As we age and our mobility becomes more limited, it’s natural for us to require assistance with certain things. We may not be able to walk as far, lift such heavy loads, or perform more demanding physical tasks like tending to yard work or even climbing the stairs. Giving up any portion of your independence is difficult, but for most seniors, sacrificing their independence in their daily bathroom and hygiene routines is the hardest part. If you require assistance from another person to bathe or shower, giving up that privacy and independence can be a struggle. Luckily, there’s another option. Here’s how a walk-in bath can help you get some of your independence back.
Easy Entry and Exit
Entering and exiting a bathtub is the most difficult part for seniors with limited mobility. While you may not have to think twice about it when you’re younger, stepping over that high ledge requires balance, muscle strength, and joint stability—all things that many senior citizens can struggle with as they age. Merely entering and exiting a bathtub on their own can be a truly daunting task.
The primary feature of a walk-in tub is the small door on the side of the bathtub, which allows for easy entry and exit. Rather than having to balance on one leg to get into or out of the tub, the user can simply open the door and step over a lip that’s barely higher than the threshold of a door. This is much safer and allows the user to maintain their privacy and independence when they don’t have to ask for assistance to get in or out of the tub.
Safe, Comfortable Seat
The reclined position required for using a standard tub might be comfortable for those with easy mobility. However, it can be a difficult one to get out of for those who struggle with muscle weakness. Pulling yourself up from a reclined position requires the use of your core, legs, and arms; if these muscles are not as strong as they used to be, sitting up on your own can be difficult. And, in a tub full of water, that can be more than inconvenient—it can be downright dangerous.
Walk-in tubs have a comfortable, upright seat that is much easier for senior users to get on and off of on their own. They can lower themselves safely and easily onto the seat, and push themselves up off of it using the sides of the tub or a safety handle. It’s a safer, easier, and more independent way to bathe.
No Dunking to Wash
Finally, if you’re trying to wash your hair in the bathtub, how are you going to get it wet? In a traditional tub, you’d have to slide down and dunk your head in the water; this is even more difficult and dangerous than a simple reclined position for those who struggle with muscle weakness and mobility issues. Alternatively, you may be able to use a cup of some kind to dump water over your head, though this is much less efficient.
Most walk-in tubs are equipped with a hand-held sprayer that allows them to wet their hair and rinse out shampoo and conditioner without having to submerge themselves in the tub. With this convenient feature, you can regain the simple independence of being able to wash your hair without assistance.
While the loss of any amount of your independence is difficult, the loss of independence in your hygiene and daily care routines can be especially hard to swallow. Luckily, walk-in tubs for seniors can give that back to you, and help you live more independently for longer. To learn more about walk-in tubs, contact the Safe Step Walk-In Tub Company today.