For many people who are immobile and require personal care, the bed bath commonly creates a set of problems including the need to change wet sheets, poor level of cleanliness, and carer stress. Cornwall-based Physiotherapist, Pat O’Brien, decided to design an innovative solution to this daily problem; a luxury bed-bathing wrap called the pobroll®.

For an individual being bathed, it is common that they experience embarrassment, become too cold, and remain damp for too long, often triggering agitation. ‘Having a proper wash and feeling clean is a basic human right’ says creator Pat O’Brien. She wanted to transform this experience with a totally waterproof, luxury bed-bathing wrap designed to improve both the user and carer experience.

The pobroll® is made of two layers of high-quality soft terry-cotton with an impermeable material sandwiched between them to ensure total waterproofing. The smart-yet-simple design is easy to use, effective, and highly adaptable. It keeps the individual warm, dry and respectfully covered during personal washing and bathing on the bed, whilst also keeping the bed completely dry.

Bringing the pobroll® to market

This year, Pat’s incredible innovation was selected for the prestigious Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme for dementia innovation. The Accelerator Programme is designed to support people in developing and accelerating their product and service innovations to deliver help and hope to people living with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society has supported pobroll® to streamline the manufacturing process, establish a platform, launch the pobroll®, and get it into the hands of people living with dementia and beyond.

The problem with bed-bathing

As a physiotherapist with many years of experience working in residential and nursing homes, Pat was looking for ways to improve care for elderly clientele. She felt that there was no adequate method for properly maintaining a client’s dignity during the invasive processes they have to tolerate, such as continence care. The care industry may pay lip service to notions of dignity and respect, but, in reality, it is very hard to protect the client from embarrassment when providing intimate care.

The client is often exposed and cold at some point during the bed bathing process, where they are laying on wet towels or damp sheets while carers rush to get them dressed and warm again.

Pat believes that having a proper wash and feeling clean and fresh every day is a basic human right and essential to our well-being and self-esteem, as well as our health. While most of us can take privacy during this very personal daily routine for granted, for those who depend upon others for their wash, it is an entirely different experience that may be uncomfortable at best and, at worst, an invasion of privacy that leaves both the person and the carer feeling upset or even traumatised.

When speaking about her hopes for the pobroll®, Pat said “My aspiration is that the pobroll® will encourage carers to approach this onerous task with confidence. They know the bed linen will be fully protected and remain dry, while their loved one will be kept comfortable and feel safe throughout the full washing process.”

Clinical and home care response

Staff at a care home in Truro found the pobroll® to be a game-changer. It enabled them to bed-bath and dry patients with ease and without causing any discomfort. In the past, bed bathing residents often resulted in wet bedding, mattresses, and staff members. However, the pobroll® prevented this from happening, making the process much easier and more efficient. Additionally, using the pobroll® provided a more dignified bath-bathing experience,

Annie Scott, a Senior Nurse at the care home, commented: “The pobroll® comes highly recommended and would be an asset in many care settings. Pat has spent years of professional experience researching and designing a product that really does work.”

Similarly, individuals who are caring for loved ones at home have experienced the benefits. One man called Nathan had a stroke two years ago and his wife Jennifer heard about the pobroll® through a friend. Jennifer has now adopted the pobroll® as part of their Sunday morning routine saying: ‘The pobroll® works really well for both of us. Nathan gets to have a thorough wash and I get some satisfaction knowing that I am contributing to his well-being in a way which genuinely makes a difference to him.’

The pobroll® is available to purchase via the website pobroll.co.uk. For more information about orders or the product please contact info@pobroll.co.uk. For press enquiries, please email chloechett@gmail.com.