Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have blogged about the replacements of my downstairs bathroom with a shower in preparation for when an elderly and becoming-more-frail family member needs to move downstairs.

 

This thread is intended as a resource for recommendations for disabled/elderly - both for products and practice.

 

One tension is that traditionally anything that looks "institutional" or "medical" is not liked by people who do not need the aid, and some who do need it.

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Grab handles.

 

I have been specifically recommended this one from Screwfix, because:

 

1 - It is white plastic not chrome, and therefore less likely to cause grip to be lost. Aesthetically I would prefer chrome, but safety stuff is not a place to compromise.

2 - It is ribbed.

3 - It is under £10.

4 - It is "Trade Rated", which is a category I place at least some weight on.

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/straight-elderly-disabled-bathroom-grab-bar-anti-bacterial-abs-white-x-35mm/93501

 

Add: Croydex have a couple of metallic ranges of grab rails etc, one of which has a knurled grip section, and the other of which has rubber rings every 2-3 inches.

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are planning a wet room type bathroom in our new build bungalow for this very reason. It did cross my mind that a chat with an occupational therapist might be a good idea before fitting it out?

Has anyone ever thought about making the ceiling joists strong enough to take a retrofitted hoist?

 

I was watching one of those 999 emergency programs, where a largish person had collapsed in the bathroom. The paramedic commented that he would like to see all bathrooms made larger to facilitate rescue from them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those grab rails from Screwfix look nice and neat :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, patp said:

We are planning a wet room type bathroom in our new build bungalow for this very reason. It did cross my mind that a chat with an occupational therapist might be a good idea before fitting it out?

Has anyone ever thought about making the ceiling joists strong enough to take a retrofitted hoist?

 

We did a chat with an OT. In my experience they will usually give me a couple of catalogues, and sent information through, rather than recommended particular products.

 

Very useful on the sort of facilities that could be available, but if you are in a reasonably sized house a decent type of shower that we usually talk about on BH (say bath replacement size) should be OK if you think it through.

 

On the hoist, I would think that most modern joists would be up to the job, as that is what they are required to do for more than one person upstairs plus the weight of the floor. Though I could see sense in extra bracing just to be sure. This ,may be different if you are into eg 160-180 kg individuals. In 2019 I would expect showers first, perhaps with a seat-under-the-spray, unless the individual has a greater need of third-party care.

 

I think that the cases OTs struggle with are eg compact terraces due to really tight staircases. My downstairs bathroom is tight (3.5m x 1.8m part under the stairs), but we can manage. If I had to I even have a plan for threading a real lift in, but my family member will move downstairs more readily.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we converted gf bathroom to wetroom for elderly father in law OT came out and gave guidance on the placement of grab rails.....they were not quite where we or our fitter would have chosen to put them.  The rails themselves that were suggested were different to the ones we had picked out too.....sizing, diameter etc. The carer was in total agreement with OT person.  

 

I have no other experience of this.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter's best friend is an OT.  I'll try and arrange a chat with her about these issues and feedback.

 

One thing I have bought and found useful which could easily help in this situation is one of these

 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003SX0UDS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Kept topped up and put at an accessible height enables access shampoo, conditioner and gel without having to reach for and handle slippery bottles with stupid slippy caps

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Does anyone have any photos of elderly adapted showers or wetrooms, showing things that have been done to make it easier to use?

 

Photos would be welcome.

 

I’ll post one of mine when done, and of the other later in the year.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're not planning full disabled conversation, but as we're installing a whole new downstairs shower room these are the things we're prioritising in the layout to make it accessible ready 

 

Wide door 800mm clear outward opening

Wide pathway through the room

Low/no lip shower tray, larger showering area, perhaps wetroom

Slightly higher toilet seat height

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at shower chairs, they seem to be in several categories

 

1 - Wall mounted fold down stool  which seem to have capacities of 80kg - 100kg.

2 - Wall mounted fold down stool with 2 legs, which seem to have capacities of more like 120-180kg.

3 - Fold down chairs ie with a back and perhaps arms, as 1 and 2.

4 - Standalone traditional shower chairs, either as per institutions or more domestic in appearance.

5 - Things like smaller freestanding stools which may fit neatly  into the corner.

 

Materials are some combination of plastic, stainless steel, aluminium or wood.

 

I am going for category 2, as 1 looks to me that a heavy person might sit on it and break it by mistake, and I want no risk of an elderly family member having that problem.

 

Prices for reasonably attractive ones - we want a wooden seat - seem to be in the £80-£250 range with various outliers each side.

