Bathtub and shower safety is a major concern for older adults. Numerous studies have shown that many independently bathing older adults without cognitive impairments do have trouble or are unsafe getting into and out of the tub or shower stall. Add in the dimension of dementia and the opportunity for bathroom accidents beyond just falls becomes even greater. The problem of overflowing a bathtub and perhaps flooding the room below can be a distinct possibility for someone in the advancing stages of Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, several products are available that can act as a reminder of such a hazard when someone is distracted by other activities and has left bath water running.

The Starfish Bath Alarm was initially designed and marketed as a combined bath level and temperature sensor to be used by parents with small children. The 5 inch waterproof unit attaches to the inside of the bathtub’s vertical surface with suction cups and can be set at any desired level to trigger the alarm. As the water rises and reaches the Starfish feet it sets off a loud chime that can be heard from several rooms away. The Starfish has an LCD thermometer at its center that can be set to readout in Fahrenheit or Celsius degrees. Having a thermometer provides for yet another level of protection by showing that the bath water may be too hot. Decorative and functional it however is not readily available for purchase from retailers at this date., for example, is out of stock and does not know when it may again become available.


The Zelco Safety Fish Bathtub Water Level Warning Buzzer was also designed with the same initial parent/children market in mind, but certainly can be useful for adults as well. It hangs from a suction cup and its lower fins serve as the trigger for the alarm to sound. The fish doesn’t come with a built-in thermometer. The Safety Fish is currently available from




I did locate another one piece water level alert on eBay from a liquidation retailer that appears promising, but with no experience with this item it’s a “caveat emptor” mention!

There are a few other options available that provide alarms for water level overflows that are also designed to detect water leaks. These units typically come as a two part set with a separate sensor and alarm, and operate in similar fashion with the alarm being triggered by the rising water touching the sensor.





The Sonin sensor and alarm can be set up to 6 feet apart and it has an 85 decibel buzzer.  The Mace product has a wireless transmission range up to 200 feet and utilizes an 100 dB buzzer.

As available, none of the above reviewed water alarm battery-powered units were priced above $30 regardless of being sold by the manufacturers or re-sellers. Anyone who has more information on these water level alerts or knows about others – I’d love to hear from you!

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