much for the helpful comments.  I see that you lost your son Anthony last year.  Thanks so much for staying connected and passing on your insights and experience.  Strength to you,  Dave

Thomas Hoel said:

Hi Dave and Sharon: I can’t really make an argument for or against either choice.  I had a standard tub upstairs and a shower downstairs designed for my son.  I can mostly share our experience with the shower.

The shower was a level surface (roll in some say), and about 6x4?? space so I could be next to him in the shower to assist.  He was only 85 pounds, so I mostly lifted him on to a plastic shower chair, where it was very easy to clean him all over.  He was always worried about being cold, so I had two showerheads installed; one fixed behind him, and the other a hand held showerhead in front of him.  So, when both heads were running, he was pretty well covered and warm.  I also found it relatively easy to lift him on and off the shower chair with a towel wrapped around him so he would not slip.  I could also get better body position to lift him.  I did install a Surehands Lift System (a track along the ceiling with a motor that moves the swing from place to place), but did not ultimately use it that much because of my son’s low weight.  If you can, make the bathroom and shower/bath area as generous as possible to accommodate equipment and room to maneuver.  One thing I did, was to install a low matt table that folded up into the wall.  With the low matt table in the bathroom, I found I could more easily change him, dry him, and stretch him before and after the shower.  I had the space so I did this and it helped me quite a bit. The idea came from one of Anthony’s Personal Care Attendants.  I hope this helps a little and that you get additional input from the community.

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