There is absolutely no doubt that the bathroom can be a dangerous place – possibly the most dangerous place in the home – especially for the elderly.
One of the things that many elderly people have a problem with is getting in and out of the bathtub. Running the bath is fine with many people, but the act of stepping over the side and getting into the water is where some can slip or fall. Furthermore, getting up and out again is also a problem for those with bad backs, hip problems, or knees and legs that are no longer as good as they once were.
However, today there are bathtub modifications for the elderly which can help to overcome these problems.
Convert To A Shower
One answer is to convert the bathtub into a shower which can be done by cutting a piece out of the side of the bath – believe it or not – so that all is left is a small step. The user can then shower with either a fixed head shower, or better still a hand held shower. In addition, a seat can be added into the former bathtub allowing the user maximum comfort at the same time. Companies that provide this sort of service claim to be able to cut through any sort of material, whether the bath is made of acrylic, fibreglass, steel, or cast iron. Furthermore, the process only takes about half a day.
Another choice of bathtub modification for the elderly is to perform a similar operation, but after cutting through the side of the bath a watertight door is fitted. This converts an existing bathtub into a walk-in bathtub. Simply open the door, walk in to the bathtub, close the door, sit down, and run the taps. When one has finished bathing it is just a matter of letting out the water, opening the door and walking out again.
Of course, what many people would consider a better choice is to remove the existing bathtub and install a purpose built walk-in bathtub. These can be found in different shapes and sizes, including full length bathtubs, and you can also have a whirlpool walk-in bathtub if you so desire.
Another walk-in bathtub is a version which is shorter than a standard length bath but has a seat provided. This enables the user to sit comfortably while bathing. These baths are provided with fast flow taps so that the user can quickly be sitting in warm water. They also drain quickly, so that when bathing is completed the user will not get cold before being able to open the door and walk out of the bath.
Wheel Chair Access
Walk-in baths for the disabled also include a type that makes for easy access from a wheel chair. These are often installed in care homes where residents are severely disabled and unable to stand easily. Once again, these can be supplied with a whirlpool system, enabling the elderly to enjoy all the benefits of the type of bath they may have had when younger and fit. Yet another bath is available which is three inches higher than most UK walk-in baths and enables the user to walk in, sit down on the seat, and just use enough water for a soothing foot massage, fill to above the knees to ease aching joints in the warm water, or fill it to the top for a good soak.
Of course, it goes without saying that one needs to ensure safety around the rest of the bathroom, and one of the most important considerations is non-slip mats on the floor – whether it is tiled, lino, or some other material. Grab handles and rails are another issue. Many of the walk-in baths come provided with grab handles, but there are also types on the market which include grab handles with suction pads which can be moved around the room as required.