Alternative suggestions needed, please!

  1. Hello,

    I hope someone here can help me. My mother was involved in an MVA on New Year's Day. She has some fractured vertebrae which apparently aren't serious enough for any kind of back brace, but still painful. She has also suffered a fractured right humorous which is currently immobilized in a basket sling. Whether or not she needs surgery will depend upon the follow-up x-rays to be taken Monday. Two years ago she fell on some ice and broke her left radius and ulna near her wrist. She has a plate, rod and several pins in her left wrist and has severely limited use of her left hand and wrist.
    She is being discharged today and had a hospital bed delivered to her home this AM. She is able to get herself in and out of bed and her gait is steady.
    Okay, here is her problem. Because of her immobilized and painful rt arm and her severely limited left hand, she is not able to wipe herself after stooling. She lives with my stepfather, but there is no way he can do it for her. (When the emergency medicine doctor told my mother this morning that he would just have to "suck it up and do it" I about reached over and yanked that ponytail right off her head.) Even if he could do it, he works full-time and, even though he is able to come home and fix her lunch during the day, he can't be there every single time she has a BM. The occupational therapist who saw her yesterday told her about something called "personal assist toilet tongs" and made it sound like she would be able to get this from the hospital. Well, the OT who saw her this morning said "Oh, no, we don't carry those here. You'll have to get those yourself." She could not suggest anyplace where we might be able to find this. I called all over town to various home health supply companies and either they weren't open on the weekend, had no idea what I was talking about, or would have to special order it and not be able to get it until at least Thursday or Friday.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative for this or some other way she can clean herself after a BM? It may not seem like a big deal, but to her, this is huge. There is no way that someone can be with her all of the time due to our work schedules. She has every other aspect of her ADL's covered and except for this one issue feels she will do okay at home. Another doctor suggested to her that she be transferred to a rehab facility, but she became very upset and refused.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    •  
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    I think this is what you're talking about.


    http://www.amazinghandicapaids.com/Toilet%20Aids.htm
  4. by   CountrifiedRN
    Don't know how limited the use of her left hand is, but would it be possible for her to use a peri-bottle? I'm thinking of the kind they give to women after having a baby. I know it would be inconvenient to have to drip dry, but maybe it would work until you can get her the tongs?
  5. by   Audreyfay
    In a pinch, barbeque tongs can be used. Not as nice, but it can be done. Get ones that are longer. That's basically what the tongs are.
  6. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    I was thinking the BBQ tongs would work great. Basically wrap the tongs (closed) with a wash cloth, rubber band the wachcloth down, just to cover the metal part at the tip. (padding). Go to wal mart and get the wet wipes (they make them for sensitive skin, they are very fat and cushiony,(some what catching what Im saying) when its time for her to go to the Bathroom. all she would have to do is grab a wet wipe, wrap it around the wash cloth. it will wrap around (maybe 2 to 3 times) depending on the size of the wipe. Wrap it around the washcloth the texture of the washcloth will help hold the wet wipe. Do her business, shake the tongs the wet wipe falls into the commode, she is clean and conditioned and no mess. Place the tongs back up because the wet wipe protected the wash cloth, change cloth daily. Total expense maybe 10 dollars.

    Hope this helps
    Zoe
  7. by   indynurse
    Thanks for the suggestions. She is going to try the bar-b-que tongs with the wet wipes and see how that works. As of late this PM she hasn't had to use them , yet.
  8. by   night owl
    Now that's a great idea if ever needed for someone. Thank you!
  9. by   KELLYGIRL
    OH PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF THEY ARE METAL. IS THERE ANY WAY YOU COULD GET PLASTIC TONGS??? THE SUGGESTION IS GREAT!
    INSTEAD OF SOMEONE ELSE DOING THIS FOR HER SHE WOULD BE DOING IT FOR HERSELF....WHICH GIVES HER REASSURANCE AND MAINTAINS HER DIGNITY. AND NOT TO MENTION SAVES MONEY...THERE'S NO TELLING HOW MUCH THOSE "PERSONAL ASSIST TOILET TONGS" ACTUALLY COST.
  10. by   BadBird
    Go to the Dollar Store and get some, that way they will be disposable and cheap. Hope it works out.
  11. by   indynurse
    The tongs are plastic with no sharp edges and a washcloth cut in half covering the ends so that if things slip she will come into contact with washcloth and not plastic.
  12. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    So let me know how it works...
    Zoe
  13. by   hoolahan
    Wow, this is so cool the creativity here. I've done home health for a while and never even seen these, great idea!!
  14. by   chrn
    . Well, the OT who saw her this morning said "Oh, no, we don't carry those here. You'll have to get those yourself." She could not suggest anyplace where we might be able to find this.

    The OT dropped the ball here, that is her job to recommend and find adaptive devices. (My daughter is graduating OT this year.). When you get time, I'd lodge a complaint...as I am sure the OT got paid for doing a lousy job.

close