Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) is a motor and sensory neuropathy of the nervous system characterised by a progressive loss of sensation and muscle tissue across various parts of the body. There is currently no curative treatment and while many have never heard of CMT, it is the most commonly inherited neurological disorder.
Bathing with CMT can be a real struggle with it being extremely hard to even get in the bath or shower. However, accessible bathroom options can make this experience as easy as can be. Read on to find out how.
Signs and Symptoms
The initial symptom of CMT is usually foot drop, an inability to raise the toes or foot. This usually begins to manifest in childhood or early adulthood. This can then lead to hammertoe. Loss of touch sensation in the feet, ankles and legs occurs, along with arms, hands and wrists in later stages. High and flat-arched feet are classically associated with the disease
Symptoms and progression of the disease can vary between people. Breathing can be affected and scoliosis is common. Pain due to postural changes, fatigue and cramping can occur but this is not suffered by all. Hip sockets can be malformed and require replacing. CMT patients should not be immobile for long periods of time as this can accelerate symptoms of CMT.
The most important goal for patients with CMT is to try and maintain muscle strength, movement and flexibility. This can be achieved through physical and occupational therapy. This focuses on muscle stretching, aerobic exercise and education on how a person’s lifestyle can be adapted to fit their strengths and flexibility. Podiatrists can help with issues facing the feet that due to a lack of sensory reception in the feet, are hard for a CMT sufferer to deal with.
How An Accessible Bathroom Can Help
Sufferers of CMT can have trouble lifting up their feet and putting weight on their limbs, so having an accessible bathroom can be a real help for peace of mind. A walk-in bath will allow someone to enter the bath without having issues raising their leg over a high side. If needed, a powered seat can also be installed to lower you into the water. This won’t put stress on your arms trying to lower yourself in. A bath is very helpful for CMT sufferers as it can ease tension in your joints after a long day.
Walk-in showers also offer practical solutions to make bathing easy for people with CMT. Many showers have high rims that require stepping into. An accessible shower uses a low-level access that will be no struggle for someone with a mobility issue to step over. You can also install features such as a grab rail or a shower seat, so your shower experience is as safe and easy as possible.
Go all the way by converting your bathroom into a wet room, easy to use and especially great for wheelchair users or if you use walking aids.
If you would like just advice on a new easy-access bathroom or to arrange a free home survey with a local Bespoke Bathing representative, then please call our team between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 1695 526 or email us for a brochure here.
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