City spends £318k on wet rooms for the elderly

Jim Orr
Jim Orr
Have your say

PENSIONERS will be able to get wet rooms installed and paid for by the city after a pilot scheme is set to be rolled out across the Capital.

Elderly residents living in ground-floor council houses can apply to have wet floor showers fitted whenever their bathroom comes up for renewal without being assessed by an occupational therapist.

It is thought an extra 86 OAPs per year will have wet rooms fitted, with the estimated £318,000 price tag paid by the council following the relaxation of eligibility criteria.

Any elderly tenant whose safety is considered at moderate, substantial or critical risk will be eligible to have one of the showers installed rather than a standard bathroom at a cost of £6000. It follows a 
successful pilot scheme in Prestonfield where 14 people received a wet floor shower.

Linda Wright, from the Prestonfield Neighbourhood Workers Project, said expanding the policy citywide was a “no-brainer”.

She said: “It is logical, especially in ground floor properties which are mostly accessible.

“Before, most conversions to wet floor showers were in properties for people who had substantial or critical need.”

Councillor Jim Orr welcomed the move and praised the success of the project that he said would “suit the increasingly large proportion of older people in the city”.

“Local groups are delighted that the pilot they championed has been successful and I would like to congratulate the Prestonfield Neighbourhood Workers Project and the Prestonfield Tenant and Resident Association, and the local MSP Jim Eadie,” he said.

Wet rooms are waterproofed spaces usually equipped with a walk-in shower. The wet room itself becomes the shower enclosure, with a drain set into a gently sloped floor in place of a conventional shower tray.

A shower or bathroom in any house or apartment can be upgraded to create a wet room.

Benefits for those whose mobility is restricted include extra space and easy-level access for wheelchair users.

Wet rooms are billed as helping the elderly with independence and safety.

A spokesman for Age Scotland praised the policy which should help more people remain in their own homes for longer.

He said: “It is positive to see investment being made in adaptations which can support people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, which is what people tell us they want. Helping people ensure their homes remain suitable and safe for them as they get older can help delay the point at which people may need to access secondary care services, such as care homes or hospitals.”