Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

04th February 2016

Showering only on medical grounds

We have been informed by a Social Worker today that clients are not entitled to have a shower unless it's on medical grounds, ergo no carers should be supporting clients to have a shower. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Dear Jane,

I have to be perfectly honest, like you I am mystified by this advice.

Having a shower is a matter of personal preference. Some people always have a bath but as I often do in these circumstances I think about my Dad. He is in his nineties and he always has a shower now. He tried a hydraulic bath seat but didn’t like it and he is perfectly happy now with a shower.

If a person is able to make the decision to take a shower then that is fine if they don’t have mental capacity to make the decision then the people that know them best will be able together with you make the decision about what is in the best interest of the service user.

I think that the person who told you this may have got this the wrong way round.

There may be medical indications why someone should not have a shower for instance there could be a leg ulcer or a wound which must not get wet.

That is quite different to what is suggested in your question.

Very best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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