If you are a Housing Occupational Therapist, most of your career is spent thinking about bathing in terms of how essential it is for a person to bathe. Shaping our clinical reasoning has been the rhetoric of health and social care legislation, where we have to judge the needs upon the merits of a person’s “medical” requirement to bathe. All too often, this line of clinical reasoning leads to those conversations where we hear yourselves murmuring those fateful words “that’s a want, not a need.”
We even comfort ourselves with the nonsensical belief that a person’s want or desire to have a bath is, somehow, comparable with most people’s aspiration to have the latest luxury gadget! Thank goodness then for the Care Act (2014), which places well-being and a person’s aspirations at the centre of the assessment process. Because of the new rhetoric of the Care Act, we want to explore how occupation-focused practice can help us to explain the well-being benefits of bathing.