Ben continues to access pleasurable bathing at home thanks to new Gemini height adjustable platform bath

Ben Wilde, aged 32, lives with his family in Marchwiel and is supported by carers due to a range of challenging disabilities. Ben’s bathtime is now safer and more enjoyable thanks to a new Gemini bath from Abacus Healthcare

The Gemini, necessitated by Ben’s deteriorating health, is fully height adjustable and crucially provides an integrated variable height platform to assist with bathing, drying and changing.

Ben has severe epilepsy, osteoporosis, autism and is unable to communicate verbally. He shares the family home with his mother Dorne and his sister’s family, including his three nieces and nephews. Ben’s health began to deteriorate rapidly four years ago following a broken leg. Up until this point, Ben had managed to bathe in a standard bath with the assistance of his mother Dorne.

Dorne explains: “Ben used to be able to walk and stand up in our old standard bath to be washed. Unfortunately, after he broke his leg, Ben never recovered his mobility and his health has become worse. The doctors are investigating if Ben has developed a new condition and the epileptic seizures have also damaged his brain. As a result of these changes, we found ourselves unable to cope adequately with Ben’s bathing regime which to be honest became ridiculous. We did try a seat that rose up and down in the bath which helped somewhat, but I found I was too frightened to bathe him in case he fell again. The process didn’t feel secure or safe.”

Supported by Ben’s Occupational Therapist, the family applied for a Disabled Facilities Grant from Wrexham Council. This was to include improved bathing facilities as well as an extension to increase the size of Ben’s bedroom.

Dorne continues: “Social Services recommended we install a wet room. However, I felt strongly that this was not suitable for several reasons. Firstly in my opinion, it was too high risk due to Ben’s daily seizures and because he can break his bones so easily. Secondly, Ben very much enjoys bathing rather than showering. He doesn’t get much enjoyment out of life so this was a really important factor. He can stay in a bath for 10 to 30 mins and be happy – I was determined that he wouldn’t lose this.” … more

Assistive and adjustable height baths plus free guides for easier ownership at Kidz-to-Adultz-Middle

Abacus Healthcare will be demonstrating its popular Gemini and Scorpio power assisted baths at the Kidz-to-Adultz-Middle exhibition and providing essential literature regarding product ownership and Disabled Facilities Grants.

Thursday 16th March 2017, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE. Stand D4a.

Adjustable Baths

Kidz-to-Adultz-Middle is organised by Disabled Living and provides a friendly and free opportunity for parents, therapists and carers to test and compare the latest products and services for disabled children and young adults. Product Specialists from Abacus will be available throughout the show to assist professional and consumer visitors on a one-to-one basis with their specialist bathing needs. They will be able to offer expert advice on product suitability and the process involved with obtaining an Abacus bath. Visitors will be able to take away a range of printed guides and case studies illustrating the benefits of bathing verses showering and how funding can be achieved more easily through a Disabled Facilities Grant.

As part of the #BathingIsBetter’ campaign, this literature includes simple information for families and more in-depth details for healthcare professionals. All visitors are encouraged to share their experiences and advice on Facebook and Twitter using the campaign hashtag. Downloadable pdfs of the guides are also available on the Abacus website in the new ‘Downloads’ Section.

In terms of products on stand D4a, Abacus will be demonstrating the Gemini and Scorpio baths as well as a variety of supports and cushions enabling the perfect fit for every client. The power assisted Gemini is a leading choice for families and therapists as it is the only bath available that has a double lift feature. This allows the bath to lifted in two stage – firstly to immerse the bather in a controlled manner and secondly to raise the Gemini up to a safe working height and for easier eye-level engagement. When entering the Gemini bathers can position themselves, or be positioned, on the integrated platform which reduces the need to be lowered into the bath. This platform ensures transfers, changing and drying are more efficient and comfortable for the bather whilst carers can avoid excessive bending or lifting.

The Scorpio will also be available for trials – it is a height adjustable bath that includes a powered bather transfer seat. This seat provides safe access for disabled bathers as they can be lifted rotated and lowered into the bath which negates the need for physical moving and handling assistance. The longer 1800mm version will be on show which provides more room for adults and older teens.

Abacus Healthcare to provide free ‘#BathingIsBetter’ guidance to help with grant applications for accessible baths at Kidz North

Abacus, will be offering free information at Kidz to Adultz North that assists with grant applications (Stand B14, EventCity, Manchester, 17 November).



