A walk-in bathtub is an option seniors should consider to help them live in their homes in comfort and safety. As seniors age they lose muscle and therefore physical strength, which can translate into not maintaining their hygiene. Proper hygiene is vital to their health, therefore it is important to make it easier for seniors to bathe.
Soaking in warm water helps to ease aches and pains. Hydrotherapy jets are beneficial in that they increase circulation and help decrease inflammation. This can be beneficial to seniors who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, poor circulation and joint pains. Ultimately, it can help seniors to have a better sleep.
When purchasing and installing a walk-in bathtub there are details that need to be considered. The seat height should be 17” so the seniors will not have any problems getting to a standing position. The step height into the bath needs to be 6” or lower for ease of access. It should have a slip resistant floor to ensure complete safety. The faucets and jets should be easy to use and the jets should have a self cleaning system built in to avoid bacteria build up. The door handle should be easy to grip. There should be a grab bar inside the tub which is also easy to grip.
If the option of hydrotherapy jets is being purchased then make sure you know the number of jets and if they are included in the price. Also, in most areas, a qualified electrician will have to take out a permit to run a designated electrical supply back to the panel using a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFI) breaker. Determine at the time of the purchase who is responsible for hiring and paying for the electrician. If you require a bath that is wider than 26” then the doorway openings will need to be larger than 28”. If doorway changes need to be made it will most likely increase the time of installation and probably the cost. Things that you never think of have to be taken into consideration, such as which way the door needs to open and the length of space the tub has to fit into.
Consider a bath that uses less than 40 gallons. They are eco-friendly and cost effective as less hot water is used. Remember that you will be sitting in the bath while it fills and drains, so the more water it holds, the longer it will take.
A walk-in bathtub gives seniors independence and dignity, allowing them to bathe in the privacy of their own homes without the fear of falling or getting stuck in their existing tub.