One of the things that have become really popular over the last few years is the bathtub with a door for seniors or more commonly referred to as walk-in tubs.
The whole idea behind the tubs is that it allows seniors to step into the bathtub through a door in the side rather than having to step over the tub onto a slippery surface and thus causing potential injury.
If you have a parent or a loved one living in an assisted-living facility or at home with you, you may be trying to decide if it’s a good idea for you to invest in a walk-in tub.
In this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of having a walk-in tub installed as well as other considerations that you should take into account before you decide to buy.
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Benefits of a walk-in tub
- Most models come with a built-in fixed seat so seniors can position themselves comfortably once they’re inside.
- Since there’s no need to step over a clearance to get in the tub it can help reduce injuries to seniors caused by slips and falls. In the U.S. alone 1 in 3 seniors, over the age of 65, will fall in a given year.
- Seniors are able to continue to maximize some level of independence because they are able to continue to bathe themselves.
- Seniors are more excited to bathe since they no longer have to rely on the help of a family member or care givers for such a routine task.
- The massage feature present in most walk-in tubs can help seniors who may be suffering such debilitating diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, fibrosis, Parkinson’s, hip and knee replacement and other ailments.
- It can help to increase self-confidence in seniors who feel better about themselves because they’re able to independently take care of their hygiene.
Downside of walk-in tubs
- They can be rather pricey, costing thousands of dollars, even for a basic model. Most of these tubs include a lot of high-end features and this is one thing that drives the price up.
- Seniors suffering from memory impairments such as Alzheimer or Dementia may be afraid or intimidated by walk-in tubs. In these situations, a shower with a seat inside may be a better solution.
- All walk-in tubs are not the same. When it comes to safe bathing technology the consumer doesn’t understand the wide ranges of differences in quality so they can easily be taken advantage of.
- Design flaws in the manufacturing of many walk-in tubs can cause unnecessary risks and injury to seniors.
Important considerations for your walk-in tub project
We’ve already talked about the safety and health benefits of walk-in tubs but what about the cost?
You may be considering online and hiring your own installer. One thing we know for sure is that price is an important factor. But it’s not the only thing you will need to think about.
You’ll also need to take into consideration things like:
Walk-in tubs may look the same there are some very significant differences. So how can you tell for sure if the walk-in tub for seniors you’re considering is top quality or not?
One of the best ways to tell is to take a good look at the warranty being offered. Lower quality tubs will generally offer a 1- 5-year warranty and very often this warranty won’t cover all of the tub’s components.
The best quality walk-in tubs offer a lifetime warranty and it covers everything. Buying a tub from one of the big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes means that you’ll probably have to arrange for your own installation.
Typically, this means you’ll have to locate, hire, coordinate and supervise a plumber, carpenter and electrician. You can see how the cost can add up quickly as you aim to put this project together by yourself.
And what about the headaches that can arise from having to try and manage a complex project such as this?
Benefits of working with a local company
When you work with a local company they will not only specialize in walk-in tubs but they also will have experienced installers already on staff.
A full-service company will not only handle all of the installation details but they will also ensure that the tub operates properly.
Also, dealing with a local specialist right in your own backyard means there’s someone physically nearby to call should you need service for anything.
A bathtub with a door for seniors can be a great investment as long as you do proper due diligence to make sure that you are buying a quality product and it will serve your senior’s needs.
The last thing you want to happen is for you to make a huge investment in a walk-in tub that is of inferior quality or your loved one doesn’t even use it.