shower head spraying waterWhen 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?

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 the 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.

shower head tangled up in a bath tub

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

To make the bathtub and shower as safe as possible for an elderly person, look for a handheld showerhead 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.

The Best Handheld Shower Heads Reviews

Here are my specific product recommendations and reviews:

Comparison Chart: Best Handheld Shower Heads for Elderly and Seniors

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

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:44 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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

This is the best choice for a general handheld showerhead 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
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
1442 Reviews
AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White
  • Handheld Shower Heads by AquaSense provide increased bathing safety, independence and comfort while sitting or standing
  • This shower head has 3 spray settings that can be activated by an easy-to-turn spray dial, providing a narrow, wide or standard spray
  • Ultra-long 80 inch stainless steel, tangle-free hose allows you to shower comfortably when sitting or standing
  • Simple on/off rotating control knob at the base of the handle provides easy water flow control at your finger tips
  • The AquaSense Handheld Shower Head is corrosion resistant, includes a convenient shower hook and simplifies installation with easy, tool-free assembly

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 16:44 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Moen Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower

This is the best handheld showerhead 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
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
257 Reviews
Moen DN8001CH Home Care Pause Control Hand Held Shower
  • Handheld showerhead with hose with safety features ideal for home care
  • Exclusive head with on and off switch instantly reduces water flow
  • Extra-long 7-foot flex-soft hose
  • Lightweight, soft-grip handle with safety strap for a secure grip
  • Backed by Moen's Limited Lifetime Warranty

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 15:24 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Handheld Shower Head

I like this handheld showerhead 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
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
832 Reviews
HotelSpa 7-Setting AquaCare Series Spiral Handheld Shower Head with Patented ON / OFF Pause Switch...
  • DELUXE HAND SHOWER: Can be used as Overhead or Handheld shower • High-power • 3-zone Precision SpiralFlo Click Lever Dial • Ergonomic Grip...
  • ANGLE-ADJUSTABLE OVERHEAD BRACKET: Lets you point hand shower where you want it for hands-free operation at desired angle
  • EXTANDABLE SHOWER HOSE: More flexible than stiff plastic hoses • 2 ft longer reach then standard length hoses • More compact and less tangle then...
  • EASY TOOL-FREE CONNECTION: No need to call a plumber - installs in minutes with just one hand-tighten connection. Fits any standard shower arm.
  • BEST LIFETIME WARRANTY: Hassle-Free US Limited Lifetime Warranty with LIVE customer service representatives in US.

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 15:24 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


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
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
1695 Reviews
Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip Portable Shower Arm, Contrasted White with gray accents
  • The product is port shower arm mount
  • For placement on tile, tile squares must be at least 4 inch x 4 inch in diameter
  • Must be applied to smooth, dry, non-porous surfaces, such as, glazed ceramic tiles, plastic or glass. Item does not suction to textured or bumpy...
  • Product does NOT suction to drywall
  • Do not place over grout lines as this allows air to move under the suction cup thereby releasing its hold. Always test to confirm suction is tight...

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 15:18 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Summary and Recommendations

Having the right handheld showerhead for elderly and seniors makes a big difference in their safety. These simple little products go a long way in reducing 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 showerheads 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!