CASE STUDY: Innovative support recommended by OT marks the end of tears at bath time
A young boy, who is immobile from the waist down and cannot walk, is able to remain supported and comfortable while bathing thanks to the AAT Stabilo Bath Board System.
Six-year-old Ted Betts is, to quote mother Fab, “a unique case”. He is immobile from the waist down, cannot walk and has just had major hip surgery. His delayed learning disabilities result in spasmodic movement, including bucking forward.
As a result, he is permanently in need of structured seating and support, making daily life hard and bath time almost impossible. However, a simple yet effective bath support means he can be supported and comfortable.
The support in question is an AAT Stabilo Bath Board System, suggested by the family’s occupational therapist (OT) who had experienced the Stabilo system with another client.
Stabilo focusses on a combination of vacuum posture cushions that can be infinitely and minutely formed around the person to provide postural support without pressure. The supporting bath board is shaped to easily lift in, out and fit the bath, with adjustment to suit each user.
Made from wetsuit material (neoprene) and Velcro-fixed into position, each cushion can be adjusted to hold their shape whilst providing the ability to reconfigure quickly and easily to accommodate physical changes in body shape and muscle tone.
“It’s the only bath seat – and we’ve tried loads – that really supports him,” commented Fab. “All the others were so uncomfortable, bathtime would always end in tears. It’s brilliant! Ted loves it.
“Because he tends to buck forward, off the shelf systems crush his private parts. With the AAT one, we’ve cushions for his head and torso, and moulded a pommel, so each part of him is properly but comfortably supported. You just mould it once and it stays in the shape.
“We’ve been trying to find equipment that works since he was little. I’ve only had the Bath Board a couple of weeks, but this is one thing I won’t be giving back.”