Increasing safety when showering

Most people do not think twice about taking a shower. But for someone with low vision, arthritis, COPD, poor balance, or other disabling conditions, it can be a different story. Imagine having to cautiously place your feet on a slippery surface when getting in and out of the shower. Imagine dropping your soap bar because you can’t grip it, then having to bend down and try to look for it on the floor. Imagine feeling short of breath in the middle of taking a shower. This is when falls are likely to happen!

Here are some tips:

  • Sit on a shower chair.
  • Put a non-skid bathroom rug on the floor outside the shower.
  • Put a rubber bath mat inside the shower.
  • Install grab bars at the shower entrance and along the walls inside the shower – wrap bright orange tape around them to make them easier to see.
  • Put soap bar in knee high nylon stocking and tie stocking around grab bar to prevent soap bar from dropping in the first place.
  • Use contrasting colored containers and items to make them easier to see against the wall and floor.
  • Put containers and items in suction cup caddies to make them easier to reach.

Bathroom falls can lead to significant injury or worse. Sometimes a few small changes can make things much safer.


Thank you to Chana Sandberg, one of our occupational therapists, for this article.