Occupational Therapy Advice and Information
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Over bath shower option for managing Personal Care:
- Installation of an Over bath shower facility is a good alternative to the provision of equipment where you are able to transfer over the side of the bath, with or without equipment, and where there are a number of people who need to use the same facility. If appropriate, this type of installation will not require larger pieces of equipment to be constantly removed for other people to use either the bath and/or the over bath shower, which will make life easier for all concerned. It is important that you are able to reach and operate the shower hose safely and, if needing to sit, you may find that fixing a secondary shower head holder lower down on the wall may make this easier for you. They can usually be purchased so that they can be fixed through a suction pad but you will need to ensure that this is securely fixed and does not fall off when the surface area is wet.
- If you need to sit to shower, the riser bar for the shower slider bar and hose need to fully meet your needs. The shower slider bar should be 1000 mm long and fitted with a 1500 mm shower hose. It needs to be located 900 mm from the corner at the tap end of the bath and fitted at a height of 1000 mm from the floor level. This will then enable you to lower the shower head so that you can determine the height of the water flow and also reach it comfortably with your hands, whilst sitting, without over reaching and risking any over balancing and possible injury that would be further exacerbated by you being in a wet area.
- The shower controls must be large and easy to see with an anti-scald thermostatic control pre-set at a temperature of 43 degrees C. They need to be located 750 mm from the corner at the tap end of the bath, at a height of 1000 mm above floor level. The controls can either be operated by lever handles or push buttons.
- An extractor fan will need to be installed in the bathroom once a shower facility is installed and this needs to either be sensitive to humidity in the room or have an extended running time of 10-15 minutes in order to remove as much moisture from the room as possible. The fans are usually linked to the existing light fitting but can be installed as a separate unit that you will need to operate manually.
- The flooring in the bathroom will need to be changed to provide a non-slip surface as it will be inevitable that water will fall onto the flooring whilst you are showering unless you are able to stand safely and fit a shower screen along the outer edge of the bath. The entire bathroom floor should be covered with a slip resistant flooring laid to Manufacturer’s instruction i.e. Altro Walkway.
- If it is not possible or appropriate to fit a shower screen then fit a shower curtain, which encloses the entire bath. The shower curtain should be ¾ in length and be long enough to hang inside the bath. It should be weighted and waterproof.
- If you are using a shower board then remember that the shower curtain can only be pulled along as far as the position of the board as it will compromise the secure fitting of the board if you try to fit the board over the top of the shower curtain and this could result in serious injury.
- Rails, to assist either/or your transfers and ability to stand in the shower area, can be fitted that are either smooth, ridged or fluted depending on your specific needs and are readily available from local dealers and building merchants for you to handle before purchase to determine which type suits you most.
- Lighting needs to be checked and if necessary changed to provide a water/vapour proof fixing.
- Consider the heating within the bathroom and alter if necessary. If there are no radiators in the bathroom then, at a bare minimum, provide a suitable wall mounted electric heater to warm the room when in use.
- Tiling must be provided from the rim of the bath up to the ceiling level throughout the over-bath shower installation so that water damage is prevented.
This will resolve my problems but I would have problems with standing to use the over bath shower