Shower Installation

My wife came home on 11th January after 19 weeks in hospital following a severe stroke. She is making a remarkable recovery, especially considering the physios said in the first weeks that they had ‘low expectations of her ever being able to move her left side’. After 5 weeks she could do that and has been gradually gaining some strength and mobility in that side. She can now get up from a chair or bed with some difficulty and can walk short distances with a frame before becoming fatigued. She has a weaker left side but is generally not that strong at the moment. I hope that will gradually improve. At the moment she is strip washing with help as the shower in our shower room isn’t suitable. We have an en-suite bathroom but a bath is out of the question. We were planning to have an Aquability shower installed in the en-suite but the Occupational Therapist who called today wasn’t impressed with the threshold or the poor number of grab rails inside (only one) and also outside and says a central outside pole is necessary. I want to have one company do all the work. Has anyone had experience in having a shower fitted for someone who has had a stroke. The room is too small to be a wet room and we’ve heard a few bad stories about them anyway. I would appreciate some input from anyone who has been down this path. Thanks, Chris

Dear Chris, I was in a similar position when I came home we initially adapted our shower room by using a hard plastic sided paddling pool, I sat on my commode my wife wheeled me in, the sides were put up the flexible shower hose reached over me and I was able to get showered, we did this until the wetroom was put in, because it was a shower there was not much water in the pool and my wife wheeled me out and tipped the water into the shower tray. we did get a company to fit the wet room and did everything except the flooring I got a separate company in to put an industrial floor in the wet room which is similar to the ones they have in schools, hospitals, etc. because I have a waterproof commode I do not have grab rails in the wetroom, my wife still helps me get a shower, I used a company in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. hope this helps
John

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Hi Chris, I would have been your MAN , I specialised in this. IPHE plumber. However 61 , two & half years ago , had a cerebellar stroke, no improvement. Have struggled, with help, from my wife. However if independence is poss , it is MASSIVE, existing shower, not ideal. Never liked wet rooms, Mira do good, slip resistant, low level trays. If you can get fall on waste pipes, can fixed flush to floor. Aqualisa good digital shower, with additional control, that is fitted outside shower, good if you are helping. Loads of no rust grab rails , fixed seat ,(all, securely fixed ) , I could bore you & go on . So I know what I want & how to do it . But sadly can not do work :joy: . Book in local plumber, agree on day work, order everything, 3 months on ,Nothing! I need to rethink. Before getting anyone, or firm in do research, what is best for you. They tend to go for simpler , cheaper options. I preferred when clients knew & trusted me , willing to pay on day work, so I could do superior job . Obviously this depends on finances. Best wishes to you & your wife , David.

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Hi Chris @Ctop1, unfortunately I don’t have any advice re your question about shower installation but I wanted to say that’s fantastic progress your wife is making, that’s wonderful news after such low expectations from the physios, I’m so pleased she’s proving them incorrect.

May she continue to go from strength to strength.

Best wishes

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Dear John, Thanks for your reply, that’s certainly a novel answer to the problem. Our bathroom is rather small and I think a wetroom wouldn’t work for us. We are also in a ground floor flat and I think there are going to be drain issues whatever we do as pipework is already close to ground level so a trap of some sort is going to be difficult to install if we want a shower at almost ground level. I seem to recall that Aquability do a pump to drain the water out if the drain is too low. I’m not too happy with that as my mother had this done by them about 15 years ago and pump stopped working and there was a small flood and she had to wait several days for a new pump to be fitted. I may need to find a company that doesn’t do the simple modular solution that Aquability do.

Thanks for your advice and good wishes David. I think you are right about finding a decent tradesman who can do the job properly. I am thinking that the modular simplistic approach that Aquability do is not the answer for us. As I mentioned in the reply to John, we are in a ground floor flat where the drain pipework is mostly if not entirely above floor level so having a level tray is probably not an option. Even a small step that Aquability do might still be a problem. My mother had one of theirs that had a drain pump that went wrong so I am reluctant to go down that path.

