For persons with disabilities or seniors that may be very unsteady it is often essential that they receive help in showering and in maintaining personal hygiene. However, it is also vital to ensure that the person being assisted can maintain their dignity and self respect, and also maintain as much privacy as possible. Thankfully products exist that make this a little easier and one such is the caregiver shower curtain.
What is a Caregiver Shower Curtain?
So, what is a caregiver shower curtain, and how does it differ from a regular curtain? At its most basic it is a curtain that can be set to a height that offers as much privacy to the patient as possible while keeping the attendant as dry as possible. It should allow for maximum access to the patient while being flexible enough to also allow for easy patient transfer from the shower to, for example, a wheelchair or some other assistance. However, like many innovative products, as development continues many have different features to overcome issues that may arise in different circumstances.
Different styles of Caregiver Shower Curtains
Some are manufactured to fit standard, adjustable shower rods that are installed at a height suitable for both the patient and the attendant, if this height can be varied it is especially useful if different caregivers are aiding one client. The attendant needs to be able to reach over the curtain, aid the client and be able to provide care without hurting their own back or risk falling into the cubicle. Varying the height of the curtain helps with this. However, it is vital that in the event of an emergency the curtain can be removed, or at the very least prevented from being an obstacle, so that the client can be brought to safety or that responders can gain full access. A shower rod can make this tricky, so other types of caregiver attendant shower curtains are attached via hooks on the wall of the shower cubicle itself. Bungee attachments on the curtain make hooking and unhooking the curtain easy, and there is nothing to prevent full access to a client in need of immediate attention.
In order to keep excess water from escaping the shower and to help keep the attendant as dry as possible, caregiver shower curtains are often weighted at the bottom. This keeps them in place and some models even have a rubber strip sewn into the bottom to give an extra layer of protection against leakage, This is not just a housekeeping issue, if the bathroom floor becomes wet and slippery it can be vary dangerous for the patient when transferring from the shower cubicle to a chair. A wet and slippery floor could be hazardous for both the attendant and the client causing one, or both, of them to fall and sustain injury.
Hygiene considerations also demand that a caregiver shower curtain is constructed to high standards and made of material that is resistant to mold, easy to clean and highly durable. It is very possible that a person needing assistance in showering could have a compromised immune system and every aspect of their care demands attention to avoiding infections. A moldy or unclean shower curtain could put them at considerable risk from staph and other dangers to health, so high grade vinyl sewn with double, or triple, layers are often employed and the curtain needs to be easy to keep clean, tough and resistant to tears.
With all of these considerations in mind the most vital considerations have to be the well being of the patient and the safety of both the client and the caregiver. Patient wellbeing not only includes the effectiveness of care given but the right to dignity and privacy. A well trained caregiver will honor these factors and a shower curtain that provides essential cover will enable the attendant to provide a thorough and effective cleansing regime while allowing the client to retain their self worth. Similarly the caregiver will be able to provide their service while protecting their back and posture, maintaining their balance and keeping their clothes dry. Adequate weight sewn into the bottom of the curtain will keep it in place and help to prevent water leakage and the bathroom floor will not become slippery and dangerous through spilled water.