Taking baths and washing bodies has been an integral part of the everyday routine of personal care with many aspects. It can be in the form of a positive experience providing relaxation after a hectic day, enjoyment as well as getting rid of the body from dirt and sweat, cleansing, and lastly, feeling refreshed. For the majority of us, washing and bathing come as an automatic routine and most of us take it for granted. However, individuals who are handicapped, elderly experiencing increasing frailty, or disabled, may face slight inconvenience to substantial hindrance when it comes to bathing or showering (1).
Good news for bedridden patients, disabled, handicapped, and elderly individuals. Bath time can now be relaxing instead of being a source of anxiety. This is all because of the portable and miniaturized system of showers that can be used on beds. This portable shower system can prove to be a groundbreaking solution to the woes of individuals with restricted mobility to maintain their hygiene. Millions of individuals are not able to spend an independent life because of diseases, aging, long-term disability, or accidents. Getting in and out of their beds is difficult for them. A portable shower system can decrease the impact of disability and aging by making such individuals able to take showers in their own beds. This ultimately improves their quality of life.
Benefits of Shower in Bed
Body hygiene is crucial for bedridden, handicapped, and elderly individuals. But it may be difficult for disabled, handicapped, or bedridden patients or elderly people with frailty to leave the bed. Moving some individuals may increase their pain and discomfort. Moreover, taking patients to the bathroom and bringing them back to their beds can also affect the caregivers (2). Many caregivers complain of pain in the lower back (3).
The vulnerability of bedridden patients to numerous health-related complications increases. They are prone to the development of bed sores, they often face respiratory and circulatory problems. Often because of long periods of inactivity, they may suffer from contractures as well. The spread of infections may also result if hygiene practices are not good among disabled, handicapped, or bedridden individuals. It not only reduces the expectancy and quality of life but also results in massive antibiotic use leading to the development of increased antibiotic resistance in such individuals (4).
The history is full of therapeutic advantages of taking shower or bath. Regular bed showers help in the prevention of infections. It also gives an opportunity to caregivers to check for rashes or bed sores. Bed showers sanitize the skin, cleanse the skin, deodorize it, and reduce body odor. It stimulates the circulation of blood and promotes body movement. Bed showers enhance relaxation, relieve discomfort and relax muscles (5).
Giving showers in bed to disabled, handicapped, frail, or bedridden elderly also prove to be beneficial in aspects of mental benefits. Such individuals do not have to worry about falling or slipping while going and coming out of the bathroom. Therefore, showering becomes relaxing instead of a hassle.
1. Swann J. Assisting people with disabilities to bathe and shower. Int J Ther Rehabil [Internet]. 2006 Jan;13(1). Available from: http://www.julieswann.com/IJTR1301.pdf
2. BEKDEMİR A, İLHAN N. Predictors of Caregiver Burden in Caregivers of Bedridden Patients. J Nurs Res. 2019 Jun;27(3):e24.
3. Suzuki K, Tamakoshi K, Sakakibara H. Caregiving activities closely associated with the development of low-back pain among female family caregivers. J Clin Nurs. 2016 Aug;25(15–16):2156–67.
4. Lemaire JJ, Chaix R, Sontheimer A, Coste J, Cousseau MA, Dubois C, et al. Risk-Taking Behaviors of Adult Bedridden Patients in Neurosurgery: What Could/Should We Do? Front Med. 2021 Aug 10;8:676538.
5. Backes DS, Gomes CA, Pereira SB, Teles NF, Backes MTS. Portable bathtub: technology for bed bath in bedridden patients. Rev Bras Enferm. 2017 Apr;70:364–9.