A walk-in bathtub is considered a prime solution to bathroom safety concerns for the elderly and the handicapped. It is generally believed to be the safest way to allow people to bathe with minimal risk of falls or other injuries.
Before you invest in a walk-in bathtub, however, keep the following considerations in mind. Most people love their walk-in bathtubs, but you want to be sure before you have one installed.
- Bathtub entrance – The entrance to the bathtub is located on the side of the tub. There is simply no way you can fill up the bathtub until you are seated inside with the hinged door closed. You will then have to wait several minutes until the tub fills. After your bath, you will need to drain the water before you can open the door and get out. Some people find this experience to be cumbersome and uncomfortable.
- Safety concerns inside the walk-in bathtub – Walk-in tubs are generally safer—but with a few exceptions. If you are dependent on a walker for mobility, getting in and out of the walk-in bathtub could be problematic. In the event of a medical emergency, it could take a while to drain the tub and get the user out.
- Caregiver assistance – It may be difficult for your caregiver to assist you while you are inside your walk-in bathtub. The bathtub’s high walls, narrow doorway, and cramped space can be very hard to navigate. Your caregiver will have to reach out to you over the high walls of the bathtub and may find it difficult and awkward to assist you in getting out of the tub. If you ever need assistance from an emergency medical worker, they will have a hard time getting you out of the tub and onto a gurney.
Walk-in bathtubs may work fine for people who can enter without assistance, but in certain cases, they can cause more problems than solutions. Visit a bathroom remodel center to find out if a walk-in tub would be right for you.