Tips for Choosing a Bath for People with Limited Mobility
People with impaired mobility face many challenges to get around nearly anywhere, but bathrooms may pose more problems. If you are living with elderly people or mobility-impaired people, ensure their safety while they are bathing. Having a bathtub is a luxury, not only because it costs more, but because of its aesthetic and luxurious appeal. It allows you to soak in warm water with your favourite scent, to relax your mind, iron out the kinks in your joints and soothe your tired and aching muscles.
An ideal bathroom solution
In a typical home, there is only enough space for one bathtub, which could mean some rearranging or removal of old furnishings to make room for the tub. Therefore, to ensure the seniors’ safety and comfort, the most viable option is a walk-in tub. It offers many benefits and the built-in features make it suitable for everyone in your household.
Designers of walk in baths developed them with the elderly and people with mobility problems in mind. But think outside the box. A walk-in bath is a product of long years of research and it has more features than an average bathtub, making them suitable for all ages. Here are some tips to choose the right one.
- Choose the right material
The walk-in bath should have the rigidity and strength to contain the combined weight of the water and the person using the tub. If you want one that will last for a long time, choose an acrylic walk-in bath. The material is non-porous, making it very easy to clean. It is likewise easy to repair. But it can be expensive. The other option is a fibreglass walk-in tub. It is lightweight, but it may not last long. It is porous as well so it can absorb dirt and stain. Acrylic walk-in tubs can last for 30 years with proper maintenance, while a fibreglass model usually lasts for about eight years.
- Choose a model with an inward opening door
Walk-in tubs either have an outward opening or an inward opening door. Many consumers prefer the inward opening door because the water pressure forms an additional seal for the door. It is easier to open, although the user should drain the water completely before opening the door. The outward opening tub has a latching mechanism that seals the door tightly, but the door handle is difficult to manipulate and may not work for people with a weak grip. It also needs more space since the door swings outward.
- Choose the model with the features you need
A walk-in bath makes it easier for people who are mobile but find it difficult to stand under the shower or climb into a standard bathtub. A walk-in bath has a slip-resistant base. It comes with a handheld shower and grab bars. You can find a full-length model or a compact one if the space available is smaller. Look for one with an ultra-low entry to make it easier for the elderly to enter the bath. Check the integrated seat. A contoured seat will be more comfortable. If your budget permits, you choose a model with additional features, such as the right soaking depth and air and water jets.
It is vital to consider the physical conditions of the people who will be using the walk-in bath. It is designed to address the specific needs of the user. Some have full features, from different entry systems, hydrotherapy systems, to aromatherapy, and chromotherapy lighting systems.