Washing EquipmentWhile many bathrooms, tubs, and shower aids can make life easier, bathing is sometimes impossible, making an alternative necessary. There may also be situations in which a specialty bath such as a sitz bath may be recommended.
Specialty washing equipment such as the items below can be invaluable for caregivers and those in their care.
Portable Shower KitsPortable shower units, though they're often listed under "camping equipment," are a convenient tool for those caring for someone bedridden.
There are many portable showers (sometimes known as “rinser kits”) on the market, and designs vary. Some are battery-operated, some use gravity, some have a built-in heat source, and others must be filled with warm water.
Whatever their differences, portable showers include a container that holds water (from 1.5 to 5 gallons, depending on the brand and model) and a showerhead connected by a long, flexible hose. This allows the user to spray water anywhere, making shampooing a bed-bound person's hair much easier.
Inflatable BasinsInflatable shampoo basins resemble a miniature version of a child’s inflatable swimming pool, though they are often square rather than round. Inflatable basins are soft, flexible, watertight, easy to clean, and portable. Some are self-draining, while others must be emptied into the sink or bath manually.
Many inflatable basins have a notch or gap at the top of one side to allow the person being shampooed to comfortably rest their head on the basin bottom while supporting the neck.
Inflatable shampoo or spa kits, which include a gravity-operated portable shower, are also available. Inflatable shampoo basins may double as standard washbasins and may be more convenient than collapsible washbasins.
Sitz BathsThe sitz bath is a specialized piece of washing equipment intended to provide cleansing and hydrotherapy to the perineum area. A sitz bath may be recommended after having surgery in this area, after childbirth, for people suffering from hemorrhoids or prostatitis, or in other cases where the perineum needs soothing or healing.
There are two types of sitz baths. One is simply a wide, shallow basin that fits into the toilet bowl and under the toilet seat. The user fills the basin with warm water and any additives (such as salt) that the doctor has recommended, then carefully sits down on the basin so that the water covers the perineum.
The second type of sitz bath is also a wide, shallow basin that fits into the toilet. A waterproof bag (like an enema bag) with a long piece of tubing is also included. The bag is filled with warm water and hung somewhere above the toilet; the tubing fits into a slot in the basin. The user sits on the toilet and releases a valve on the tubing to let the water flow. The water then gently irrigates the perineum until the water bag is empty.