Case Study Specific to Impaired Lower Extremity Function

    Jessica’s Story

    Jessica has a progressive neuromuscular disorder, Charcot Marie Tooth syndrome. Overtime, she has lost hand function, the use of both of her legs and uses an electric wheelchair for mobility.  She lives alone in a single-level accessible home but was finding the bathroom more challenging to navigate.  The placement of the bathtub in proximity to the toilet was creating increased difficulty with her lateral transfers and her ability to complete bathing and toileting tasks.  Jessica, now in her 50’s lives alone, works, and is very independent.  She is adamant about being able to continue to live in her home and care for herself, but it was becoming more physically taxing and unsafe to carry out daily routines.

    The Solution

    The LifeWise team got together with Jessica and her brother, who lives in California, to design a bathroom that would work for her. The bathroom door was widened and replaced with a sliding pocket door. The bathtub was replaced with a barrier-free shower and a wall mounted shower seat. Both stationary and a flip down grab bars were strategically located to enable Jessica to use her upper body muscles to pull herself during lateral transfers. The toilet was replaced with a Toto hands-free toilet that has a bidet feature to help with the toileting tasks. Jessica helped to redesign the vanity to have ample storage space and a clearing so she could sit sideways on the toilet. Two years later, Jessica continues to live independently and her family has increased peace of mind knowing that her environment is safe and working to meet her needs.