Bath Time for Madeline

Her mother, Amanda, was always concerned about lifting Madeline in various situations. Amanda has a chromosomal disorder which has resulted in reduced height, osteoporosis and arthritis in her wrists and hands. She was concerned about lifting Madeline safely when she grew.

This wasn’t too bad at the beginning when Madeline was so tiny. As she grew, a hurdle to overcome was the daily bathing ritual.

Amanda says, “I always had in my mind to bath Madeline and do most things on the floor, as I felt this would be the easiest and safest.

“We placed a large mat out and had the bath on the floor. I soon realised that this was not going to work. I found it difficult to lift Madeline in and out of the bath as I could not get my full strength in my upper body whilst on the floor.”

Another physical challenge was getting Amanda and Madeline up off the floor, as Amanda was worried her legs would not support them both. She was also unable to fill or empty the bath by herself. They tried the bath on a coffee table as one solution but with similar results.

The occupational therapist at Liverpool Hospital then referred Amanda to Freedom Solutions Australia to design and build a custom frame for the baby bath.

Freedom Solutions Australia volunteer, Bill Jenkins, used PVC pressure pipe to build a frame at a comfortable height for Amanda, and wide enough to accommodate Madeline’s bath. The frame was attached to castor wheels for ease of movement and brakes for safety.

Thanks to the simple design, bath time is now a breeze. Amanda particularly appreciates the independence the bath stand on wheels has given her.

“The stand is fantastic! I am able to bath Madeline without assistance, which allows my husband to cook dinner and we don’t need both of us to bath her. I can easily wheel the stand to the bathroom to fill and empty the bath. The brakes are fantastic and simple to click on and off, so it doesn’t run away from me.”

Her confidence has been boosted too.

“It has helped my confidence, knowing I can physically and safely bath Madeline and I think that gives Madeline a much happier and fun bathing experience. She loves her baths!”

Bill also modified Madeline’s cot to be ‘open door style’ for easy access for Amanda to put Madeline to sleep and also make changing the sheets.