Choose a Walk in Bathtub to Avoid Bathroom Accidents
As we all know, slips and falls occur more often when surfaces are wet. Choosing a walk in bathtub can help to eliminate many risk factors associated with bathroom falls and injuries.
Bathroom accidents account for nearly 70 percent of all home accidents. Because the bathroom floor is usually tile or some other hard surface, these accidents can lead to very painful and costly injuries.
Preventing injuries associated with bathroom accidents should be a top priority for you as a caregiver. Safety bathtubs, and more specifically, a walk in bathtub, can help you assure that your home is as safe as possible for your elderly loved one.
Getting in and out of a standard bathtub creates many obstacles to the elderly. As range of motion of their joints decreases as they age, simply lifting one leg over the side of the tub can be difficult enough. Add to that, now they are required to balance on one leg while they attempt to bring the other leg into the bathtub.
The hard surfaces of most tubs are slippery even when dry, and even more so when wet. After taking a relaxing, hot bath, getting out of the bathtub may be even more difficult than getting in. Muscles are relaxed and they now have to get to a standing position before even attempting to get out of the tub.
Understanding the complexity of physical movements required to get in and out of a standard tub can help you understand why so many elderly people experience accidents in the bathroom. Using a handicap bathtub can eliminate many of the obstacles of a standard tub.
The other distinct advantage of a walk in baths is the amount of independence it allows any elderly person. Bathing is a personal and private activity and the loss of independence associated with needing assistance to bath can be quite upsetting to the elderly.
Choosing a Walk In Bathtub
There are many styles of safety bathtubs to choose from and they come in all price ranges. Almost all styles have a built in seat with non-slip surfaces on both the floor of the bathtub and the seat itself.
The seat allows the elderly person to bath sitting up instead of lying down. This can help prevent dizziness when they return to a standing position and actually makes washing of body surfaces easier. The non slip surface is vital to prevent slips while getting in and out of the tub.
Some styles require a total remodel of your existing bathroom. The remodel and installation costs should be calculated in to the total cost if you are looking at a model that will require extensive installation.
There are companies that can refurbish your existing bathtub into a walk in bathtub by cutting into the side of the top and installing a door. This option may be much more cost effective than getting a stand alone, separate unit.
Some styles have built in air jets that massage tired muscles and stimulate circulation to the skin and joints. Massage by these jets can help prevent skin breakdown and ease the discomfort associated with arthritis and other age related pain. Most models come with built in grab bars and shower head attachments that are easy to reach and use.
Model prices vary substantially, from several hundred to several thousand dollars. There are a multitude of companies offering walk in bathtubs, so it is important to fully research your options before you purchase one.
I would personally recommend going to a price comparison website, such as Nextag, where you can compare models, features and prices of the walk in bathtubs available today.
You may also want to talk to a local contractor for an installation bid. Their prices may be much more reasonable than the company’s installation program.
Whichever model or style you choose; adding a walk in bathtub to your bathroom will decrease, but not totally eliminate, the risk of falls in the bathroom.
Prevention of injuries is important, but so is quality of life.
Most elderly people prefer bathing over showering and the opportunity to do this independently and safely can lead to a higher quality of life for a longer period of time.
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