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

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!

Comparison Chart: Best Handheld Shower Heads for Elderly and Seniors

Photo
TOP PICK!
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
Product
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
Mini-Review
Best and safest handheld shower head overall for elderly and senior use.
Best handheld shower head for seniors with arthritic hands or hand weakness.
Handheld shower head with multiple function but best for high functioning seniors.
Great add on to handheld shower heads for mounting in a safe location.
TOP PICK!
Photo
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
Product
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
Mini-Review
Best and safest handheld shower head overall for elderly and senior use.
Photo
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
Product
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
Mini-Review
Best handheld shower head for seniors with arthritic hands or hand weakness.
Photo
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
Product
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
Mini-Review
Handheld shower head with multiple function but best for high functioning seniors.
Photo
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
Product
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
Mini-Review
Great add on to handheld shower heads for mounting in a safe location.

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

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.

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

My Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Moen Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower

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!

Important features:

  • Long 84-inch (7 feet) hose
  • Soft flex hose does not tangle or kink up
  • On/off switch is located on the head and is easily moved by a single finger or thumb.
  • Soft-grip handle and safety strap is easier for arthritic hands to use
  • Weighs 1.6 lbs
  • Model# DN8001CH

My Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Handheld Shower Head

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.

Important features:

  • On/off switch is located on the handle 
  • Tubing stretches from 5 feet to 7 feet long
  • 7 pressure settings
  • Highly stylish design
  • Ergonomic Grip Handle
  • Tool free installation
  • Weighs 1 lb

My Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 00:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BONUS TIP: Suction Cup Shower Head Mount

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.

  • Uses suction to mount the handheld shower head in the shower
  • Mounts in the best location for the user

My Rating:

Last update on 2017-10-24 at 00:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Summary and Recommendations

Having the right handheld shower head for elderly and seniors makes a big difference in their safety. These simple little products go a long way in reducting the chance of a fall in the bath or shower. But, there are a few critical features they should have to be safe. No matter if they are being used in a standard tub or a walk in tub, choosing the best shower heads will leave seniors clean and safe.

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!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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