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Carers UK Forum • Shower controls
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Shower controls

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:21 am
by Sharon_1609
Hi just wanted to share a new issue I'm having with my dad. He has vascular dementia and my mum and I are having problems with him using the shower. He refuses to let anyone help him but cannot use the controls to get the water to the right temperature. This morning he decided to turn on the shower and let the water run until all the hot water was used up and then had a cold shower. Thankfully we don't have a combi boiler! If we try and turn on the shower for him or show him how to use it he gets angry which can result in him refusing to take his tablets for a couple of days. I know it is frustrating for him.

Re: Shower controls

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:59 pm
by susieq
Sharon have you researched the possibility of a thermostatically controlled shower unit that you could pre-set the temperature ? Might be an idea to contact your Occupational Therapy team to find out if they know if there is anything like that on the market ?

I know that you can get thermostatic shower units that control the water pressure and so avoid either scalding hot or freezing cold water if someone else turns on a tap in another part of the house, but these require you to adjust the temperature when you turn on the tap(s) and then it stays the same, but if there was one that was pre-set then there would be no fear of Dad using scalding hot or freezing cold water ! (I feel certain that there must be something like this on the market specifically for disabled people.)

Re: Shower controls

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:26 pm
by Sharon_1609
Thanks Susie. I'll have a chat with the occupational health team to see about any solutions. Our central heating system is so old I'm amazed it still works but he refuses to have a new system put in. He has also taken to changing the timer on the heating and hot water. I try and set it back to normal when he's not around but he's become obsessed with it and is constantly checking and changing it, even in the middle of the night.

Re: Shower controls

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:01 pm
by susieq
Sharon_1609 wrote: He has also taken to changing the timer on the heating and hot water. I try and set it back to normal when he's not around but he's become obsessed with it and is constantly checking and changing it, even in the middle of the night.
I don't know what it is about about timers and controls but My Mum was exactly the same :shock: In the end I had to sellotape a large "official" looking notice above the boiler/heating controls saying "Do not touch these controls" - that did work for a while !

Re: Shower controls

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:40 pm
by bowlingbun
I hate shower controls!! Whenever I stay somewhere, I always seem to end up with shower problems. I could write a book on the subject. Stupidest was the place we stayed in Ludlow. Nowhere to hang the shower head, fabric curtain. Tried washing my hair, disaster. Water through the kitchen ceiling, lights fused. Fortunately M is more observant than me and had spotted the fuse box. We'd already had to call the owner out over another issue, so decided to avoid switching on the kitchen light for the rest of the week.
Simplest shower controls were in the hotel in Crete. Two handles. One set the temperature (but you have to run the water through, which took some time) then a simple on/off handle. We had a thermostatic control here, but it didn't like the hard water and the limescale inside caused problems. Others I've met were much better. The real problem is that you can't try before you buy.

Re: Shower controls

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:47 pm
by matteo_1508
I really enjoyed reading about your story. Yes, I agree that it is difficult at times to get clients and loved ones to take a bath when they have vascular dementia. I have worked in the long-term care facility before where some of the clients do not want to take a bath. In fact, they refused completely. I spoke to the charge or unit nurse about it and she talked to them, but not much change in their decision. Then, I thought to myself "What if they got to choose how they wanted to take a bath instead of nurses telling them how to bath." For example, what if the patient got to choose what type of bath that they wanted (sit down, shower, or just a sponge bath that they can do themselves). Well, we told the client about that and he made the decision himself to just use a cloth and wash his face and body and he had been bathing ever since then. I think that the lesson is that bathing is a critical issue and some people want more options in that area.