It’s a shame you can no longer do work like this as I would pay for hotel accommodation for you on top of your fee to do it. It needs someone like you who knows exactly what to do. I am sorry to hear you have had no improvement since your stroke. I wish you the best of luck for the future. I hope that things can be made as easy as possible for you. Best wishes, Chris

Hi ‘Mahoney’, Thanks for your kind words regarding my wife’s recovery. She can now walk short distances with a frame but finds it hard work getting to her feet at the moment. She has only been home a short time and physios are still calling here for a number of weeks to help her improve. Fingers crossed for further improvement. Best wishes, Chris

Dear Chris, it might be worthwhile trolling the net in your area for an independent IPHE plumber like Dave probably get better service and they might not try to sell you out of stock material such as a national company, I was going to suggest a ground floor pump they have improved over the years and reliability is better, as for your wife I was in a similar situation I came home in February after spending 8 months in hospital and a rehabilitation unit. I recently joined a move or lose it class and at 64 I am the youngest one there, the ladies treat me as a toyboy. As well as that; there is an online wheelchair mobility group called Wheelpower who have supplied me with resistance bands and have excellent online videos my movement in my left arm has improved tremendously I am now starting strengthening exercise with my physio, I have also volunteered as a guinea pig for junior doctors to examine at my local hospital believing in the fact the more the medical services know about our condition the more help we can receive.
kindest regards

John

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Hi Chris, my pet hate, used to be , being called out to fix problem or leak & clients referring to previous tradesman as cowboys, things go wrong & work might have been completed on cut down cost, instead of paying fair price, for quality work .Aquability worth checking on Trust pilot, as always prob find good & bad reviews. Local bathroom fitters, can’t beat personal recommendations, or lots use check a trade ? Downside, would probably be waiting. Would be interested to know how things go for you . David.

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Hi Ctop1,
Have a look at a company called Saniflo, they specialise in showers and items relating to them.
I have had a shower from them with a seat in and grab rails fitted. My shower was from the Kinedo range that belongs to Saniflo. I had a brain haemorrhage in 1996, this shower is great for me.
It is worth a look, good luck to your wife with her recovery. Best wishes to you.
Please keep me up to date with how it all goes with you both.

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Hi John
Thanks for your reply. I will take the advice of finding an IPHE plumber unless Aquability really can come up with something that suits us… which I doubt. Looking at 'Crick’s post I see that Saniflo do a pump for people who want showers in basements so that might be something to incorporate with whatever we have. Wow, 8 months in hospital is a long time. I thought the almost 5 months my wife spent there was a long time but that is a heck of a time. Glad to hear that things are improving for you. I hope that continues! Best wishes
Chris

Hi David
I’m afraid there are cowboys out there. We went to a local showroom to buy a new shower for our shower room and bought something of good quality. They recommended a fitter that the chap who runs the showroom has worked with for 20 years. A nice guy but he was obsessed with reducing the height of the shower tray. He did this by not bothering with a trap saying that the drain in the shower tray was the trap. I had my doubts and questioned it but he insisted it would be fine. Of course the drain in the shower is no good as a proper trap. It needs ripping out to sort it out now. There were numerous leaks as he hadn’t sealed the tray or shower enclosure properly. I didn’t want him back to put it right as I had lost all faith in him. At no time did I suggest I wanted a job done ‘on the cheap’, I wanted it done properly. I am probably going to have to have it replaced before long and I will need to be very careful who I go to. I’ve used tradesmen from Checkatrade in the past so that might be a route to go down for the replacement as well as the shower in the en-suite for my wife.

Hi Crick

Thanks for your reply.
Saniflo look interesting, not least for the drain pump they do for people in our situation. I will take a closer look. Thanks for your good wishes. Good to hear you are still thriving after a hemorrhage in 1996. best wishes
Chris

Hi Chris, I am now on other side of the fence! I see problems, no easy answer. Hope all goes well. David.