You may be looking for bathtubs that are easy to get into for various reasons, be it:
• your own lack of flexibility around the hips or knees
• your arm and shoulder strength limits your ability to raise yourself from the bath
• your balance or confidence may not be too good
But worry not: we are here to guide you about picking the right tub to suit yourself.
So, how do walk in baths work
Generally speaking, if you imagine your existing bath with a side door rather than a raised wall you need to climb over, then you have the beginnings of what is needed.
Obviously, this door will need to seal the bathwater inside, so that means you need to get in while it is empty, then fill your bath to how you like it, take your bath and then drain the water before undoing the door and stepping out.
Normally, these have a door opening inwards, leaving very little room inside if you are sat down in the bath, to close the door properly to form a seal. However, in this situation, the height of the water pressure inside pushes the door more firmly to a sealed position than if the door opened outwards and so requires very little to lock it in place.
The drawback with these as far as sealing the water inside goes, is when the water is filling and barely above the bottom of the door, just above the step-over lip, there may be leaks showing until more water pressure eventually seals the door shut tight.
Another thought is the type of water filling process you have. If you simply have individual hot and cold taps at one end of your bath, you may find it difficult to control the temperature around your feet.
Plus, as with the image above, reaching the controls may be a bit awkward if you are in any way partially immobile.
Bath with door for disabled
If you are disabled in any way then a bath with a raised internal seat may be more appropriate for you.
These normally offer the same entrance over a slightly raised lip (needed to form a seal for the door), but they are generally taller, meaning when you are seated you can have the water almost up to your chin if you want it that deep.
To accommodate this, they come in varying heights, so picking the right one for your body dimensions is a must.
Grab handles are included in this type as they are specifically made for people who are elderly or disabled to give as much support as possible to allow for safe entry and exit.
Again, you need to enter and sit down before running any water into the tub, which can be a little tedious waiting for it to fill. The doors on these tend to have a clamped latch to press the door shut and not depend on water pressure so much initially, but they still need the water draining before leaving the tub, obviously…
Many have natural drainage with the more expensive ones having pumped drainage to speed up the emptying process.
On top of this many include showers to wash your hair, while other all-singing/all-dancing ones include thermostats to keep the water at the right temperature while you are in the tub.
The drawback with these is they usually have a bigger footprint than your existing tub, so may need to be installed in a different place, which means extra wiring and plumbing being introduced to your home, but this depends largely on the style you choose.
The more expensive versions have a power back-up installed as a safety measure, but you could easily get around this by using the same back-up arrangements used with computers, a CPS, a Continuous Power Supply – runs off a 12-volt battery which converts the current to your local voltage and allows you to complete your bathing in peace.
Lesser expensive ones usually work the same as a standard tub, in that you simply pull the drain plug up and let it drain on its own.
Non-slip floors are normally included with these tubs, but if you want to be doubly sure, add a simple non-slip mat like the inexpensive Gorilla Grip Patented Shower Stall Mat which can be trimmed to shape if needed.
Because of the holes in its body, access to the drainage is good.
Safest walk in tub for seniors
So, let’s say you are maybe getting on a bit and are looking for a bit of luxury in the silver-top era of your life and maybe your joints are playing up a bit, so you are looking at the longer-term bathing issues.
You’ve maybe had, or own a hot tub and you like the relaxed feeling it gives you so you don’t want to miss out on that little indulgence, do you?
Well, you can purchase bathtubs that give exactly the same jetting and bubble relaxation and soothing massage you had before.
The only difference to a hot tub is you won’t be able to sprawl flat on your back owing to the dimensions of these tubs and you won’t be able to have family gatherings, but two-person walk-in tubs are available, which could maybe overcome this drawback while still being easy and safe to use.
How Are Walk-In Bath Tubs Beneficial For Seniors
Walk in bath tubs are safe for seniors in many ways, plus they can be used like a conventional bath tub where many people tend to add perfumes or oils to the water to super relaxation and soothing luxury.
These additives can be simply washed down the drain like convention tubs and cause no harm to the walk-in tub, unlike a hot tub which has the water trapped inside for weeks on end, causing blockages and corrosion in the internal piping.
Also, as a comparison to hot tubs, no mind-numbing chemical ratios need adding to keep the water balanced to neutralize bacteria.
Simplicity is the key as we mature!
They raise your confidence and independence way above having to rely on others when faced with awkward situations.
And that self-independence counts for a lot, no matter what you say to the contrary.
There are usually non-slip bottoms to these tubs, making life more secure for frail folk and provide seating for the people with balance issues which can affect us all as we mature.
ARE WALK-IN BATHTUBS WORTH IT
So, truthfully, are walk-in bathtubs really worth it???
In our view, they can be expensive if you go for all the bells and whistles, but as a long-term asset into your dotage, they can be a godsend giving you a worry-free bathing solution for years to come.