Seniors want to maintain their independence while safely living in their home, which is completely understandable. However, many areas within the home pose safety concerns. Primarily, the bathroom. As you get older, showering daily becomes a major concern, as most falls happen in the bathroom. Thankfully, there are ways to make the home safer, allowing seniors to maintain their independence while safely going through their daily bathroom routine. Take a look at a few bathroom safety options, including walk-in bathtubs, which lead the way in safety and convenience.
How Walk-In Bathtubs Improve Safety
Walk-in tubs consist of four walls approximately 3-1/2 feet tall. One wall supports a door that swings into the tub, which consists of a single seat in front of hot-and-cold water faucets. As you sit and secure the door, fill the tub with water until you’re partially submerged.
For seniors, this bathing option is the safest of all choices in the marketplace today. You’re seated for the entire bathing process. As a result, falling is almost impossible. Indeed, modern walk-in bathtubs have comfortable features for every bather, such as heated seats and grab bars.
By installing this tub in a senior’s home, he or she can maintain their independence for many years. Certainly, other family members can enjoy the tub, too. It’s reminiscent of a hot tub design.
Everyday Shower/Tub Combinations
Most homes built in the past few decades will include at least one shower/tub combination. Essentially, you stand in the tub to shower or sit back for a bath. Although this dual system works well for young families, there are risks for seniors.
To enter the shower/tub combination, you lift your legs over a 14- to 16-inch edge. Once inside the tub, the floor can be slick unless anti-slip mats or other safety measures are in place. This entire scenario is risky for seniors who are prone to falling.
Alternatively, consider walk-in tubs. Seniors only lift their legs a few inches over the bottom edge and sit right down. Walk-in bathtubs offer daily bathing options without the concern about injuries.
Integrated Shower Seats
An alternative to walk-in tubs might be shower seats built into an existing shower. For example, contractors can replace shower walls with new materials that incorporate a seat shape. Another option can include a flip-down seat bolted onto the wall. These seats create flexibility for a busy household where the senior shares a bathroom with a younger relative.
Although integrated shower seats are helpful, they aren’t as safe as walk-in bathtubs. Seniors can still slip on the shower floor before reaching the seat, for instance.
Removable Shower Seats
A budget-friendly option for a senior’s bathroom is a removable shower seat. These products come in many shapes and sizes, such as with or without backs. Ideally, they’ll have nonskid rubber feet, a metal frame and plastic seats. Shower seats must be lightweight for transport while remaining easy to clean.
In the end, upgrade this bathroom option as quickly as possible. These seats tend to shift and can be uncomfortable. Ultimately, choose walk-in bathtubs for the safest bathing sessions.
Lastly, families might consider converting a shower/tub combination into a walk-in shower. With this solution, seniors step into the shower with almost no edge height to worry about. In short, the bathing area is a waterproof room with a drain on the floor.
With grab bars installed in and around the shower, this bathroom design is a step in the right direction for seniors. However, it’s not as safe as walk-in tubs. For example, seniors must stand for the entire bathing period in a shower. If dizziness sets in, accidents can occur. Walk-in tubs keep the person comfortable in a seated position for the entire time.