Tips not trips – tips for the bathroom after joint replacement

audrey bath

I know …. I promised I was going to do a followup on tips for the kitchen after shoulder surgery however as my bathroom was tidier than my kitchen, I decided to do tips for the bathroom instead

After a joint replacement, it’s going to take a few weeks before you look or feel as glamorous as Audrey Hepburn in the bathroom however I hope you find these tips useful after your joint replacement on your way to recovery

Many of the tips outlined below I found really useful after my shoulder replacement late last year and when I had hip and knee replacements a few years ago

As discussed in a previous blog post, before you go in for surgery – assess and organise your bathroom and toilet before you go into hospital

In Australia, you can browse the website of the Independent Living Centre or go into the centre closest to you to see where you can purchase or hire any items you need

The Independent Living Centre has just published a great little booklet Making Choices, Finding Solutions Guide. Click here to download the digital copy


If you don’t have easy to turn on taps, work out how you are going to turn on your taps easily using one arm

Click here to see the various type of tap turners available


You may need to shower with a shower sling

Assess whether you need grip rails installed in your shower/bathing area

A shower chair is great for when you get out of hospital and feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything let alone stand in a shower (I felt a little bit dizzy at times when I first got out of hospital so I felt safer having a shower chair knowing I could sit down)

If you have had a knee or hip replacement you will need to sit down to wash your legs and feet

I have quite a large shower space so I was lucky to be able to fit a shower chair comfortably in the shower

If you do not have a walk in shower (my previous apartment had a shower over a bath tub) you may need to purchase or hire a bath board

Click here to see the different types shower chairs available and here for bath boards


Use a long handled shower sponge or brush to wash yourself

If you’ve had a shoulder replacement, you should be able to reach and wash under both underarms with a long handled shower sponge/brush

After a hip or knee replacement, you may also need to use long handled toe washes and toe dryers


My handy pump containers have made a reappearance (see my post Slippery Soap Solutions)

If you have one arm in a sling or sore wrists and hand joints, it’s easier to use a pump bottle in the shower or at the hand basin

As mentioned in my previous post, the containers need to sit on a hard, flat and stable surface (I use a sturdy plastic stool in the shower)


I set up and area where I could dry myself and had all the basic bathroom necessities I needed close at hand when I got out of the shower

Drying yourself with one arm in a sling is not fun. I purchased a sturdy chair which I placed a towel over so I could sit down and jiggle about to dry my back

It also felt safer sitting down to dry my legs and feet (this is especially important if you’ve had a hip or knee replacement)


I used small lightweight towels to dry my body using one arm

My OT showed me a technique where you fling the towel over your unoperated shoulder with your unoperated arm so it settles down your back; you then drag the towel up gently (Check with your own health team for advice on drying techniques)

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Organise everything you’ll need post shower in one handy spot in lightweight unbreakable containers

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I placed all my necessities like cotton buds in these handy containers with easy to remove lids

Try to avoid moisturisers etc in tubs with large lids that you have to screw open

If your favourite cream is in a large tub, you can use the Etac Fix Preparation Board mentioned in my last post to screw open the lid



If you have had a hip or knee replacement you may need to purchase or hire an over the toilet frame so you don’t have to crouch too low with painful knees and hips to sit down

Click here to see the various types of frames available


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If you have arthritis and don’t already have an electric toothbrush, consider getting one as they are much easier to use than a regular toothbrush

Use flossettes instead of regular dental floss. I find I am able to get a better grip on the brand of flossettes called Caredent as they are a bit bigger and sturdier than some other brands

If flossettes are still too small for you, you may prefer floss handles. Click here to see an example

While we’re on the subject of dental care and joint replacement, you should avoid having any major dental work a few months before or after a joint replacement (seek advice from your health care professionals)

Click here for an easy to read article about dental work and joint replacement surgery from the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

If you already have joint replacements, check with your surgeon or doctor about the protocols for dental procedures and joint replacements



Consider getting your hair cut just before your surgery date into the easiest style you can manage using one arm (You may have to go shorter)

Place your shampoo and conditioner in pump bottles as mentioned above

If you cannot reach your hair with your ‘good’ arm you can use long handled hair washers and combs. Click here and here to see what is available


I used a microfibre hair turban to dry my hair

I could drape it over my head (like a hoodie) and squeeze excess moisture from my hair with one arm

I found the turban pictured above that I purchased it from Red Dot the easiest to use

The other hair wraps I tried had elasticised edges which made the wraps fit tightly on my head and were difficult to put on and off with one arm

When I bothered to dry my hair, I used a light weight travel hair dryer

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To put on moisturiser or sun screen, I used a little plastic paddle that came with a tub of moisturiser

I laid it on a flat surface, squeezed the cream onto the paddle then dabbed the cream on my face. I was then able to rub the moisturiser into my face with my hand


Spray on deodorant is the easiest to use when your arm is in a sling. If you have a good aim, you can spray the deodorant under your ‘good’ arm as well


While your arm is in a sling, keep your makeup routine simple

If you want to wear earrings, find some that are easy to put on and clasp shut with one hand such as the pair pictured above

Mascara might be hard to put on especially if your dominant arm is in a sling. An eyelash curler is the next best thing to masacara

Add some lipstick or lipgloss and you’ll feel like you’re all dressed up  💋


Check out my other blog posts Shoulder Surgery -ms mary’s musings and Floored by the Boards tips for the kitchen after shoulder replacement to get more tips


Perth – Miyu Life Store  (also at Westfield Carousel)     Worldwide – Daiso and Muji


Perth – The Reject Store      Worldwide – Daiso and Muji


Perth and Australia – Caredent Eeziflossers available at Coles Supermarkets


Perth   Daily Living Products   Independent Living Centre   Variety Stores

audrey bath  Audrey Hepburn – Paris When it Sizzles via Pinterest

veronica  Veronica Lake photo via wiki commons public domain



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