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The Best Handheld Shower Heads Elderly People Should be Using (But Probably Aren’t!)

best handheld shower head for elderly

When elderly people begin having trouble with bathing, the first instinct is to find a shower chair or bath seat. These types of bathroom aids are important for elderly people for preventing falls. But there is another piece of bathroom safety equipment you should consider: the shower head. Having the right shower head is important for reducing the chance of falls while in the shower. So, here are the best handheld shower heads elderly people should be using... but they probably aren't!

Why is the Handheld Shower Head So Important?

handheld shower head wrapped around the spigot

Let's put ourselves in the bath slippers of an elderly person and think through the process of a seated shower.

  1. First, the bather turns on the water  and sets the proper temperature.
  2. Then, the elderly person has to safely get over the edge of the tub. This is usually done by holding on to grip bars if the person walks ok. If not, transfer benches are used to get safely over the tub edge.
  3. Next, the bather sits on the bath seat to get ready to bathe. Or, if they used a transfer bench, they are already seated.
  4. ​Now, they adjust the shower head so that they water is hitting them properly.

See the problem? To move the shower head, the elderly person must stand back up if it is mounted above them. Or they have to lean forward to switch the control if they have the wrong style of handheld shower head. These movements are inviting a fall to happen!

​The Problems with Regular Handheld Shower Heads

​The standard handheld shower head that you buy at your local big box store is not the best choice for elderly people. These shower heads have a few key flaws:

  1. The tubing is too short. Think about the size of a standard tub. The shower head needs to reach from the pipe at the top of the shower to where the bather is seated. There should also be enough slack to allow free movement around to shower the entire body.
  2. The diverter is in the wrong place. The button that diverts the water to the handheld shower is often out of reach. It is usually where the shower head connects to the output pipe at the top of the shower. Tub spigot diverters are difficult for elderly to reach also​ without leaning.

OK Then, What Should You Look For When Buying a Handheld Shower Head?

​To make the bath tub and shower as safe as possible for an elderly person, look for a handheld shower head that corrects the flaws above.

Checklist for the Best Handheld Shower Head for the Elderly:

    • Long Tubing. I recommend one with at least 7 feet of tubing to prevent leaning and excessive movement while showering.
    • Kink-free Tubing - the tubing should not kink up and get tangled. This becomes a tripping hazard if it gets bunched up around the feet of an elderly person. Also, they bather may feel compelled to lean over and untangle it which will cause a fall.​
    • Easy Operation. Look for a diverter switch that is located on the shower head itself. Find one that is easy to push on and off - this is very important for seniors with arthritic hands. Handheld shower heads often cause joint pain for those folks.
    • Variable Sprays - Since some elderly people have sensitive, thin skin, controlling how hard the water sprays is beneficial.
    • Lightweight. The best shower head is light and not too heavy. Plastic shower heads are usually lighter.

​Here are my specific product recommendations and reviews:

shower head spraying water

The Best Handheld Shower Heads Elderly People Need to Use​

AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose

aquasense shower head for elderly

My Rating:

Important features:

  • On/off control is at the base of the handle and is operated by a simple rotating motion
  • 80 inches of tangle-free tubing
  • 3 spray head patterns for just the right spray pressure
  • White to match most decor
  • Tool-free assembly
  • Weighs 1.2 lb
  • Check Price and Availability at Amazon

This is the best choice for a general handheld shower head for an elderly person. It checks off every box on my list and is affordable too.

Moen Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower

moen home care shower head for elderly

My Rating:

Important features:

This is the best handheld shower head for people with arthritis. The grip is soft and textured so that it is easy to hold onto without needing to squeeze it. It also has a built-on strap that keeps the elderly person from dropping it. This could prevent a fall!

HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Handheld Shower Head

hotelspa handheld shower head

My Rating:

Important features:

I like this handheld shower head too but it has a few small issues. It is best used for a high functioning senior with good hand function. The on/off switch is located in the right place but it is small in size. The tubing stretches to 7 feet long (from 5 feet) but this could be difficult for an elderly person who is weak. The motion needed to stretch could knock them off balance potentially too.

BONUS TIP: Suction Cup Shower Head Mount

suction cup shower head mount

My Rating:

Important features:

This is a great way to mount the shower head in a safe location for the elderly person. Mount it in a place where they will not have to stretch or bend over to get to the shower head. This will keep it close at all times and maybe prevent an injury.

Hopefully, you now know what the best handheld shower heads elderly people should use are and how to shop for one. If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below or contact me and I'll get right back to you!

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