Choosing The Right Bathtub For The Elderly

Submitted by: Michael L Levy

Choosing a bathtub for your home can be a little more complicated if you have elderly or disabled family members. Elderly or handicapped people have diminished motor abilities and find it difficult to access regular bathtubs. Though there are a variety of styles to choose from, choosing ADA compliant bathtubs make your bathroom safer. Here are some things you should keep in mind while selecting bathtubs for elderly or physically handicapped family members. Also, consider adding accessories to the bathtub for added safety and an independent bathing experience.

Things to keep in mind while choosing a bathtub

Functionality- The functionality of a bathtub is not restricted to bathing. If you want to invest in a bathtub that has a whirlpool system for relaxation, consider how often you will use this feature before buying the bathtub. But when choosing bathtubs for elderly people, it is best to keep it simple. Most of the complicated features cannot be independently operated by them and require assistance. Go for ADA compliant bathtubs designed for ease of use and facilitating the user privacy and independent bathing.

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Tub size- A bathtub that has enough space for the user to move freely in and out is recommended. A narrow bathtub might help you save water but a physically challenged individual will find it tough to move around in such a tub. Bumping into the walls of the tub or bath accessories can result in injuries, which can be avoided by using a more spacious bathtub. Most bathtubs for the elderly are the spacious walk-in types. While they are built for people confined to a wheelchair, they can also be installed in bathrooms, which are used exclusively by the aged or physically-challenged members in your house.

Design Deep walk-in bathtubs with non-slip surfaces are the best options for those with mobility issues. Go for light colored bathtubs, which reflect light as opposed to darker shades. Such bathtubs make it easier for the elderly to see clearly into the depths of the tub.

Material used Purchase a tub made of a strong, durable material and one that can support the weight of a person easily. It is best to go for bathtubs made of acrylic or gel coat fiberglass. Such bathtubs are sturdy, durable and safe.

Add accessories to make the bathtub safer

If you cannot afford to buy a new bathtub, then you can make your existing bathtub safer by adding safety-enhancing accessories to it. Things such as grab rails and seating can be added to minimize the risk of slipping and falling. Shower curtains are also suggested to keep the water from trickling onto the floor, which is a major cause for slips. Fix faucets and controls that can be operated with ease. There are different handicap-accessible bathroom accessories available in the market. Buy those that can make the bathing experience less of a struggle for family members with mobility issues.

When you buy ADA compliant bathtubs, make sure you consult with the concerned family member(s) first to understand their needs. With the right bathtub design and accessories, aged or physically challenged individuals can enjoy a comfortable bathing experience.

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