If you or a family member is in need of walk-in baths, you will want some guidelines for making the best choice when choosing a disability friendly bath. There are many types and brands of walk-in baths on the market today with a variety of guarantees. To get the best product for your needs you should take some time, evaluate your needs, and review guidelines for making this choice.
Choosing the best Walk-in Baths
How do you go about choosing the right walk-in bath for your needs or a loved one’s needs? Someone who needs and can use a walk-in bath usually has mobility issues but is mobile enough to walk into the bath and sit on the seat and shower or bath themselves. If the person’s mobility is less than this, they need to consider a different type of bath assistance such as a lift.
- Analysis of your level of mobility: Do you need leg raising assistance or a lift? If so a different type of bathtub should be chosen. If not the walk-in bath is the best option.
- Plan for privacy, hygiene and maximum independence. Chose a walk-in that has a seat at the right height so you will to be comfortable. Choose fixtures that are close enough to operate the bath on your own without any assistance. Make sure that soaps, cosmetics and towels can be easily accessible.
The decision on what type of bath to choose will be dictated by your level of mobility. There are four basic types of baths you can choose from.
- Walk-in bath as mentioned above requires some mobility. You need to be able to walk into the bathtub and be seated.
- Powered seat assistance only is a regular bathtub with a powered seat that you can sit on at standing height and then be lowered into the water. The reverse is true for getting out of the tub. The power seat will bring you back to standing level where you can then walk out of the bathtub. This requires mobility to get onto the powered seat.
- There is a regular bathtub with powered assistance including transfer from a wheel chair. These types of baths can be used with or without a caregiver to assist. You will need good upper body strength and mobility to complete the transfer.
- With some types of powered assistance you will have help in raising your legs. The powered leg raiser on the bath moves your legs over the side of the tub.
If you have enough mobility to walk into the bath then the walk-in bath with seat is your best option. This offers the most independence and privacy. The advantage of a walk-in bathtub/shower is that you don’t have to sit on the bottom of the bathtub. You can sit on the seat and shower or fill the bathtub.
You will need to choose between the sizes, the features, the type of opening and the materials used to make the bath. Size and shape is important, as you want to be sure there is enough room to be comfortable.
Spend some time thinking about the features you need and want. Do you want a bath and a shower? Would a seat work well for you? Do you want jets in your bath? How about handrails and / or a handheld shower or detachable head? Take your time to consider the options so that you purchase the bath right for you.