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TWINS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY ENJOY BATHING AGAIN THANKS TO SPECIALIST BATH FROM ABACUS HEALTHCARE

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Abacus_Bath_Scorpio_2Jack and Rebecca Latham, six-year-old twins with Cerebral Palsy, can continue playing at bath time with their younger brother now an Abacus Scorpio bath has been installed in their home.

The challenges to be resolved

Father, Kevin Latham, is the primary carer for Jack and Rebecca who live with a neurological condition that affects their walking and co-ordination. As they grew older, access to the family bath was becoming increasingly difficult, particularly as the twins require mobility assistance to move around the home. Kevin’s back was under increasing strain from lifting his three children in and out of the bath on a daily basis, therefore a long-term solution was required.

From assessment to approval 

Kevin approached Bonnie Bannon, his Occupational Therapist (OT), and Hertfordshire Community NHS trust to try and resolve this developing issue. Adaptations to improve accessibility within the family home had already been completed so Kevin was hopeful of achieving an additional bathroom solution. Following a structured assessment and specification process, Kevin’s grant to install an Aquanova Scorpio bath with powered transfer chair and integrated shower was approved.

First impressions last

Kevin first discovered Abacus Healthcare at the Kidz-in-the-Middle exhibition in 2014. He was impressed with the Aquanova

Abacus_Bath_Scorpio_1

Scorpio on display as it included a transfer seat for powered lifting, rotating and lowering of bathers. Kevin explains: “The Abacus product specialists were very helpful when I discussed our own bathing needs at Kidz. The fact that the Scorpio’s transfer seat could be moved out of the bath when not in use meant my children would still have plenty of room to splash around. Bob Gibbs, Abacus Regional Sales Manager, arranged to carry out a product demonstration at home so we could assess whether it would be suitable for the twins’ needs. Following Bob’s visit, we then discussed the possibility of a Scorpio been fitted with Bonnie our OT.”

Bonnie and the local NHS Trust had originally recommended that the family bathroom should be converted into an accessible wet room. However, as Kevin’s children found bathing more enjoyable, he was keen to retain a bath. Bonnie considered the Lathams’ preferences and following a period working alongside Abacus, the Scorpio was deemed appropriate.

Bespoke support 

The comprehensive Abacus assessment confirmed the Scorpio’s suitability and the proposed bathroom design identified the need to slightly reconfigure the existing layout. This would allow better access for wheelchairs through an adequate turning circle. Once all plans were confirmed, the Lathams selected an appropriate builder to adapt the bathroom and Abacus specialist fitters were commissioned to install the bath.  Bob Gibbs oversaw the installation to ensure the process was as smooth as possible and successfully met the Latham’s expectations.

Bathing made easy

Kevin concluded: “It’s great my children can now continue to enjoy bath time and I am confident they will have long-term comfort when bathing. Our Scorpio is spacious and deep, plus they can have fun without the transfer seat getting in the way. The specialist bath will become even more beneficial as they grow up as my back pain is already easing now I do not have to manually lift the twins. We use a safety belt when they are sitting in the transfer seat and as the two-button controls are so simple, Jack and Rebecca can operate it themselves while I supervise. The Scorpio looks like a non-medical standard bath and is compact so we haven’t lost any bathroom space. I do hope the difference our Abacus bath has made to us can be shared with other families in a similar situation.”

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