All I want for Christmas is My Two AT (2018)

Monday, December 10, 2018


By MATP Staff Laura Hall

Dear Santa,

It’s that time of year again!  I’m getting excited about the upcoming holiday season, and I’m sure you are too.  Keeping with tradition, I am sending you my wishlist for my top AT items I am hoping for this year.  Standing frame with knee pads, handles with knobs for sling, and hydraulic hand pumpNow, I know in the past, some of my requests have been a little silly.  The twirling spaghetti fork was perhaps one of the silliest.  However,  you have also brought me some extremely helpful assistive technology off of last year’s wish list that given me much more independence.  For example, the Get U Up transferring lift now allows my personal care providers to get me out of bed without lifting or straining their backs.

My requests this year feel even more urgent as I have fallen in my bathroom many times.  As you know, we purchased my home three years ago, and while it has some accessibility features, such as ramps and a roll-in shower, the bathroom has always been problematic.  We have looked into remodeling, but because of the concrete interior walls my home has, and because of the sheer magnitude of the project, the price tag for such a remodel is far above what we are able to pay.   Until I win the lottery or my financial fortune changes, I’d like to make a few requests for some more moderate pieces of assistive technology that may help prevent more falls and enable me to become more independent in the bathroom.

One of the biggest problems with the bathroom is the lack of space for handrails and grab bars.  There is simply not enough wall space by the toilet where the bar needs to be located.  I believe a solution to this problem could be a flip-up grab bar that could be mounted to the wall behind the toilet and lifted up out of the way when I’m not using it.  Another option may be to use the space that is vertically available vs. taking up space horizontally.  There are floor-to-ceiling poles with grab bar extensions that can be placed in a customized area.  Many of the pole bars that I’ve been researching are tension mounted, wand don’t require bolting into the ceiling or the floor.  Most people may prefer this,but I want to make sure it is very sturdy, so would prefer something like the SuperPole, which is securely fastened to the floor and ceiling.  The SuperPole also has a “SuperBar” grab bar extension that rotates and locks every 45 degrees so I could orient it in the way that works best for me.

I am so grateful that I have a roll-in shower, as it is expensive to have one installed.  However, as a stand-alone fiberglass stall, it is not angled in such a way to allows the water to be directed to the drain.  Typically after a shower, the floor is a slippery dangerous mess where rolled up towels have been used to keep the water in.  Collapsible water dams are soft water retainer strips that attach to the bottom of the shower entryway.  They create a slight lip which keeps the water in, but the squishy material allows it to be easily rolled or walked over.  The water dam, combined with a weighted shower curtain may be just what I need to keep the floor safe and dry.

Thanks for considering my wish list!  I’ll make sure to leave the good cookies out this year.  Homemade…not store bought.

‘Till Next Year,