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Tips for showering the elderly

Updated on October 22, 2011
A clean mother keeps both of us happier
A clean mother keeps both of us happier | Source

Bathing the elderly

As we age, many people may find it more difficult to continue with their normal shower routine. Enter the caregiver. Showering a senior citizen is just one thing that's a necessary part of caregiving and it's also one of the most important parts to get right! Slips or falls within the bathroom are very common.

As my 95 year old Mom's caregiver, I'm found some great items on the market which help ensure her safety (and my sanity....) during shower times. These items make her showers more enjoyable and much easier on both of us. So, come along and find out how we do what we do!

Ensure safety with quality grab bars in the shower

Grab bars must be installed in each and every shower or bathtub which the elderly will use. Grab bars come in many different styles and sizes so make sure to get one that is tailored to your senior citizen. Grab bars also come in different grip sizes so there should be a size that will work for even arthritic hands.

When selecting grab bars, check the size carefully and make sure that you have the space for the size you're buying. Grab bars are installed into the studs behind the walls and must be installed properly. If you don't have any handyman skills, hire a skilled contractor to install the grab bars - ours cost $100 each to have installed (including the price of the grab bar).

I strongly suggest you do not buy the grab bars which hold to the wall with suction cups. These are more dangerous than having nothing at all as they can become dislodged when they're most needed.

Bathtubs bars are great for those senior citizens preferring a bath

A relaxing bath before bedtime might just be what's needed to help your favorite elderly friend relax. If your senior citizen prefers baths, make sure to keep the tub safe with tub mats and install a bathtub bar which locks to the side of the tub. A bathtub bar will help steady your senior citizen friend both as they lower themselves or stand from the tub.

Bathmats are a must also in each bathroom

A fluffy bathmat is not just a nice addition to any bathroom, but the right bathmat will also protect the elderly from falls or slips in the bathroom. Choose a bathmat with a non-skid backing but, beware: you should not put these types of bathmats in the washer as the backing may peel off and ruin your washer. If you must wash these non-skid type bathmats, place them inside a mesh bag to contain the backing if it should come loose.

Do you have any further suggestions for addition to this article? I'd love to hear from you!

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      Nancy Hardin 6 years ago

      As usual, you are right on with your tips on elder care. Since I'm 72, I know about these things from first hand experience. After coming home from the hospital a couple years back, showering was a shaky and exhausting event for me. Sometimes we need all the help we can get. Great article.

    • Marius1961 profile image

      Marius Nielsen 6 years ago from Ireland

      The thing is that we must consider that we're all going to get old one day. And we might need the care too. Good article.