8 Essentials for Bathing Your Parent

8 Essentials for Bathing Your Parent

Having these items on hand will make bathtime safer and easier:

A rubber shower or bath hose

Available at medical supply stores and some drugstores, these simple hoses attach to the tub faucet or showerhead, giving you greater reach and control over the direction and intensity of the spray.

A slip-proof shower or tub chair

These amazingly stable waterproof chairs -- available at medical supply stores -- are secure on wet surfaces and can safely hold several hundred pounds.

A plastic bath tote with a handle

Store bathtime supplies in an easy-to-tote plastic container, sold at drugstores and household goods stores. Look for a handle for easy carrying, and sides that allow water to drain.

A rubber nonslip mat for the bottom of the tub or shower

This is your basic, no-frills bathtub mat with a suction-cup bottom, sold in drugstores and household goods stores.

More Bath Tools

A nonskid throw rug for the bathroom floor

Choose a simple bathroom rug with a rubberized or plastic bottom that will stay put even when it's wet.

A generous supply of dry towels and washcloths

You'll need these for washing, covering, and drying off your parent. Keep them within easy reach, so you won't have to stop everything and run to the closet.

A warm bathrobe and slippers

To keep your parent warm and dry, choose familiar, comfortable clothes, even if they're well worn. An absorbent terry cloth robe is great after stepping out of a bath.

A change of clothes for yourself

No matter how hard you try, bathing someone else can leave you drenched. A change of clothes may come in handy. Consider changing into an outfit that can get wet before you start the bath, then changing back into your street clothes afterward.

Kate Rauch

Kate Rauch has spent more than two decades writing about health for websites and print media, including WebMD, Drugstore, the Washington Post health section, and Newsday, as well as HMOs such as Kaiser Permanente (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Group Health (in Seattle). See full bio