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Bathroom stool

“Malcolm” has muscular dystrophy and can’t raise his arms without support, which creates a problem when he is washing his face and hair in the shower.

However, he worked out that he could reach his head to wash it if he rested his elbows on his legs and bent his head slightly to reach them.

This sufficed until Malcolm got a new shower commode which had a higher seat than the previous one. The system no longer worked, because his legs were now too low down when his feet were resting on the bathroom floor, and he couldn’t reach his head any more.

Because his legs are abducted, he was unable to use the footplates on the commode to raise his legs. His therapist suggested a separate footstool which would enable him to sit in a stable position with his feet wide apart.

After a visit from TAD therapists to fine-tune the concept, volunteer Bill Jenkins was assigned the task of making the stool. It has six legs made from square stainless steel tube with rubber stoppers on the end, four on each corner and an additional two at the front. The legs are adjustable through 25mm to take the slope in the bathroom floor into account.

The 1000mm-wide top is made from white acrylic (this was generously supplied free by Pacific West Corporation), which is easy to clean and looks neat in the bathroom. It has a 50mm lip at either end to hold Malcolm’s feet in position.

The top of the stool has a cut-out on one side, which is intended to provide space for a carer to assist him. However, Malcolm prefers to shower independently if possible, so he had the stool the other way around when the we visited.

There is also a post on one side of the stool made from round steel tube with a rubber stopper at the top. This acts as a handle so that Malcolm’s carer can lift the stool in and out without having to bend over.

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