Safer, Easier Bath Time with Walk in Tubs for Seniors
Baths are dangerous places for the elderly and infirm. Slippery water, slick porcelain, thresholds that need to be stepped over — it’s a formula for disaster if you aren’t steady on your feet. Aside from adding grab bars and non-slip shower mats, it’s usually best to also install walk in bathtubs. This is one of the most common solutions in elderly and medical care facilities.
Just Lets You Walk In
Walk in tubs allow senior folk to walk straight into the tub and forgo the perilous exercise of stepping over the tub’s edge one shaky leg at a time. They go through an inwards-opening watertight door. A seat is also installed into the tub, which allows the elderly to sit comfortably while they take a bath and relax.
All these accommodations naturally make walk in bathtubs costlier than the norm. Expect price tags to start at around $2,000, with more luxurious designs going upwards of $10,000. The $8,000 difference between low and high-end walk in tubs include, but are not limited to:
- High-speed drains
- Shower wands
- Complex temperature controls
- Bubbling jets, and more
Finding the Perfect Tub to Walk Into
Walk in tubs are investments not only because they tend to be expensive; you also need to pay close attention to the design and features of your purchase. Since they’re designed specifically to meet the needs of the infirm and the elderly in the bathroom, you need to closely inspect if they meet the needs of whoever will be using them.
Consider, for instance, that some walk in tubs have narrow entrances, and the senior who will use the tub may not be able to easily navigate the entrance if it’s too narrow. Others have small ridges that you have to step over — much smaller and easier to surmount than an ordinary tub’s full height — but it could still prove to be an inconvenience. Make sure the person who will be using the walk in tub can get an opportunity to see it and try it out before purchase.
A Caveat: Walk In Tubs Require Patience
Since they have installed doors, it’s obvious that the elderly using them won’t be able to “walk into” a tub full of water. Walk in tubs are filled with the user already inside, and likewise, drained completely before the user gets out.
This means you also need to closely consider temperature controls — nobody wants to sit in an empty tub filling with cold water while waiting to bathe. Nobody wants to wait while the tub takes its time to get filled, too, so there’s another factor. In the same vein, since users can’t exit without draining the tub first, drain times should also be factored in.
Walk in tubs for seniors are a valuable and pricey investment; ask your plumber for more details.