Washing and bathing

This activity is about your ability to keep your body clean, including washing your whole body and getting in and out of a non-adapted bath or shower.

Activity scores

A - Can wash and bathe unaided 0 B - Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe 2 C - Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe 2 D - Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair or their body below the waist 2 E - Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of the bath or shower 3 F - Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist 4 G - Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body 8


  • This may be an important activity to consider, due to the risks of having a seizure while in the bath or shower. If you have seizures where you lose awareness or consciousness, and there is a risk that you could have an accident or injury while washing or bathing, explain it here. Explain how serious these risks could be for you, including, for example, if there is a risk of drowning if you have a seizure in the bath.
  • ‘Needing assistance or supervision’ could include having someone else in the bathroom with you when you wash or bathe. If due to the risk of having a seizure, you only have a bath or shower when someone else is in the house, explain this. For example, saying that ‘unless someone else is in the house, I am unable to have a bath safely because…’ will help the assessor to understand the impact of your condition on this activity, and why you need help. If you only have a strip wash, or you never have a bath because of these risks, it is helpful to explain this. Include help that you currently get, as well as help that you need to wash safely but that you currently don't get.
  • This activity is about being able to use, and get into and out of, a non-adapted bath or shower. If you have aids or appliances to help you with washing or bathing, include these. This might be grab rails, shower chairs or bath boards, recessed soap holders, bath mats, thermostatically controlled taps, having adapted doors so that they open outwards, or using a safety monitor or call alarm. If you include any aids or appliances, explain why you need them and what could happen if you didn’t use them. If you use a wet room, this may be seen as evidence that you cannot access an unadapted shower.

Things to think about

What could happen to you if you have a seizure when washing or bathing? What is the likelihood of this happening? Include any real examples of when this has happened and how it affected you physically and mentally.

Does anything else about your epilepsy (including your seizures, recovery from seizures, medication side effects, or impact of your condition) affect your ability to do any of this activity? You can include any impact on:

– your concentration or memory; – your mood (for example, anxiety or depression, how any supervision makes you feel about your privacy, or fear about having a seizure during this activity); or – any tiredness or confusion that you may have after a seizure.

Remember to include:

  • whether you can do this activity reliably (safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period);
  • whether you need aids, appliances or help from another person to do this activity;
  • how often your condition affects your ability to do this activity (the 50% rule); and
  • the impact of any other conditions or disabilities that you have on this activity.

You will get just one single score for this activity, so make sure that you include as much relevant information as possible. You can continue on a separate sheet of paper if you need to. 

Information produced: July 2019

PIP the assessment criteria factsheet

Taken from our 'PIP - the assessment criteria' factsheet