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Personal hygiene for the elderly and less mobile

disabled wetroom

As we grow old and we become less mobile we notice we can’t do many of the things we did when we were younger, some of these problems are of a personal matter and not something we all feel confident in sharing.

Washing, showering and bathing are for some of the biggest issues, depending on the person’s ability for some the installation of grab handles is all that is required. These can be strategically applied above a bath or in the shower cubicle and by the toilet. This is fine if your mobility is reasonably good but for those who have problems with falling, slipping or standing for the time it takes to do such functions there are various aides on the market. Here are some of the options that are now available.

Wet room

disabled wetroom

The wet room is a room (usually in the existing bathroom) but not always that has been tiled from the floor to ceiling with a tiled or vinyl floor which gently slopes to a plug hole in the centre of the floor taking the water away, toilets and sinks can be also fitted in the same space allowing the user to use the one room for all their needs. This can be a great help if you use a frame or wheelchair.

A word of caution many problems have been caused by poor installation, water ingress under the floor is the most common problem, it’s not a job for a handy man but a job for a qualified builder.


disabled bathroom
A shower cubicle can come in many shapes and sizes so this will depend on the individuals size and needs, sometimes space is a premium and all you can do is strategically place grab handles as previously mentioned, but if you have the room some have built-in seats and easy access doors which have waterproof seals and if you have the room will allow wheelchair access.

As with the wet room it’s a job for a qualified builder, problems occur when the door seal doesn’t align correctly.


Walk in Tub Shower Combo

Many people find the bath to be the biggest problem, stepping in and out plus getting up once you are sitting, as mentioned before strategically placed grab handles may be enough but for the less mobile you can get a bath which a door with a water tight seal this will allow the user to get in first and then when the door is shut to fill the bath, some baths have a seat which will raise and lower yourself at a touch of a button.

As well as a qualified builder to install a bath with a door if you require a bath with a seat that lifts you will need a qualified electrician as well, because the user will be sitting in the empty bath it is advised that a thermostatic mixer tap is installed at the same time so that the water is of a consistent temperature.

Of course, there are various hoist systems on the market which help the user but these will need a second person to assist.

Room availability and finances will no doubt come into the equation if you can afford a wet room and won’t miss a bath then that’s most peoples preferred choice. If money is an issue the shower may be your preferred option, for those who can’t go without a bath it will cost a little more than the shower but less than the wet room.

Finally, please use qualified tradesmen/tradeswomen and it may be worth checking with your local council or age concern or similar establishments to see if you are eligible for any grants.


Here at WISAB we have a huge range of showers and baths and aids such as hoists.  We only use qualified plumbers and electricians. Having a refitted bathroom doesn’t generally require building regulations approval, but if a bathroom is being installed into a room which wasn’t a bathroom before, then building regulations approval is likely to be required. Click here for showers, and here for baths and here for wet rooms

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