ELDERLY people living alone should not have a bath unless someone else is in the house, even if they are fit and healthy, doctors from St James's University Hospital, Leeds, warn. In a survey of people attending a geriatric unit, including many without any physical disability, they found that most had experienced problems getting out of the bath, and that one in seven had been stuck at least once.

The authors point out in the British Medical Journal that being trappped in a bath for hours can cause pressure sores and hypothermia. Many healthy old people living at home are at risk, they argue in the British Medical Journal.