12 Essential Bath Lift Safety Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

Certified Senior Advisor®
Senior Home Safety Specialist®
20 years of medical equipment experience
Compassionately helping seniors and their caregivers solve challenges of aging

To safely use a bath lift, consult doctors first, follow all manufacturer instructions for installation and operation, exercise caution when transferring on and off the seat, comply with weight limits, keep electrical components dry, maintain the lift properly, and never use it without someone nearby who can help if needed.

Bath Lift Safety Tips for Seniors
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Disclosure: Thanks to MAIDeSITe for providing me with the product for this guide.

As we age, getting in and out of the bathtub becomes progressively difficult and dangerous.

Bath lifts allow seniors to continue enjoying the comforts and benefits of bathing. However, lifts must be used properly to prevent accidents and injuries.

As someone experienced with bath lifts, I want to provide tips to maximize your safety, or that of your elderly loved one.

Follow these 12 essential recommendations when using a bath lift. You can see my recommended bath lifts for seniors and the elderly here.

Video Guide to Bath Lift Safety

1. Get Medical Clearance

Before purchasing or using a bath lift, consult your doctor to ensure bathing is recommended for your condition. Therapists can also evaluate if a lift seems advisable based on your needs. Medical guidance is crucial.

2. Check Tub Size

Measure your bathtub size and compare it to the lift’s minimum space requirements. Lifts need adequate room to fully lower and rotate. An improperly fitted lift risks tipping or getting stuck.

3. Install Securely

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the lift securely. Suction cups or clamps must adhere tightly. Improper setup makes the lift prone to detach and fall, causing injuries.

4. Limit Weight

Exceeding the lift’s maximum weight capacity risks breakage and falling. Include your weight plus any shower chairs or other assistance devices. Comply with restrictions for safe operation.

5. Have Help Nearby

Never use a lift home alone. Even if you usually transfer independently, always have someone in the house who can quickly assist if needed.

bath lift safety tips transfer carefully
Use mobility aids and request a caregiver for assistance when unsteady.

6. Transfer Carefully

Use any mobility aids you normally require when transferring on and off the lift. Move slowly and keep your balance centered over the seat. Request a caregiver to provide stabilization if unsteady.

7. Use Safety Devices

Non-slip tub mats provide added traction inside and outside the tub. Grab bars properly installed around the tub help stabilize transfers. Handheld shower heads make the bathing process easier.

8. Stay Alert

Conditions like dementia or certain medications may increase the chances of dozing off in the tub. Use flotation devices if this is a concern for greater safety.

9. Check Controls

Ensure the lift has sufficient battery or electrical power before lowering into the tub. Otherwise, you could end up stranded in cold water.

10. Keep Electricals Dry

Detach batteries and chargers and store them away from water when not in use. Never submerge electrical components to avoid electrocution.

11. Maintain Properly

Follow cleaning and maintenance directions. Regularly inspect for damage and address any worn or broken parts immediately.

12. Read Warnings

Thoroughly read the instruction manual and all safety warnings before use. Follow the guidance for secure installation, operation, transfers, weight limits, and maintenance.

Infographic: Bathing Safely With Bath Lifts

Bathing Safely With Bath Lifts infographic
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Stay Safe While Soaking

With age, bathing brings difficulties, but bath lifts provide a solution. By consulting doctors, planning thoroughly, and using lifts cautiously, seniors can continue enjoying the soothing comforts of bathing.

Be sure to follow these safety tips when using a bath lift. A relaxing soak starts with prevention and preparation.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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