G360 Bathrooms installs Sentes reclining bath to give Karen with MS specialist care at home

Karen Gaffney, 60, from Templecombe in Somerset, is now able to benefit from enhanced care thanks to the installation of a G360 Bathrooms specialist bath in her new park home lodge.

Karen has had multiple sclerosis (MS) most of her adult life however it is only in recent years that the condition has severely compromised her physical and mental capabilities. Competing on horseback was a major part of her life with cross country eventing being the main passion. Unfortunately experiencing sepsis in 2018 and other complications following a fall led to Karen becoming immobile and non-verbal. Her daughter Misha decided last year that they could more easily support their mum by relocating her to their family estate, as Karen’s sister Deborah had been the primary carer for over three years. A contemporary park home lodge was planned however Misha knew her mum was desperate to soak in a bath again. A specialist solution needed to be found which would be wheelchair and hoist accessible – her search ended with G360 Bathrooms. 

Expert endorsement

Alongside running the family’s garden centre, Misha is an Architectural Technologist for her local authority and manages accessible building projects such as for special needs schools. Her knowledge in this field meant she had sound judgement in deciding upon the most effective bathing solution for her mum. Misha explains: 

“As part of my job I research inclusive equipment for commercial design projects. I started looking for a care bath early in 2023 as I knew mum needed a solution fast. We were having a new park home lodge built for her so she could live next door to us. I considered all sorts of solutions from portable baths to inflatable equipment, but none seemed to offer the care that the Sentes could provide. I discovered the Sentes is a commercial healthcare bath from Gainsborough – it looked ideal for my mum. I contacted the company who signposted me to their domestic sister brand G360 Bathrooms.”

“Peter from G360 Bathrooms came out to take measurements and completed a site survey. With the installation being in mum’s new lodge it was going to be a challenge to fit the Sentes however G360 said they could do it. Everything was considered carefully including the floor being reinforced and the width of the bathroom being increased. We also designed the layout with the Sentes at an angle for better wheelchair and hoist accessibility. The bath was slotted in using a forklift in January 2024 and fully installed by G360 Bathrooms in just one day. We were so impressed as it only took six weeks from enquiry to fitting which was incredible, especially over Christmas.”

Sentes takes centre stage

Karen, Misha and their palliative carers now have daily access to a safe and trusted bathing solution. Centre stage in the accessible bathroom is the Sentes which is a power assisted reclining bath for bathers with complex needs. It offers greater postural support than a standard bath as the bather assumes a seated posture and as the bath reclines, the bather is immersed gently into temperature-controlled water. The vertical-raising, side-entry door also ensures easy access for bathers who are semi-ambulant or require hoist transfers. Sentes baths are popular in care facilities as they encompass fast-fill technology and water usage is economical. These leading design features were recognised by Misha as being critical for her mum to bathe as she needs head support. Misha continues:

“From an architect’s point of view the Sentes is an effective bath because of its simple fixings and nicely hidden cables and pipework. There are no conduits to worry about. Looking at its usage, it’s well designed and also has antimicrobial protection so gives my mum hospital grade bathing at home. This means she can have high dependency care and comfort without needing to move into a nursing home.”

“We wanted mum to have the best care and the best place to live with her daughter and grandchild. Before she moved next door we could only shower or bed bath mum which was not pleasant at all for her. It’s so much nicer now as she can have a soak. I’m sure she feels much cleaner. I know washing her hair is easier and we are all more chilled out during a bathing session. Having a bath is now part of my mum’s care schedule.”

Future proofed care forever

Owning a Sentes bath not only offers a better way to bathe, but it has also improved Karen’s and her family’s quality of life. Bathing is no longer a challenging process; it is a positive experience for everyone. In conclusion Misha says: “I’m all for a bath for therapy instead of a shower, 100%. You can get in and have a good wash and be fully soaked, not just be sprayed. So now with a Sentes, my mum can benefit from bathing as part of her end-of-life care without going anywhere. She can stay close by in her own home and we have peace of mind she is getting the care she deserves.”