Bathing aids palliative cancer care & aging-in-place

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43AG026872-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: AG026872
Amount: $105,972.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2006-2
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (412) 687-3409
Business Contact
Phone: (412) 687-3409
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose developing bathing assistance technologies that are closely related at the device level for two very distinct, but important and underserved populations of potential users: 1) bedroom bathing for people with fragile skin receiving palliative care for advanced cancers and 2) ground floor bathing for elderly mobility impaired people who cannot afford the expensive home modifications of stair lifts or accessible bathroom installation. For palliative care in bedrooms we propose to compare the costs and efficacy of designs for in-bed or in-chair bathing systems that are portable and may be battery assisted versus those that are directly water powered. For use by mobility impaired residents of multi-story older homes who do not have a bathroom on the ground floor and do not have sufficient mobility to go up and down stairs, we propose evaluating designs to allow bathing while sitting by any sink. Currently, these seniors are faced with several unattractive alternatives that promote institutionalization rather than the aging-in-place that most desire for themselves. Our basic innovation is to augment low water usage mist bathing devices with water powered airflow or aspiration technologies to permit higher wash water volumes without the need for a tub or shower floor drain. Previous low water usage mist bathing systems have been criticized as difficult or unsatisfying to use. Our basic designs will be powered from a dual removable flexible tubing connection to a sink. Their inherent safety and affordability will be enhanced because no electricity will be required for their use. If successful, this research will facilitate adequate hygiene for in-home settings for cancer hospice patients with sensitive skin and mobility impaired frail elderly in older multi-story housing. It will integrate advanced bathing concepts into an affordable and inherently safe bathing system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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