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4 Ways a Walk-In tub is essential for seniors aging in place

Posted on October 13th, 2015

For seniors wishing to stay in their homes and maintain their independence longer, a walk-in bathtub provides greater safety and improves their health.

A walk-in bath offers numerous benefits for anyone suffering from pain, stress, arthritis, and limited mobility. For seniors living in their own home, a walk-in bathtub, shower or combination unit can be an essential item for aging in place. There are four important ways a walk-in bathtub facilitates aging place.

1. Easier and Safer Entry into Bathtub

The ability to walk into a tub versus stepping over and lowering oneself in a tub increases bathing safety significantly.

  • No big barriers to trip over reducing risk for falling
  • No shower curtains to fuss with or become entangled within
  • ¬†Wider entry plus sturdy grab bars on the door
  • ¬†Allows for easier transfer from wheelchair to bathtub bench seat

2. Built in Safety Features

A quality walk in tub with a water tight door prevents bath water from spilling onto the floor, reducing the risk for slip-and-fall injuries. While traditional tubs require a bather to sit almost on the floor or to use a separate tub seat, a walk-in tub can include a high-back built-in seat that will recline for maximum comfort when bathing. Built-in seats are slip-resistant and contoured to eliminate sliding or slipping. Grab rails also are essential safety features in walk-in bathtubs providing stability when entering, exiting or merely shifting position during a relaxing soak.

3. At-home Hydrotherapy

Regular hydrotherapy or the curative use of water often is recommended for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, stress, back pain, insomnia, and those recovering from hip or knee replacements. Hydrotherapy at home in a walk-in bathtub can be a workable alternative to visiting a rehabilitation center or aquatic center for a rejuvenating bath. Epsom salts and other bath additives in moderate quantities can be used to enhance a hydrotherapy experience helping to soothe sore muscles, painful joints and reduce stress.

4. Provides Independence

Bathing is a private experience, and needing assistance from a family member or caregiver can be frustrating. A walk-in bathtub can help a senior stay in their home and maintain their independence longer. A traditional tub is difficult to access safely for many with limited mobility or disabilities. The use of a walk-in tub or shower allows bathing to once again be a private, independent experience.

The most common location for at-home falls resulting in injuries is the bathroom according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health. Walk-in tubs are designed to help eliminate numerous factors that can contribute to slips and falls that lead to injury. Whether you opt for a tub/shower combination, a compact tub to fit a smaller bathroom or a powered bath with a lift chair, the addition of a walk-in tub offers significant benefits to seniors who want to maintain their independence and live in their home longer.

Blog Image Source: seniorspokane.com

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