Handheld showerheads are ideal for children, pets, and even able-bodied adults. Fixed showerheads don’t always provide the coverage that you need and can’t clean those hard to reach areas. Add a back problem or mobility issues to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster, with people unable to clean themselves as effectively as they would like.
This is especially true for elderly users, who rely on handheld showerheads to perform their daily cleaning rituals. In this guide, we’ll look at the best showerheads for the elderly and disabled, while highlighting some other helpful bathroom mobility aids in the process.
Types of Showerheads
Showerheads come in two main types: fixed and handheld. The former is fixed in place and spray water down on the user. The latter can be placed in the same position, but they are not fixed, so they can be dislodged and held in the hand.
Of these two main types, there are many varieties to consider:
- Rainfall/Waterfall Showerhead: A large, flat showerhead that rains down on the user. It has many spouts and often uses a lot of pressure but may not be suitable for elderly users.
- Dual Showerheads: Combines the benefits of both a fixed showerhead and a handheld showerhead. This may be the best choice for homes in which only one person is elderly.
- High-Pressure Showerheads: Designed to provide constant high pressure. Many users prefer this added pressure, but it’s worth noting that these attachments can use a lot of water.
- Water-Saving Showerheads: These products contain mechanisms designed to maintain high pressure without using a lot of water.
- Shower Panels: Often fitted with waterfall heads or dual heads, these panels cover most of the wall of the shower and have a multitude of features, including temperature control and LED lights.
What to Consider
The type of showerhead is just one of the things you need to take into consideration. There are many different products on the market, and they all offer something a little different, so keep the following in mind:
- Weight: A handheld showerhead isn’t much use if it’s too heavy to hold. Look for something that feels comfortable in your hand, and if you have arthritis, pay attention to the thickness of the handle and the quality of the grip.
- Value: Showerheads are relatively inexpensive, but as with anything else, you get what you pay for and there are some very cheap and poorly made products out there.
- Water Use: Does it use more water or less water? Is it high pressure or low? There are showerheads that claim to offer high pressure with low water use, but they are not as effective as they claim to be.
- Ease of Use: How many spray settings does the shower have? Can you change these settings with ease even if you have problems with dexterity and joint pain?
- Cleaning: How easy is the showerhead to clean and maintain? Minerals and bacteria can accumulate over time, so it’s important to clean it on a regular basis.
The Best Handheld Showerheads for Seniors
The following handheld showerheads are our top picks. All are available at Amazon.com and cost less than $50, offering great value for the cost.
AquaDance 7 Inch 3-Way High-Pressure Showerhead
Comes with a fixed waterfall attachment and a handheld attachment, providing complete coverage and helping you to get to those hard-to-reach areas. It has 6 different settings and the rainfall head spans a massive 7 inches, while the handheld head covers 4 inches. Comes with a reinforced steel hose spanning a total of 5 feet.
Delta Faucet 7-Spray Touch-Clean Showerhead
A solid and affordable handheld showerhead, with 7 different spray options and a limited lifetime warranty. This product has thousands of good reviews and is available for less than $30.
High Pressure Handheld Showerhead Sold by Lokby
Available for just $35, this is a super-high powered showerhead with 6-spray functions, easy-clean nozzles, and a high-quality build that combines chrome-plated ABS, solid brass, and stainless steel.
WASSA High-Pressure Handheld Showerhead
Comes with a 60-inch hose, 9-spray settings, and easy installation. WASSA offers a full refund if you’re not happy with the product and it’s available for just $25 at the time of writing.
AmazonBasics 5 Function Handheld Showerhead
The AmazonBasics range has come under a lot of scrutiny and many products just can’t compare to the generic and brand-name products being sold elsewhere. This is different though. Not only is it one of the cheapest options, but it offers very good value for money, with 5-functions, easy-to-clean nozzles, and an output of 2.5 gallons per minute.
Other Mobility Aids for the Bathroom
Walk-in bathtubs and showers are the pinnacle of mobility aids for the bathroom. We have discussed them many times on this site and have highlighted the benefits they provide for users with arthritis, back pain, and joint conditions. However, walk-in tubs can be expensive, costing several thousand dollars, and they’re not always necessary.
If you can still use the shower or climb over the side of the tub, you may not need to invest in one of these products. Regardless, there are other mobility aids that you should consider, ones that can improve the accessibility and safety of your bathroom without breaking the bank. Some of them are as follows:
- Grab Bars: Grab bars are strong and sturdy bars that you place near the toilet, bath, shower, and door, supporting the user’s weight and reducing the risk of slips and falls.
- Toilet Frames: A frame that fixes to the toilet and comes with two handlebars attached, making it easy to get up and down.
- Toilet Seat Risers: An attachment that adds anywhere from 2 to 5 inches to the toilet seat, on average. Often available as a mobile attachment that lifts on and off with ease, these products can also be fitted permanently in place of the existing toilet seat.
- Bath Transfer Seats: A seat that stretches over the side of the bathtub, with two legs inside and two legs outside. The user simply sits on the side that is hanging outside of the bath and then slides along. They are waterproof and rust-resistant and make life easier for elderly users and their caregivers.
- Reclining Shower and Bath Seats: A comfortable seat that sits in the bath and can recline, making it easier to clean yourself and allowing you to lay back and relax.
- Transfer Poles: A transfer pole is a floor-to-ceiling pole, often with a curved grab bar attached in the middle. They can be installed next to the bath or shower, as well as near the bed. Often made from aluminum and coated alloys, these poles can take several hundred pounds in weight and provide support when standing, sitting, stepping, and moving.
- Anti-Slip Mats: A must for any elderly person’s bathroom, anti-slip mats prevent the person from slipping when they step out of the shower or bathroom. Most senior accidents occur in the home and the majority of them happen in the bathroom. A few well-placed anti-slip mats can significantly reduce this risk.