Case Study - Help In The Shower
John is an 83-year man who lives with his wife in a bungalow; I visited him at home to undertake an occupational therapy assessment following a recent fall in the shower.
John has been a very independent man all his life but had recently suffered a fall in his shower meaning he required assistance from his family to stand and come out of the shower. Understandably his confidence had been shaken with a fear of using the shower and becoming dependent on his wife to assist him. At the time of the fall, John had locked the bathroom door and because it opened inwards into the small bathroom it added complications when trying to assist him. Fortunately, there were no injuries but John and his wife felt shaken following this incident.
In the bathroom I assessed John’s ability to access the 20cm high step up shower tray. He demonstrated how he had been getting into the shower and it became very apparent that his difficulties could be resolved with some basic equipment. I arranged for a bath step, a grab rail and a shower stool. We also discussed the bathroom door and I recommended that this be rehung to open outwards.
When I returned with the equipment, the door had already been rehung creating more space in the bathroom. John demonstrated a safe transfer into and out of the shower. The bath step which is placed outside the shower means that the height of the step up is halved so he found it a lot easier to get in and out. The grab rail to hold on to whilst stepping up added additional security, and the shower stool within the tray meant that he could sit on this if he felt dizzy. All of these simple pieces of equipment worked for him, increased his confidence and meant that he could return to showering independently.