 

Any comments would be welcome.

 

Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ferdinand said:

Looking at shower chairs, they seem to be in several categories

 

1 - Wall mounted fold down stool  which seem to have capacities of 80kg - 100kg.

2 - Wall mounted fold down stool with 2 legs, which seem to have capacities of more like 120-180kg.

3 - Fold down chairs ie with a back and perhaps arms, as 1 and 2.

4 - Standalone traditional shower chairs, either as per institutions or more domestic in appearance.

5 - Things like smaller freestanding stools which may fit neatly  into the corner.

 

Materials are some combination of plastic, stainless steel, aluminium or wood.

 

I am going for category 2, as 1 looks to me that a heavy person might sit on it and break it by mistake, and I want no risk of an elderly family member having that problem.

 

Prices for reasonably attractive ones - we want a wooden seat - seem to be in the £80-£250 range with various outliers each side.

 

Any comments would be welcome.

 

Ferdinand

We were steered away from those fixed seats because they are restrictive when assistance with bathing is needed by the person using the facilities.  We had a stand alone shower chair of the traditional type (suggested by carer and OT), because it was a wetroom with no screens etc we also had a freestanding portable screen at waist height that protected the carer from splashes.  Excellent piece of kit suggested by the carer.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If necessary we could consider a trad shower chair, but we are not there yet in needs terms. Whilst the person can stand and hold on whilst under a rainfall shower, that is probably preferable In terms of mainta8nihg mobility. Plus we can also have the mounting at the correct height .. slightly surprised not to find a fixed-to-wall one with adjustable-on-fly-height at less than four figures.

 

@Hecateh I have been stomped upon wrt the dispenser. It is instead a single bar of soap and a push top bottle of shampoo, and a shelf has been requested for them to stand on.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/06/2019 at 10:17, patp said:

Those grab rails from Screwfix look nice and neat :)

 

They are longer than they look ... 20 inches.

 

F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ferdinand I can't find any photos of ours sorry.  Our spec developed as we researched and I think what you do needs to take account of the personal circs of the person who will be using it.

 

Our story was aged 88 we moved FIL into a ground floor flat in an over 55's complex close to us as his house was just too far away for us to manage him.  He was reasonably fit at that age but we had taken his car away (3 clutches in as many months on brand new car...not faulty either!).  For the first year or so he walked to the shops and was independent, his bathroom had a shower over the bath.  The bath was a low access one.  He never bathed always showered and happily hopped in over the side of the bath.

 

By the time he was 90 his knees were giving out so got him a scooter (nightmare pavement hog- look out pedestrians!) and a daily carer to help with insulin injections and general stuff and keep some independence from us.  That was when we decided to remove the bath and make the room into a level access wet room as he was struggling to get over the side of the bath with his knee.  There were already some grab rails in place but removed when refurb done.  We asked advice from OT and carers on the best way to proceed with new rails/seats etc.  At the time we did the refurb he was still able to stand and shower independently (with rails to hang on to) but we knew at over 90 the day would not be far away when he needed a seat and help. The advice we sought took account of this and future proofed it for him.  He lived to 95 used it every day right up to his last few weeks which were spent in a hospice.  He said his lovely shower and wet room that he could get right into on his walking frame was one of the joys of his last years.....he was a retired semi pro opera singer and used to sing loudly in the shower, serenading his carers in his last years. It pleased me immensely that his wet room refurb gave such pleasure. 

 

The wet room was a good feature when we came to sell it after he departed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

 I have been stomped upon wrt the dispenser. It is instead a single bar of soap and a push top bottle of shampoo, and a shelf has been requested for them to stand on.

That'll work - but I like the dispenser, fits so neatly in the corner - but then I don't use bar soap - which i should do as it is far better for the environment.  Does she know that you can get bar shampoo now? :ph34r:

 

One thing to think of as body feels more delicate; a toilet seat that is fairly flat and wide is much more comfortable than one with a more rounded profile to the seat.

 

Or even a japanese one if the funds run to it

https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/metro-smart-toilet-with-bidet-wash-function-heated-seat-dryer

 

.  

 

 

Edited by Hecateh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

That'll work - but I like the dispenser, fits so neatly in the corner - but then I don't use bar soap - which i should do as it is far better for the environment.  Does she know that you can get bar shampoo now? :ph34r:

 

One thing to think of as body feels more delicate; a toilet seat that is fairly flat and wide is much more comfortable than one with a more rounded profile to the seat.

