The AgingCare.com forum is filled with people coming together to share valuable information. We’ve compiled experienced caregivers’ favorite bathing aids and personal hygiene products that simplify the process of helping a senior bathe.
Popular Bathing Aids and Products for Seniors
“We put a shower chair in one of my grandma’s showers, got a little hand-held shower head that hooked up to the faucets and put a shower caddy down low where it could be easily reached. This allowed her to sit for the whole shower. She loved it! We did it as a surprise present for her. We also put a sturdy little bench right outside the shower for her to sit on while toweling off and getting clothes on.” –New2this
“Why not just switch to no-rinse shampoos and soap instead of insisting on a full bath? Hospitals use this option. It avoids the trauma of removing clothing, shivering in a bath or shower, and the danger of falling, none of which should be factors in staying clean.” –GardenArtist
“There are ‘sponge bath’ towelettes that are actually really large and can be warmed in the microwave. They are gentle to sponge bathe with.” –Midkid58
“I notice that when I adjust our shower head to the rain flow feature, I take a much more relaxed shower. Without it, the water seems like it is beating down on me or hitting me like needles. Because of my dementia, I don’t always remember to adjust the shower head to this setting. You may want to try using a gentler rain flow feature on the shower head for your loved one if they seem afraid of the water. My wife usually puts the shower head back on rain when she is done, but she is human and sometimes forgets. I can tell you this, it does make a huge difference to me when it comes to showering. It’s the little things that all add up to make a huge difference.” –Rick Phelps
“I purchased a shampoo tray for my mom. They have plastic ones, but I opted for a vinyl inflatable one. Mom sits in a chair at the kitchen sink, and I use the faucet sprayer to wash her hair. I have also used the hair washing tray while she sits on her shower chair outside the tub and washed her hair with a handheld shower head. It works really well—just like being at the salon. I also purchased a vinyl cape to keep her dry.” –KDsMOM
“We found that baby wipes are too small. They make flushable adult wipes (I found them in the adult diaper section) made for elderly skin that are much larger and work perfectly for sponge bathing and spot cleaning.” –pfontes16
“A good stopgap is the no-rinse shampoo caps you put (briefly) in the microwave. You then put them on the person like an ordinary shower cap, massage their head, remove and dry the hair as normal. They’re quite expensive for what they are, though. It doesn’t quite feel the same as doing the job properly, but my mother says she’s happy and that her hair feels nice and soft afterwards.” –Churchmouse
“We need to remember that, as we age, showers and bathtubs are a major place to fall. So, an elder becomes scared to bathe or shower. Make sure your loved one has solid grab bars in and around the bathtub to grab onto for stability. A non-skid rubber mat and a sturdy shower chair are also useful.” –freqflyer
“We don’t have the money to renovate the bathroom for a handicap person. Instead, I got a great shower bench from Home Depot. Mom is able to sit on the bench, and I help her get her legs over the side of the tub. I make sure to put a towel on the bench because she says it feels cold when she sits down.” –Timbutktu
“I just got mom a sponge on a handle that is meant for doing the dishes. It is smaller than typical shower sponges/brushes and much lighter. It seems to be doing a much better job because she can reach to clean more areas by herself.” –lovingdaughter
“I have heard of these blow-up tubs before for bathing bedridden seniors. You lay it flat on the bed uninflated and situate the person onto it like you do when changing sheets for an immobile patient. Once they are in position, you inflate the tub (like a pool life raft) then fill it with water. I was told that filling and emptying the water is done the same way as a blowup shampoo tray.” –CharK60
Feel free to add your own tips and advice in the comments section below, or head to AgingCare’s Topic Page specific to Bathing to find more suggestions from experts and experienced caregivers. You can explore these and other recommended bathing aids and personal hygiene supplies in the Senior Care Product Directory.