Are your parents no longer capable of accessing the bathtub safely? Senior people with mobility issues face a high risk of slipping and falling when walking in the bathroom. To fall-proof, investing in a walk-in tub is one practical solution. But how do you choose walk-in tubs for the elderly? This article will discuss how to choose senior walk-in tubs with essential factors to consider before buying.
What Are Types Of Walk-in Tubs?
Walk-in tubs have four major types:
- Walk-In Air Baths: This type of bath allows the air pumping feature to create a massage-like effect. Other than that, this type is not much different from standard walk-in baths.
- Bariatric Walk-In Tubs: People design bariatric walk-in tubs with wider doors and deeper soaking areas. This type allows a huge person or even two ordinary people to be soaked comfortably.
- Deep Soaking Tubs: The name tells what the difference is. To enable the deep soak feature, the manufacturer designs this tube deeper than other models. This design will ultimately allow you to submerge your body entirely in an upright position.
- Walk-In Whirlpool Tubs: Whirlpool tubs are almost like hot tubs.
For seniors, an average walk-in tub is adequate. People design walk-in tubs to eliminate safety concerns by providing ultra-low entry thresholds, non-slip floor surfaces, grab bars, user-friendly locking systems, etc.
Numerous factors affect a walk-in tub cost, such as the unit’s material, safety features, drain system, or additional features. To go into details about what to look for when choosing a senior walk-in tub, please continue reading!
Factors To Consider When Purchasing a Walk-in Tub For The Elderly
Material is the first factor to take into account when shopping for a walk-in tub. The major materials to make tubs are gel coats or acrylic. Gelcoat models are thin and light due to the lightweight material. These are easy to install and clean, which makes them popular with customers. We can install them in two-story houses even with the lack of support between the floor and the tub.
On the other hand, acrylic walk-in bathtubs are available in an extensive array of colors and designs. These models are famous for their durability and low maintenance. Nevertheless, the cost of acrylic tubs is higher because of the high manufacturing costs.
#2. Safety Features
Another factor to have in mind when buying a walk-in tub is the choice of safety features. For these bathtubs to be more accessible to the elderly, their design should focus on safety. Each model comes with a couple of essential elements, such as a low entryway threshold, at least one grab bar, and a sealed door. High-end models, however, are equipped with extra safety features, thus increasing the cost. Here a few features to mention:
- Anti-scald technology: To fill the tub with water, users have to sit inside and close the leak-free door. Water is usually hot right after you fill the tub. Fortunately, some walk-in tubs come with anti-scald technology to prevent the water from getting extremely hot. See this page to learn how anti-scald faucets work!
- Water purification: This is a useful safety for high price products. Top-notch models come with water purification systems that automatically filter water and oxidize to clean themselves.
- Door-locking mechanism: This feature prevents water from leaking outside. The locking tools of low-end might be too heavy for the elderly. Sealing the tube is much easier with some advanced models.
- Grab bars: Low-priced walk-in bathtubs only have one grab bar, which is not enough. To increase safety, you need multiple handles.
- Non-slip textured floor surface: It’s of great importance to feature textured floors, walls, and seats. Only then, the elderly will be less likely to lose balance getting inside and outside the bathtub.
You may want to read more: How to Make Your Bathroom Sparkling Clean
#3. Luxury Features
Apart from helping the seniors bathe safely, these products relieve the pain caused by arthritis and sore muscles. Expensive models can perform therapeutic features. For instance, the massage system can provide users a soothing sensory experience like in spas. Other models come with targeted leg, foot, wrist, and back massaging jets to reduce muscle tension.
A limited number of high-end models provide users with the possibility to enjoy aromatherapy while soaking in the tub. Senior people can choose their favorite essential oils and relax. Another feature that promotes a calming mood is undoubtedly chromotherapy, referring to lights in various colors to provide relaxation.
Handheld showerheads assist users in reaching all body parts while having a bath. Conversely, some manufacturers provide buyers with an option to heat the surfaces in their walk-in bathtubs. Backrests and chairs can be heated to relieve tension.
#4. Drain System
The drain system is a significant factor to consider when looking for a walk-in tub. As previously explained, you should close the door while using the bathtub, which means users must remain seated until the water drains completely. Nevertheless, the draining process can take plenty of time.
High-end units solve this problem by using quick-draining technology, along with a fast-filling faucet to fill it quickly as well. The cost of walk-in bathtubs ranges between $4,000 and $8,500, without factoring in the installation expenses. The more luxury features one unit has, the more expensive it is. With all the benefits a high-end walk-in tub can offer, will you purchase it for your seniors?
It’s the end of our article about how to choose senior walk-in tubs. I hope that we’ve provided you plenty of useful information. Is there anything that we miss in this article? Please let us know in the comment section below! Thanks for visiting Greenhouse Center!