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Shower Power: Tips on Shower Safety for Seniors

Posted by Lisa Rodriguez, OTR/L

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We all want to live safely and comfortably in every part of our homes. It’s important that seniors are aware of the challenges independent living can present and take the appropriate precautions. A study by the Home Safety Council found that falls are the leading cause of home injury-related deaths among older adults. Making simple home modifications can make day-to-day living for seniors easier, reduce risk of falling and give peace of mind to those close to us.

Unsafe Practices

Unable to complete everyday tasks with the same mobility they once had, many seniors are left with unsafe practices or conditions in their bathrooms. Slick floors, small spaces, sharp edges and few things to grasp make mobility difficult and increase chances for dangerous falls. It’s really easy and important to make a bathroom safe.

Inexpensive Solutions

Modifications may cost only a few dollars. A senior who takes a serious fall could potentially cost thousands of dollars in surgical procedures and rehabilitation therapy. We prefer prevention – it costs far less and is less painful.

Top Tips for Bathroom Safety:

  1. Remove throw rugs. Use a nonstick mat
  2. Use a night light.
  3. Clear pathway to bathroom
  4. Keep electrical cords contained and out of walkways.
  5. Store heavy items in between thigh and chest height.
  6. Keep area clutter free.
  7. Store frequently used items at reachable height
  8. Don’t keep glass in the bathroom
  9. If shower is white, buy colored non-slip floor mat or stickers.
  10. Keep an extra roll of toilet paper within reach
  11. Assess toilet height, risers are available
  12. Use grab bars for support, not towel bars.
  13. Sit for rest breaks in and out of the shower.
  14. Keep telephone or emergency response device near by.
  15. Use a hand held shower
  16. Secure your soap.
  17. Use a long handled sponge for washing your back and legs.
  18. Sit when drying off your body.

Your Therapy Specialists Occupational Therapist is here to help assess you and your bathroom and make custom recommendations. For more information on how our OTs can make your life more livable, visit our website:

Learn More About Occupational Therapy 

Author Bio:

Lisa has extensive experience as an occupational therapist in senior services, providing all levels of care. Having begun her career as an OT student at University of New Hampshire, she rose through the ranks to become a leader respected by customers and colleagues. She holds an RAC-CT® certification, nationally recognized as the pinnacle in resident assessment in long-term care nursing. Lisa is active in OTAC, and is a regular presenter on emerging trends in occupational therapy, and she frequently speaks on innovative treatment methodologies and the changes in the delivery of therapy services.