For many seniors, a walk-in bathtub can be a powerful tool of independent living that allows many to age in the home without fear of injury or inconvenience. Aging can take a toll on mobility, as many seniors can attest to the difficulty involved in navigating an often-used space such as the bathroom. While the bathroom may seem innocuous enough to someone who doesn’t live with mobility challenges, it can be a dangerous and difficult place to move. With constant dampness, slick surfaces, and few steady places to grab on to gain balance, the bathroom can be a bit of a nightmare without the presence of a walk-in bathtub.
Fortunately, walk-in bathtubs for seniors can provide confidence and comfort in the bathroom by confronting many of the challenges those with mobility issues may face. If you live with restricted mobility and have often experienced difficulty moving into the bathtub in your home, you could potentially benefit from the installation of a walk-in tub. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about walk-in tubs through this informative, comprehensive guide.
Walk-In Tubs Defined
You may have never seen a walk-in tub, but the name provides a great clue about the design of these accessibility devices. With a standard bathtub, one must raise one foot as much as 18 inches from the ground to enter the tub, which can put someone with balance issues or mobility impairment in a precarious position. A walk-in tub deals with that obstacle in a novel way thanks to a watertight door built into the side of the tub. The door allows the user to step up only a few inches instead of the usual height, which makes entering the tub easier and safer.
What Are They Made From?
Walk-in tubs are typically made from a few common materials that are suitable for the weight requirements and damp conditions experienced during the course of the bathing process. Most walk-in tubs are molded from acrylic, which involves layering sheets of plastic with layers of fiberglass. Acrylic tubs can come in many colors, though most are muted, bathroom-appropriate tones. The benefits of acrylic tubs are their durability and low maintenance, though they cost a little more than other types. Gelcoat is another common material used in walk-in tubs. Gelcoat utilizes resin and fiberglass and results in a light, strong tub that is easily cleaned. Tubs in both categories may have steel frames or components as well.
Walk-In Tub Doors
When selecting a walk-in bathtub, you’ll need to decide which door orientation you prefer. Some walk-in tubs feature models with doors that swing inward, while others swing outward. While in many ways the choice is a simple matter of preference, there are some specific details about each type that make the decision an important one. For example, doors that swing inward may be appropriate in bathrooms where they may not be enough space for the door to open outwards. However, doors that open inward may pose an obstacle for some in getting out of the tub. Swing out doors will utilize more space outside of the tub, but they make for easier passage from the tub to the bathroom.
Easy access isn’t the only benefit of owning a walk-in tub, as they offer a wide range of advantages thanks to many available amenities. In the arena of safety, some walk-in tubs offer additional built-in handholds to give users a source of stability when entering and exiting the tub. Walk-in tubs also offer incorporated seating that allows those with balance issues to sit comfortably during the bathing process. Other walk-in tubs provide special jets that offer hydrotherapy benefits to users.
Walk-in bathtubs are a tremendous benefit for those who live with mobility impairment, as they make the bathroom area safer and more enjoyable. To learn more about walk-in tubs, contact Safe Step Walk-In Tub Company at (800) 346-6616.