Abacus powered baths provide greater safety, accessibility and comfort for disabled bathers and ensure carers can support at safe working heights. These hi-lo baths with and without bather transfer seats and integrated platforms provide a more pleasant and relaxing bathing experience. Moving and handling risks are reduced as manual transfers in and out of the bath can be eliminated.

Despite these baths being regarded as ‘necessary and appropriate’ for many families by Occupational Therapists, funding via a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) can regularly be rejected by local authorities. This can commonly be based on the perception that provision of a wet room or showering adaptations is more cost effective and that ownership of an assisted bath is not essential – in many situations this is not the case.

Hence to assist with justifying an accessible bath when applying for a DFG, Abacus Healthcare is providing free and informative printed literature, online guides, videos and social media content. This content is part of  the ‘#BathingIsBetter’ campaign from Abacus Healthcare which is helping Occupational Therapists and families submit more compelling grant applications. This educational programme will be available to all visitors attending Kidz to Adultz North:


Read more:


Abacus Healthcare’s New Assisted Bathing Educational Programme for OTs Showcasing at The OT Show 2016

people standing near assisted bathAbacus Healthcare, would like to invite all Occupational Therapists to see its educational programme regarding assisted bathing at the OT Show (Stand F42, NEC, 23-24 November).

The Abacus range of accessible baths with powered features such as height adjustment, bather transfer seats and integrated changing platforms deliver utmost care, dignity, comfort and safety to semi-ambulant users. They also ensure carers can assist at safe working heights and avoid the potential for back and muscle injury from excessive lifting and stooping. Nevertheless, many families with disabled children and relatives are unable to choose an Abacus bath as funding is commonly not permitted through a Disabled Facilities Grant.

Local Authorities can deem assisted baths not essential and more expensive than wet room conversions or showering adaptations. However, in many client cases there are several factors that justify the need for an accessible bath including legislative, economic and health-related benefits. Justifying a bath grant can be a challenge sometimes for OTs however the ‘#BathingIsBetter’ campaign by Abacus provides all the information required to submit a more compelling case:


This campaign will be showcased in detail at the OT Show through –
‘#BathingIsBetter’ educational seminar
Presented by Kate Sheehan, OT
23rd and 24th November: 11:30-11:45 presentation / 11:45-12:30 Q&A session

Kate Sheehan Significance of Bathing
This informative and interactive presentation will review and highlight the key elements of the DFG and question why bathing is often neglected as an option to meet a client’s personal hygiene and occupational needs.
Key elements of the session will include:

  • DFG and bathing
  • Client choice and control
  • Bathing as a purposeful occupation .……read more

An Outline Article on Assisted Bathing for Occupational Therapists Involved with Housing Adaptations

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.”

disabled woman in assisted bath

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.


‘#BathingIsBetter’ Campaign Launched – Join the Discussion!

#BathingIsBetter_Abacus_BathsAbacus Healthcare, a leading specialist in power-assisted baths, has launched a diverse communication programme to educate healthcare professionals, families and disabled bathers about the benefits of accessible bathing versus adapted showering

Abacus Healthcare is a trusted and proven provider of specialist baths for disabled bathers. Supported by experienced assessors nationwide, its range of hi-lo baths with transfer seats and bathing platforms deliver enhanced care, dignity, comfort and safety. To illustrate the multiple benefits of bathing for many living with disability, Abacus has launched a new campaign entitled: ‘Why assisted bathing can be better than adaptive showering’. This educational initiative is aimed at improving the well-being of bathers through greater knowledge and to empower those families and Occupational Therapists (OT) applying for facilities grants. Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook will provide key platforms for discussion regarding the subject with a view to all participants including ‘#BathingIsBetter’ in their comments and posts.

Despite a bathing culture in the UK, many Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) approvals and professional recommendations are tending towards bathroom showering adaptations instead of new hi-lo baths. An adaptive shower is commonly not first choice for disabled bathers and their families however Local Authorities may have budget restraints to consider. The viewpoint that an assisted bath can be more expensive to specify than conversion of an existing bathroom to an accessible wet room with adapted fixtures and fitting is not true in many situations. Hence Abacus has compiled professional and consumer-focused material that justifies the need for a bath instead of a wet room – essential information for parents of disabled children or OTs representing clients. This information is based on simple facts regarding legislation, safety, well-being and cost savings. Read more…..