Home Health Blogger

34 Work Simplification Strategies for Grooming, Dressing & Bathing

Posted by Melissa Cott on Jun 13, 2023

Stroke rehabilitation includes simplification techniques of work and work tasks, ergonomics and other rehabilitation strategies.


  • Sit whenever possible to perform grooming, and sit correctly by using good posture.  
  • Use surfaces that are at a level to perform grooming without bending or raising your hand above the elbow.
  • Avoid reaching, stooping, bending
  • Push, don't pull.  Slide, don't lift.
  • Adapt counter space for easy accessibility of grooming utensils, or use a lapboard for wheelchair patients.
  • If you have difficulty manipulating  medication containers, ask your physician to write, "Do not put in child-proof container."
  • Choose combs, brushes, etc. with large handles as they are easier to grip.Download Patient Teaching Sheet for  Fine Motor Exercises
  • Put on a terry cloth bathrobe if you can't dry your back.
  • Use a bath brush for feet and back and get one with a long handle.

Dressing Upper and Lower Body

  • Sit whenever possible when dressing upper and lower body, and sit correctly by using good posture.  
  • Avoid reaching, stooping, bending
  • Have clothes laid out before beginning.
  • Select larger clothing than usual, as it is easier to put on and take off.
  • Select clothing that opens in front and opens all the way so that you do not have to step into it.
  • Select clothing with large flat buttons
  • Use adaptive equipment for manipulating small fasteners.
  • Use a large paper clip or ring on zipper for easy manipulation
  • Buy pants with elastic waistbands.
  • Put sore arm/leg in first and take out sore shoulder, hip last.
  • Use a long shoe horn to put on shoes to prevent bending.

Bathing and Toileting

  • Sit whenever possible to perform bathing/toileting, and sit correctly by using good posture.  
  • Avoid reaching, stooping, bending
  • Push, don't pull.  Slide, don't lift.
  • dexterity-1Shampoo should be placed in an easy to reach position. Screw-top bottles may be loosely fastened or a pump may be used.
  • Grab bars in the bathtub.
  • Non-skid strips in bottom of tub.
  • Shower chair and hand held shower.
  • Raised toilet seat and/or toilet safety rails
  • A hand held shower hose (such as a water pic) permits thorough washing and rinsing.
  • The shower hose can be adapted by attaching a C-cuff or by attaching a velcro "D" ring strap.
  • Faucets may be adapted by riveting or gluing a lever arm to them. A long lever tap may be purchased to replace an unsuitable tap.
  • Bath mitts are made by sewing two washcloths together. Three sides are sewn together, leaving an opening for your hand. The wrist may be loose or closed with velcro. Soap may be slipped in for washing and removed for rinsing.
  • Soap-on-a-rope can also be made at home by drilling a hole in the soap and stringing a cord through it.
  • A long-handled sponge will assist in reaching and a C-cuff may be attached to it to assist grasp.


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