Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Top Products to Make a Long Life at Home Easier: First in a Series

In my quest to help people live long, healthy lives at home I am always looking for cool new products that help them do just that. So I thought I would start a list of the top products.  Of course, I need your help too. So please respond to this blog with products you recommend.

One of my favorite products is the portable shower.  The soothing, refreshing feeling of a shower.   It’s a simple pleasure that’s out of reach for some people.  Maybe they can’t climb the stairs to the second floor shower because of surgery—a hip or knee replacement.   Maybe they have trouble accessing their current shower because it doesn’t accommodate a wheelchair.   The portable shower can help.

So what exactly is a portable shower?  It’s a shower you can set up anywhere within about 10 to 12 feet of warm water. You can roll in on a regular wheelchair or a shower/commode style of wheelchair.   Then the caregiver lowers a bar so that the fourth side of the shower pan can be attached for waste water collection.   A front shower curtain can be used for the person who is able to do their own bathing, or can be left open to make it easier for the caregiver to help.

Here’s what I like about the portable shower:

  • It’s a solution to a short-term mobility issue for people who are not ready to remodel their bathrooms.
  • It’s a temporary solution for people who are in the process of remodeling their bathrooms or adding a stairlift for easier access to the second floor.
  • It can be a long-term solution for someone who wants to remain in their home and is unable to remodel for access to their regular shower.
  • It’s easy and safe for the caregiver and the user.
  • It makes hygiene simple---and we know that’s essential to good health and feeling good.
  • And here the biggest reason---it sure beats a sponge bath.
Please send me your product ideas for making a long life at home easier.  Over the next few months I plan to create a comprehensive list of the best products.

Goodbye for now….George Flowers


  1. I think products and services align well. I look forward to seeing the range of interesting products that are posted in this group.
    At Elder Family Matters ( we think that having caring people helps to "Make a Long Life at Home Easier." In some cultures families are well connected and provide support for their elderly members. In our westernised culture where the nuclear family is dominant there is less family support. From our perspective having a Carer that act like a loving son or daughter is an important contributor to help the older person have an easier life at home.

  2. Lawrie:

    I totally agree with you that we often need to combine products and services in order to keep the elderly safe and happy in their homes. Homecare services like yours are important to fill the gaps in care that family members are not able to cover. Many family caregivers are in the "sandwich" generation and are juggling the needs of their children and careers with those of their aging parents.

    By the way -- nice website.

  3. Canadian Virtual Hospice is a comprehensive source of information for people who want to remain in the homes until their final days, as well as their caregivers and health care teams. The non-profit website is run by a multi-disciplinary team of experts in palliative care. Canadians can also send confidential questions to the team and receive personalized answers. There's no charge to access these services. Visit the website at

  4. Great idea and I wish it had been available when I was caring for my father.

    I have a couple of concerns though. Elders of this generation don't generally like showers. They came from an era where baths were dominant and as such, are often uncomfortable in a shower.

    Also, the water collection pan doesn't seem large enough to hold the amount of water required for an "assisted shower". And disposing of the water after the shower is not addressed on the company page - could be difficult (and must be done before the wheelchair or bath chair exits the shower). It could be a very chilly and uncomfortable experience for the elder.

    If an elder was to walk in, would this shower be sturdy enough for them to lean against without toppling the shower?

    But yes, it seems much better than a bed bath.

    Shelley Webb RN

  5. Shelly, I agree some people really love to soak in a hot bath, but unfortunately, age or disability often trumps desire. In these cases, I recommend a Tub Cut, Walk-in Bath Tub or a bathlift. These solutions cover most budgets and that desire to soak.

    Regarding your concern about the water collection pan, our portable shower has a ingenious drain in the pan and hose that is attached to a self priming pump and a 20 ft hose that can be placed in any drain, most likely from where the water is supplied to the shower unit. There is little or no water in the pan, as long as the pump is running.

    In response to your concern about the sturdiness of the shower,unfortunately the unit and its wall were not designed to handle the weight of a person and were designed for a roll in shower chair or waterproof wheelchair.

    Thanks for your comments!