 

Or even a japanese one if the funds run to it

https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/metro-smart-toilet-with-bidet-wash-function-heated-seat-dryer

 

.  

 

 

 

Actually went for these:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/ideal-standard-della-close-coupled-toilet-dual-flush-6ltr/6779j

 

"Due to hygiene reasons this product is excluded from our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee (your statutory rights are not affected)."

 

Because spare seats are available.

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it odd that the comfort of the seat is never mentioned as a feature and most sellers don't even give a good picture that shows it properly.  

It's something I have become aware of because, with my 3 toilets, 2 have comfortable seats and the 3rd which is a different design, with a curved profile is much less so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming a bit late to this, but given the "resource" aspect thought I would share my experiences.

 

Our build incorporated a self-contained annexe - lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Parents in their 80s, both having different requirements.

 

First observation is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that you need to factor in degree of physical and mental impairment as well as their acceptance of the impairment. So for instance mum is younger and more mobile but willing to accept her limitations and accepts aids while dad is quite immobile (but still able to get our for a fag!) but refuses to accept this and will fight it - he can barely walk with a stick and gives me the impression he is about to fall over, but stubbornly refuses to use a rollator or any such assistance.

 

So whole annexe is completely step free - there is a small threshold step at the front door, but once inside the whole area is trip-hazard free. Specific considerations for bathroom:

We have since had to supplement due to knee surgery and have added

  • grab bars around the toilet - free-standing / frame type - as issued by the NHS
  • free-standing stool in shower - issued by NHS

In reality, the bathroom does not look specifically adapted (apart from grab-bars in shower) and will serve well for able-bodied people, for instance if we wanted to rent it out in the future.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks @ragg987, that's a useful checklist. When mine is done I'll come back point by point explaining differences.

 

Your checklist is one for @Powerjen also.

Edited by Ferdinand
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I am now looking for thoughts on non-slip mats for the walk-in shower.

 

In a wet room environment the floor comes textured as a matter of course, unless somebody gets it badly wrong.

 

My walk in shower has a smooth tray, properly textured trays being a little rare, and I now need to find a suitable mat for both new walk in showers. Might as well do both.

 

I will need one that is about 600x1200mm and one that is about 750mm x 1500mm.

 

I have seen these things about the size of a tea towel or a hand towel that the showerer needs to take care to stand on, and I would prefer something which makes the whole thing non-slippy .. perhaps more like the things you find around swimming pools.

 

These look alright, but I would prefer the whole thing covered:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bath-Shower-Safety-Durable-Bathtub/dp/B077RX8F2H/

 

I guess that in theory a piece of wet room liner cut to shape could be used if it is strong enough and weighty.

 

I am also considering a product called Gripwalker and similar where you order a length off a roll, of width 122cm or 91cm. Need to make sure that is soft and comfy for delicate feet. Not chap, mind at about 50-60 per shower, though it should outlast mum.

 

Any thoughts? Especially @AliG

 

F

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well remembered @Ferdinand

 

My dad was terrified to use the shower in my parent's new place and almost hurt himself it was so slippery. It was a steel tray and you could barely stand when it was wet.

 

I ordered these from Amazon-

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017O89SG2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

They are very pleased with them and have had no issues since we got them, I think I got 64 of them in the end and they spaced them out every few inches on a 1.4m wide shower tray so that anywhere you stand you will always be on one

 

Less obtrusive than a mat and they can't slip.

 

I'd get a picture from their shower but they are on a cruise, here is the picture from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

image.png

Edited by AliG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would go for stick down ones too.  Anything that allows water underneath will either need to be lifted everytime or will get absolutely grotty underneath

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think i'll be trying the stick down ones initially, as I guess they will require some careful  abrasive cleaning done later.

 

Ferdinand

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/06/2019 at 16:39, Ferdinand said:

Thanks @ragg987, that's a useful checklist. When mine is done I'll come back point by point explaining differences.

 

Your checklist is one for @Powerjen also.

 

Thank you for the tag @Ferdinand, that is a really helpful list of things to consider many I'd have never considered or would have taken me ages to research.  Thank you @ragg987

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  

19 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

I think i'll be trying the stick down ones initially, as I guess they will require some careful  abrasive cleaning done later.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

I have ordered some of these:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017O89SG2/

 

and a Mira Premium Shower seat:

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/mira-wall-mounted-premium-shower-seat-grey-chrome/8104g

 

The shower seat feel extravagant but the user will be sitting on it, so it will be the thing that most affects comfort.

 

Ferdinand

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now