Is there a way to have a bath or a shower?

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hello, I’m new to this website and hope that perhaps someone can offer advice please.
My elderly Mum is full of arthritis, very unsteady on her feet and terrified of falling. She just about manages to stay mobile by using trolleys, and holding onto furniture etc.
We had the bathroom altered to include what was supposed to be a walk in shower with rails etc but as it has turned out there’s a step which she can’t manage and she feels unsafe using it. She doesn’t complain and just washes at the sink, but this has been for years now.
I’ve tried to think if there is anywhere I could take her to safely have a bath or a shower regularly, a proper wet room I suppose. But I don’t know if such a place exists for public use.
Perhaps there is no solution but if anyone has an idea I would be grateful.
Thanks
Hi Kathryn,
The occupational therapy (OT) department of social services at your local council should come and review what aids your mother might be given. This is normally free of charge. They might suggest a better bathroom design, but of course that might be expensive. I don't know the details of possible funding if she has limited assets, but it is worth getting the advice. She should be given guide rails to make it easier to get about too.
In our area some of the council run Day Centres have shower facilities that can be used by those attending the centre; might be worthwhile checking out via your local Social Services Department.

Otherwise I might suggest contacting some of the care homes in your area and see if they would be willing to help out ?
Thank you for those ideas Greta and Suzieq, I'll contact Social Services. We did have an OT round recently and she saw the bathroom but Mum won't hear of having it re-done, also I'm doubtful there is the space to allow level access. I appreciate the suggestions you have made.
Hi Kathryn

I have the exact same problem with my mum, arthritis, mobility, the lot. When she moved into her flat two years ago her bath had a moulded seat which she hated, as she liked to lie full length. Walk-in baths cost thousands and anyway, she would have had to sit getting cold while the water rose or fell to open the door, and she wouldn't have had the dexterity or mental acuity to operate a rising seat. So, I had an 'eco-bath' fitted which holds less water than a normal bath and has lower sides she could step over (there were already several grab rails fitted for the previous occupant).

However, a couple of months ago she admitted she'd fallen in the bath and no longer dares use it, preferring a flannel wash like your mum. She won't let me help her in or out, and I'm pretty sure she would refuse to use a 'public' bath, so we'll just have to muddle along for now. Hey-ho.
I don't see anything intrinsically wrong in not using a bath.
My wife never uses one and sits on a seat and slowly washes herself all
over with a flannel and loofah.
Better this than her having a fall. Needs must.
Thanks to Starfish and Albert for your thoughts on this. No doubt I'm thinking of this from my point of view as I would hate not to be able to shower. Could be that she is happy with the way she washes. As you say the risk of falling is the main thing. Cheers
You should be able to just replace the shower tray with one that has level access, however you will also need to add a door that seals the water in and add safety flooring, this will effectively turn your bathroom into a wet room and the overall cost could be quite high, depending on your own financial circumstances you may be able to get a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local council to cover all or part of the cost, first port of call, as others have said, is with your Council's Social Services Department.
May also be worth enquiring at your local hospital to see if they have facilities you could use. You might need a GP referral for that though.
A local care home near me runs what are effectively 'Pamper days' where non-residents can spend the day, from breakfast through, I think, after tea-time, and they are looked after all day, including lunch, and are showered and hairwashed etc etc, by the carers there.

Only downside is they charge £60 a pamper day! But it does mean you get a day off as a carer.
We had a similar issue with my Dad recently. Had a little look into Gainsborough - they specialise in assisted baths. This is their site http://www.gainsboroughbaths.com/product/assisted-baths. Could be worth having a look into them!