How to Bathe When You Have ALS

My mom spent countless hours researching online ways to make living with ALS easier for me. She found a system for bathing that included a waterproof chair, a tub, a plastic curtain, and a hose.

The chair was white plastic, except the seat, which was a soft, blue mesh with a hole in the center, like a toilet. That was used for the washing of private areas. The tub was a blue plastic square to collect the water. The curtain covers the entire body when in a seated position. It hung on several white plastic rods, and the curtain closed completely around the tub. We learned quickly to tuck the curtain into the tub, after flooding the floors! The hose was long and white and reached from my kitchen sink nozzle all the way to my living room, which was two rooms away. It had a shower nozzle for the part that rained on me.

I have limb-onset ALS, which started in my left foot and leg. When I could no longer stand in the shower, or get out of the bathtub, Mom ordered the bathing shower set. At that point, I still had a little bit of use in my legs, and full use of my upper body. I would wash myself and my hair for a few months. Then, as my upper body weakened, my nurse or aide would wash me and my hair. Eventually, I lost all strength in my legs, and could no longer sit in a chair; I would slide out. From that point forward, I could only have bed baths, and I have done so for many years.

It’s not all bad. I miss being able to wash myself, and having the showerhead rain warm to hot water down on me. What I do like is having a female aide bathe me with hot, sudsy water! It’s like a massage!

Matthew 23:27 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! … which indeed appear beautiful outward … but within are full of … all uncleanness. (KJV)



  1. Frances E Penick says:

    Hi Jen, You and Alice are always in my prayers and thoughts. May God continue to bless you.


  2. Thank you, Dr. Penick! May God shower blessings down on you and your family!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s