A shower aid for elderly people will substantially reduce the risk of shower-related accidents and injuries. For most people who are elderly, or have mobility issues, shower aids are a necessity rather than a luxury, and without them, make showering a difficult and potentially dangerous task.
In fact, according to an Age UK survey, slips, trips and falls are the top concern for older people, with 36% of respondents stating it is their primary worry.
And it’s easy to see why. Slips, trips and falls in later life will usually result in a hospital stay, with the top injury being hip fractures. In 2017/2018, 100,000 older people suffered a hip fracture as a result of a fall.
It’s estimated that 30% of slips and falls occur when using a shower, so it’s a wise move to make shower time a safer experience, reducing the risk of falls and potential injury.
In this article, I will look at shower aids specifically for elderly people, and those with mobility issues. The type of shower I am referring to throughout this article is a cubicle shower, or walk in shower. If this is not applicable to you, take a look at the article on Best Bath Aids For Elderly People by clicking the link.
I’ll also look at the benefits of shower aids for the elderly, and look at some statistics that confirm that a simple shower aid can reduce the risk of accident and injury whilst in the shower. And there’s a section where I plead with you not to buy a certain bath aid that I simply cannot recommend for safety reasons.
There’s a huge amount of information in this article. I do recommend reading it thouroughly, enabling you to make an informed purchasing decision about what you need in your specific circumstance.
Below is a handy table of contents. Clicking on any of the article headers below will jump you straight to the place on this page you are interested in. I am an Amazon Associate, and earn commissions on qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
Best Shower Aid For Elderly People (3 Essential Shower Aids)
For convenience, I’ve listed the best shower aid for elderly people in the table below, as well as a brief outline of key features. I’ll go through each product in detail further on down the page, as well as looking at the pros and cons of each.
It’s also worth noting that for the safest shower experience, these shower aids should be combined with each other to give the safest possible shower experience for yourself or your family member.
Identifying The Risks
Let’s first identify all the risks associated with showering, and specifically the risks those people who may not be as agile, flexible or mobile face everytime they get into their shower.
As with everything, the more risk mitigation you have in place, the more the risk is reduced.
Risk 1: Slipping On The Shower Tray Whilst Entering
Most shower trays are made of plastic.
Unless these trays are bone dry, then there’s always the risk of entering the shower unit and slipping on the wet surface. Given the fact that most people turn the shower on before entering to get the correct temperature, the shower tray is always going to be wet and slippy.
SOLUTION 1: A non-slip mat placed within the bottom of a shower tray will massively reduce the chance of slipping. The non-slip mat should be measured correctly to ensure the mat covers the majority of the shower tray, including the entrance to the shower.
SOLUTION 2: Grab rails on the entrance to the shower unit allows stability and three points of contact when entering the shower. However, they may not be possible to install in every circumstance, usually depending on the location of the shower entrance and available wall space.
Risk 2: Overreach & Balance Loss
Whilst in the shower, there’s always the chance of overreach or balance loss, especially for older people. I’m specifically referring to things like reaching for the soap, the shampoo bottle, or toggling the shower head or controls.
SOLUTION 1: Ensure any soap/bottle holders are located at waist height, eliminating the need to reach up or down whilst in the shower.
SOLUTION 2: Completely eliminate all risks of slips and falls whilst showering by using a shower seat.
Risk 3: Slipping Whilst Exiting The Shower
Stepping out of a shower with wet feet onto a dry surface can be perilous whatever age you are. We’ve all been there. We’ve dried off the best we can, step out of the shower with wet feet, and we feel our feet momentarily slide out from under ourselves.
For many of us, a combination of balance and reflexes save us from a nasty slip. However, as we all get older, these natural instincts and abilities fade and reduce. This is especially the case for elderly people.
SOLUTION 1: Grab rails on the entrance to the shower unit allows stability and three points of contact when entering the shower. However, they may not be possible to install in every circumstance, usually depending on the location of the shower entrance and available wall space.
SOLUTION 2: Non-slip mats can also be useful on the floor outside of the shower unit, especially if that floor is made of tile or lino. in fact, any sort of mat or even a towel is better than stepping straight onto a tiled floor with wet feet.
Benefits Of Having A Shower Aid For Elderly People
Having a shower aid for elderly people can offer several benefits, especially if you or a family member has reduced mobility or other health concerns that makes showering tricky or awkward.
Here are some of the many advantages of using a shower aid:
- Safety: Shower aids, such as grab bars, shower chairs, and non-slip mats, help prevent slips and falls in the shower, which is a common concern among the elderly.
- Increased Independence: With the support of shower aids, elderly individuals can maintain a higher level of independence in their daily self-care routines. They may not need constant assistance from a caregiver, which can improve their confidence and dignity.
- Comfort: Shower chairs or benches provide a comfortable and stable place to sit while showering, making the experience more enjoyable and reducing fatigue.
- Reduced Strain: Shower aids can lessen the physical strain on elderly individuals and their caregivers. They make it easier to transfer in and out of the shower, reducing the risk of injury.
- Hygiene Maintenance: Proper hygiene is essential for overall health, and shower aids enable elderly individuals to maintain good hygiene without the fear of falling or experiencing discomfort.
- Stress Reduction: Knowing that there are aids in place to assist in the shower can alleviate stress and anxiety, both for the elderly person and their family or caregivers.
- Customization: Many shower aids are adjustable and can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual. This adaptability ensures a comfortable and safe shower experience.
