With time, the body is bound to lose a lot of its strength and flexibility due to wear and tear over the years. That’s why aging seniors who don’t exercise on a regular basis eventually require assistance to fulfill basic daily tasks like bathing, walking, and moving in general. The reason for this is the muscles begin to atrophy as we age, and without taking part in cardiovascular exercises, the muscles begin to fill up with fat and lipofuscin, causing the body to lose its tone and strength.
On top of all that, seniors with this problem eventually reach a point where they need outside assistance from a relative or caregiver to execute simple tasks which makes them feel inadequate and lacking in their self-esteem. While someone is always there to give a helping hand, research has shown that seniors are happiest when they’re independent and able to carry out their own routines.
Traditional bathtubs, for example, have a high entrance threshold that requires a lot of straining and effort on the part of older seniors, which turns what is supposed to be a relaxing and enjoyable pass time into a nightmare.
Luckily, bathing technology today has an answer to mobility limitations brought about by aging. The walk-in tub is an effective and comfortable alternative when compared to regular bathtubs due to its groundbreaking safety, therapeutic, and design features.
Safety Features of Walk-In-Tubs
These are some of the safety design features you can expect from the most basic walk-in tub:
- A low-threshold entrance: A cut-out from the tub’s rim is replaced with a leak-proof door to eliminate the need for climbing over high walls.
- ADA compliant seat: Around 17″ high, depending on the model, the seat is made to be slip-resistant, contoured, and comfortable on the skin with a slightly reclined backrest.
- Non-slip floor: The floor of the tub is textured to some degree to provide more than enough traction and prevent slipping accidents prominent amongst seniors.
- Grab bars: Built-in with an option to mount more safety elements on the wall, the safety grab bars constitute an important part of all walk-in tub designs and will always be within arm’s reach.
- Wheelchair-accessible: Some veterans and seniors alike can only leave a seat temporarily if there’s another one waiting for them. Wheelchair-accessible walk-in tubs ensure your independence if you’re able to pull yourself up from the grab bars and slide on from seat-to-seat sideways.
- Safe enclosure: Keeping everything tight without feeling boxed in is what makes these versatile vessels capable of housing seniors in a safe bathing environment.
The therapeutic benefits of water have been known to us since the days of Ancient Greece. Immersing the body in warm water does wonders in enhancing its range of motion, alleviating it from any pain, and preparing seniors for the day ahead or when it’s time for a good night’s sleep.
The therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy include:
- Increased strength
- Increased flexibility
- Better balance
- Better mindset
Costs of Walk-In-Tubs
With so many types currently on the market, you’ll always be able to find something that can put a smile on your older relative’s face for Christmas.
Here is a range of costs along with their corresponding range of features that you could find at your local Home Depot:
- Traditional bathtub to walk-in tub conversion ~ $900 – $1,200
- Standard soaker ~ $1,000 – $2,000
- Air bath or whirlpool upgrade ~ $1,800 – $3,500
- Dual-therapy with chromatherapy and aromatherapy models ~ $3,000 – $5,000
- Wheelchair-accessible models ~ +5,000