Pros & Cons of Adding a Walk-in Tub for Seniors
The Pros of Walk-in Tubs and Showers for Seniors
To kick this off let’s begin with the good stuff – the pros and benefits of modern and specially-designed walk-in tubs and showers for seniors. Honestly though, they’re not just seniors, but folks with mobility issues and physical challenges as well.
Speaking of which…
Accommodating Mobility Challenges: By far most users of walk-in tubs and showers are seniors who can’t afford or risk a fall, and individuals with serious limits to their mobility – for example those in a wheelchair. Walk-in tubs basically solve the problem.
The Hydrotherapeutic Benefits: Essentially, walk-in tubs and showers are like having your own hydrotherapy station in the home. They sport precision whirlpool jets (in the case of the tubs) that can massage the musculature from the upper back all the way down to the feet. Walk-in showers will typically have long specialized shower nozzles/heads.
Boosting Hygiene & Habits: Because conventional bathtubs and showers can be absolute nightmares to the risk groups we’ve mentioned above, they’ll avoid them! And rightly so. No different than someone in a wheelchair should avoid taking the stairs. Once they have access to proper cleaning facilities, their hygiene and hygiene habits dramatically improve.
The Features of Modern Walk-in Tubs: Along with whirlpool jets and long-specialized hoses, walk-in tubs and showers for seniors and mobility-challenged people come STACKED with tons of features. Many are built-in, while there are plenty of extras and accessories available as well.
Let’s take a look at a real example of a walk-in shower from our gallery of successful projects here in the Chicagoland and SE Wisconsin area.
- Notice the extremely low entry barrier. Easy to walk or roll into.
- The grab bar is placed for sitting down and getting up off the secure seat.
- Storage is functional, both low and high, and plentiful.
- The encasing is extremely strong, durable, and safe with outside handle and indoor grip.
- They didn’t opt for a long showerhead, but it’s a great example of a walk-in shower.
Plus, the shower itself is made of gorgeous cultured stone rather than cheap, boring, and eye-blisteringly white acrylic. We believe acrylic is a great material in bathrooms, just not ideal for walk-in tubs and showers for seniors in every situation.
The Cons of Walk-in Tubs and Showers for Seniors
Walk-in tubs in particular are designed so you must get in them, shut and latch the door properly, then fill the bath. You’re not supposed to fill them, then have the individual try and climb in. That defeats the purpose. Most cons revolve around this design.
Filling & Draining: With a regular bathtub you can get the water going then do other things until it’s as full as you’d like. Filling isn’t going to happen super-quickly, but they do come with quick-drain functionality.
Getting Used to Water Controls: Again, you have to sit in the walk-in tub and THEN get the water going. This means there could be a risk of getting hit with extra hot or cold water. Another risk is the water may be too hot, but the individual’s body gets quickly acclimated (and they may not feel the heat in lower extremities as well as they should)!
Overall Costs – Labor & Install: The costs associated with the installation of walk-in tubs varies from state to state and because of other variables. For America’s Bath, however, we can complete bathtub replacements and full tub-to-shower conversion in the Chicagoland and SE Wisconsin areas in record time.
Potential Leaking & Flooding: Arguably the #1 risk with the walk-in tubs is flooding. Whether it’s a manufacturer defect, the tub just getting older and breaking down, or the door not being latched properly, all 50 gallons could rush out or leak over time. Flooding isn’t as big of a risk with walk-in showers for obvious reasons.
Hopefully this helps broaden your mental horizons when it comes to these products.
Are they perfect? No.
Can they become a part of a perfect bathroom design? Sure!
Helping folks like you design bathrooms around Aging in Place solutions like walk-in tubs and showers for seniors is what we specialize in. It’s our calling.
In The Chicagoland or SE Wisconsin Areas?
If you’re within our Service Areas and ready to move forward with a walk-in bathtub or shower, give America’s Bath a call. We’ll send one of our well-trained, professional consultants to your home – no sales pressure involved whatsoever – to show you samples, provide you with all the data you need, and an iron-clad quote from us based on your overall needs.