- Prevention of Isolation: Some elderly individuals may avoid bathing due to safety concerns, which can lead to social isolation. Shower aids can help prevent this by making the shower process more manageable and less intimidating.
- Promotion of Well-Being: A comfortable and safe shower experience contributes to the overall well-being of elderly individuals. Feeling clean, refreshed, and confident can positively impact their mental and emotional health.
- Affordable Solution: Many shower aids are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the potential medical costs resulting from injuries caused by falls in the bathroom.
It’s essential to assess the specific needs and preferences of the elderly person when choosing the appropriate shower aid. Consulting with healthcare professionals or occupational therapists can help determine the most suitable options.
1. Medokare Shower Chair – Comfort
A shower chair is perhaps one of the best safety inventions for those who have mobility issues when taking a shower. It removes the need for the user to stand, therefore removing the slip, trip and fall risk entirely.
A shower chair removes the need for a person to stand in the shower and removes issues like balance, therefore reducing the risk of a slip drastically. Remember, 4 points of contact are better than 2 points of contact, especially on a wet shower tray.
The Medokare shower chair is a reasonably priced shower chair, offering all of the features required to make this chair an excellent shower aid for elderly people or those with mobility issues.
It has a wide padded seat that offers a safe and comfortable sitting position. This shower chair also has a padded back and padded arms like a conventional chair, which adds to the overall safety of the chair, allowing the user back support, as well as support when getting into and out of the chair (Note: some shower chairs do not have backs or arms, I recommend shower chairs with both back support and arm support only).
However, the back support can be removed if needed.
The chair is also fully height adjustable with 6 different configurable height levels, meaning that you can configure the height of the chair for maximum comfort of the user.
It also has rubber feet, ensuring the chair won’t slip and slide when in use, and is strong and sturdy.
However, it is still light enough for elderly people to lift, with the chair coming in at just 3.25kg (just over 3 bags of sugar).
Shower Chair Aid
This shower chair is an excellent shower safety aid, giving you or your loved ones a safe and secure place to shower in safety without the risk of slips or falls.
I thoroughly recommend this shower chair.
It’s a superb safety aid for showering in comfort and safety.
You can check the price or purchase this at Amazon.co.uk by clicking here: Medokare Shower Chair
2. Grab Rails – Stability
Grab rails are a good idea because it gives a person something secure to hold onto whilst entering and exiting a shower.
Screw-in ones may take a little more DIY skills to install as opposed to the suction cup ones but are exponentially stronger, safer and less prone to coming off at the wrong moment.
Simply add these grab rails near the entrance of a shower, and you have something to hold onto as you enter and exit the shower – particularly handy when everything is wet, giving peace of mind and confidence to the user.
The grab rails below are attractively priced, come in a 2 pack, and are nearly 13 inches long. All fixtures and fittings are included, however, as mentioned, does require some DIY skills to fit successfully.
Grab rails offer support and reassurance when entering and exiting a shower area, and will reduce the risk of slips and falls.
You can check the price or purchase this at Amazon.co.uk by clicking here: Grab Rails 2 Pack
3. Non Slip Mat – An Essential
Most people have a non-slip mat in a bath when their bath also doubles as a shower.
But people rarely have a non-slip mat in their stand-alone shower.
It’s perhaps due to the fact that over bath showers require the user to step over the lip of the bath, which is usually around knee height, whilst stepping into a shower unit only requires a step up of a couple of centimetres, or at most, the lip of the shower tray.
Yet, shower trays are still incredibly slippy without a non-slip mat, especially for those who are not as agile or mobile as they once were.
So a non-slip mat, like the one below, is an absolute no-brainer.
Cheap and easy to install, they take the slippiness out of a shower tray in an instant.
The one below is made of rubber, has a textured surface for extra grip (even when wet), and stays in place via the 164 mini suction cups on the underside.
It simple, yet very effective.
Just make sure the mat covers the initial entry/exit point to the shower, and it’s an excellent addition to your shower.
You can check the price or purchase this at Amazon.co.uk by clicking here: Non-Slip Shower Mat
DO NOT Purchase This Grab Rail!
I want to tell you which type of shower grab rail you should not be purchasing under any circumstance.
I’ve seen this type of grab rail offered throughout various retial stores, and I cringe just thinking about them.
DO NOT BUY any type of grab rail that is suction mounted. Personally, I don’t care what type of suction method they use or what they claim, a suction mounted grab rail or grab bar will at some unknown point, give way, causing the user to fall and injure themselves.
Many people think a suction grab bar is an easy way to improve shower time safety, and whilst it might offer temporary safety, there’s absolutely no telling when that suction is going to give way.
A shower aid for elderly people or people with mobility issues is an excellent way of reducing risk. Combining these aids and using multiple aids will reduce the risk even further.
Of course, we cannot totally eliminate the risk, all we can do is minimise the chance of a slip, trip or fall to the extent that it is unlikely.
Shower aids like shower chairs, grab rails and non-slip mats, used together, will reduce the risk of a slip in the shower substantially, allowing you or your elderly relative to shower with safely with confidence.
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- Home Security For The Elderly
- Best Step Stool (UK Top 3)
Here’s the complete list of products and links mentioned in relation to the best shower aid for elderly people in the UK:
Here’s the sources used for this article on the best shower aid for elderly people in the UK:
Questions & Comments
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Stay Safe. Stay Secure.