Case study - how equipment helped Maria


Maria found that a simple grab rail made her shower safe to use again.

Maria's challenge:

Maria is 79 and lives with her husband Pat aged 82 in a ground floor flat. They enjoy playing bridge and visits from their grandchildren. Most of the flat is on the level and they planned carefully to make sure it was as accessible as possible when they completed the last round of renovations. They installed a shower cubicle with a low step which they purchased privately. Although it is easy to get into the shower, Maria has recently been feeling dizzy. Maria is now washing at the sink instead of using the shower as she feels she cannot stand long enough in the shower and is losing confidence.

Possible solutions

Maria had already been in contact with her local council social services department and they had given Maria the link to this Living Made Easy website. Looking at the information on safe bathing she realised that a grab rail was probably the solution, but was unsure where to fit it. When she contacted the occupational therapy department they recommended that Maria first of all check with her GP to find out why she is feeling dizzy and rule out any reasons for this. They then sent out Henry, an Occupational Therapy assistant who had been trained as a Trusted Assessor for equipment. When Henry visited Maria at home he agreed that the shower was still suitable and arranged for the installation of:

  1. A grab rail on the wall at the entrance of the shower cubicle.
  2. A hinged shower seat mounted to the side of the shower cubicle at the ideal height for Maria.

The outcome

Maria tried the shower (with her husband checking she was safe to start with) and now feels confident to use the shower regularly again. She could sit on the shower seat, saving her energy, and the grab rail helped when getting in and out of the shower. When the seat was not needed it could be folded up against the wall. Her husband found the grab rail useful as well and could continue to shower standing up without the shower seat getting in the way. When Henry phoned to check if the equipment was useful he said "Maria is feeling reassured and has regained confidence using the shower. The provision of a grab rail has been a simple solution to help Maria get safely in and out of the shower and the shower seat lets her shower while sat down." The GP has changed Maria's medication and her dizziness has reduced.

Further information

Read further information on grab rails