Case study - how equipment helped Jack

The concern:

Jack is 5 years old and lives with his mum and younger brother. Jack requires support to sit and has recently been provided with supportive seating for use at school and at home. He very much enjoys bath time and his mum finds that having a bath decreases Jack's high muscle tone. However, Jack's mum has been finding that supporting Jack to sit in the bath and on the toilet is causing her to experience increased pain and discomfort in her back and neck. Furthermore, because she has to use both of her hands to support and bathe Jack, the boys are not able to have a bath together - mum has to bathe them separately.

The solution:

Jack's mum contacted her local social services and was seen by a specialist occupational therapist. After a thorough assessment, the therapist recommended a bath seat and a supportive toilet seat, and these were provided on a permanent loan basis. Jack's mum was also advised on safe moving and handling techniques. A level access shower was discussed, but at this time, it was felt that a bath meets the needs of Jack and the rest of the family best.

The outcome:

After having been supported by his mum's hands for so long, Jack did take some time to get used to the equipment. Now, however, Jack is enjoying having a bath with his brother while using his new chair. The angle of the bath chair can be adjusted to suit both the play and care needs of Jack. Jack is now able to sit on the toilet independently (but still requires assistance with cleaning). His mum reports that since these two items have been in place, and in combination with improved moving and handling techniques, her back pain has significantly reduced.

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