Shower versus bath?

My ‘O.H’ took it upon himself to buy a new shower enclosure and have the existing bath removed. The shower we have just now is over the bath. I’m quite happy with the existing fitments but, he’s decided that since I occasionally struggle to get my right leg out of the bath, that I’d be better having a walk in shower with a seat in it. It is a good idea in some ways but, when I am out of the bath. I can lean on it for support while I dry myself, and perch on the side to put my clothes on.

Our bathroom is quite small and we’d be struggling to fit a chair in (so I could use it for support) as well as everything else.

Any comments or advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jacq x

I like to have a bath, to have the option. Currently we have just a spray attachment and both yesterday and today I had problems in the bathroom. Yesterday I fell over getting out the bath and caught my chin on the door knob. Bathroom is really that small. This morning I couldn’t get my leg over!

We had a very old cast-iron bath removed and a 1200mm x 800 mm shower enclosure fitted in its place. The bath needed replacement anyway, and it was just a touch shorter than most of the baths available (there was exactly one available that would fit). Our bathroom is smallish, but a very awkward shape. I was starting to have trouble lifting one leg over the bath, my wife already had a transverse bath board that she could sit on and swing her legs over - and the shower was the obvious alternative. That was just over a year ago.

Now I have problems lifting my left leg more than a few inches, and the dropped foot does not help. I can get into the shower, but a bath would now be impossible. There were a few days of sheer panic trying to fit everything in (old Victorian house, with everything in the wrong place, of the wrong size, and running the wrong way, but the guy that did the job was brilliant), but we can shower now, and the step into the shower is small enough that there should be no problem for several years - the leg cannot get any worse than no movement.

My advice would be to think ahead a year or two (like your OH seems to be doing) and ask yourself what will happen if you cannot get into a bath. Any other advice must depend on your property - new/old, house/bungalow etc, and where the bath outlet is located. There are some things to watch out for, but they all depend on the property (PM me if you went to).


Perhaps a few grab handles around would help and you could put the lid down on the toilet and sit there to get dressed…

I have seen seats in the shower that are on a hinge and fold flat to the wall when not in use

Hi, yeh it is a dilemma when our needs change. On the one hand we want to remain as independent as possible, but on the other hand our safety should be at the forefront of anything we do. We can always replace a chair, bath or whatever, but fixing a damaged leg, or ankle takes longer and chuffin` hurts too!!!

As your bathroom isnt big enough to house a second chair, would it be better to get yourself into the bedroom to dress? This may mean having your OHs help, but as I said, safety first, eh?

luv Pollx

I’ve got a spanking new wet room but I miss a bath. There’s nothing quite like a lovely long soak. However the wet room is not the reason for me not having a bath. At my previous house I had a walk in shower and a bath but it had been months since I was in the bath. I could get in OK but getting out was a whole new dangerous matter. After my last really bad fall I had to promise not to use it again.

A shower over the bath is a recipe for disaster if you are already finding it difficult it is not going to get any better. (Might not get worse but I doubt that it will miraculously become easy)

I agree with Poll that getting dressed in the bedroom is the way forward. I use a fluffy towelling robe and have a quite sit on my bedroom chair before I begin the next exhausting part of the process.


…The very same for me!!

I recently had my bathroom converted to a ‘wet-room’ with a shower instead of my old bath. The new shower area includes a fold-up seat - which I find invaluable on most occasions, and on the rare occasions when I feel strong/stable enough to remain standing, this doesn’t get in the way!

I do miss the bath, as you certainly can’t beat a good soak every now and then, but once it started becoming difficult to get back out of the bath safely, something had to change!

Living on my own (…and desperately trying to hold on to some independence as long as possible) I had to find something that was safe & effective for me alone now and for the foreseeable future. I believe this is a viable solution, as the bathroom could still be used perfectly well be an able-bodied person too !!

I do tend to dress in the bedroom too - after I’ve showered

(At the moment, I’m trying to clear some hardened ear-wax from my left ear, and life would be much simpler to be able to completely submerge my ear in warm water after using drops to soften the wax - but I’ll need to think of a solution to this. One area I never even thought of when giving the go-ahead for the wet-room)

…Fascinating, eh?!!

I had a shower over the bath and used a bath board and a grab rail but after the bath board slipped dumping me in the bath and causing me to bash my head on the edge of the tub on the way down and knocking me out I now have a wet room. Concussion and a hospital visit were a bit too dramatic when I was just wanting to get clean

I also have a small bathroom with no room for an extra chair but I find that if I put a spare towel on the shower seat after my shower I can then sit there to get dry and then I go through to my bedroom to get dressed where I sit on my bed. I also have a grab rail in the shower and beside the loo which I prefer to using a chair as it doesn’t wobble or tip as a chair can.

The shower is a hand held spray that can also be fixed as a regular shower head. The toilet is a slightly raised height to make it easier to get on and off without that awful feeling of a 6" free fall the last bit as I try and sit down. And the floor is a non-slip vinyl which runs right into the shower area which has a sloped floor to a central drain so that if I am in a wheelchair I can transfer without having to worry about getting from the wheely to the shower.

I absolutely love my wetroom and would never go back to the old arrangement. For me doing away with the bath tub was no hardship as I never had baths any more anyway as I get too heat affected if I lie and soak in a hot tub of water.

Can you get an OT to come out and do an assessment of your bathroom before you go ahead and do expensive renovations? I don’t know about the UK but here in Australia we can get funding for essential disability home modifications; maybe there would be something similar you might be eligible for? But at least getting an OT’s advice about the proper placement of grab rails etc could save a nasty accident.

Bottom line, safety before anything else…



Hi Belinda,

Speaking for myself (…not sure if others told this may be available?), I had an OT from the local council come round and take a look at my existing bathing arrangements, and then make reccommendations to the council, advising me that I’d qualfy for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards any necessary modifications.

The grant did not cover the full cost, but it definitely contributed! (…step one in the “let’s try and use up all of Dom’s savings” debacle!!) and modifications happened quite a bit sooner than had been suggested to me. An expense I hadn’t anticipated, but very glad of the mods carried out as they definitely help

So sorry you had such an unpleasant experience with the bath-board (…I was using one temporarily) and chuffed for you that a more permanent and - by the sound of it - satisfactory solution was put in place!

Best wishes,


That’s good to know that there is financial help available over there too. OTs can be worth their weight in gold. Glad you have your bathroom sorted too Dom.


Thank you to all who replied to my post re. Bath versus shower.

I had a long conversation with my O.H. this morning. We are both going to view showers, cubicles, available seats for use in them etc on Monday, so I’ll have a chance to make sure it’s suitable rather than just being told ‘that’s what’s being installed, like it or lump it!’