A refreshing bath is something that everyone desires. While there are regular walk-in bath tubs that are designed for use by the general public, the ones with mobility issues are generally left behind these bathtubs are not accessible enough for them to use comfortably. However, the consoling fact is that now specially designed accessible walk-in bath tubs are available in the market. People who have limited mobility or who suffer from painful injuries can now enjoy the refreshing experience of bath tubs without having to worry about slipping and falling.
The difference between the accessible and traditional walk-in bath tubs is, of course, the added element of accessibility. While the latter are fixed at a higher level and require a user to step over the side in order to enter, the accessible ones are designed with a side door for easier access. These bath tubs are fixed at the floor level with the controls easily reachable and the floor made textured to avoid any slipping. Grab rails are attached in addition to provide support while sitting down and getting up.
The accessible walk-in bathtubs also come in luxury makes with special features such as a jetted whirlpool, massaging water controls, neck rest, a built-in seat and a heater. These not only meet the special mobility requirements of handicaps but also provide an opportunity for a great bathing experience.
Following are some guidelines to keep in mind while selecting and fixing an accessible walk-in bath tub so as to ensure safety and comfort for regular use:
The accessible bathroom needs to be designed in such a way that there is ample space for a wheelchair or walker to move around with ease. It is best to place the tub in an area where it isn’t too difficult for a user to reach. If a traditional bathroom is being remodeled, it will be best to fit the accessible walk-in bathtub in the place of the existing bath tub to reduce remodeling expenses.
While designing an accessible bathroom, one essential thing to keep in mind is to avoid steps to ensure smooth wheelchair or walker movement.
- Choice of bath tub:
While there are a number of features that might make bath tubs attractive, the first priority while making a choice is the safety. It is important to ensure that the surface of the bathtub is slip free. Once that has been ensured, other features like the water controls, jets, heaters, etc. can be considered depending on the cost and affordability.
- Installation of grab bars:
While grab bars often become a need even in traditional bath rooms, they are necessary in the design of accessible bath rooms. They need to be secure and strong to provide stability and support when needed. They are especially needed if the bathrooms are designed with walk-in tubs because sitting down and getting up from a bath-tub will require some effort even generally, it becomes all the more difficult for people who have mobility problems. It is important to mention here that towel hangers cannot be used in place of grab bars as they are not very safe and there is always a chance of injury in case they come lose because of the force.
While the market has become more open and accommodating for those with limited mobility and the physically handicapped, it is necessary that these elements are made use of with utmost care and sensibility. Once the necessary guidelines are met and the necessary needs fulfilled to ensure safety, there should only be more added to make the bathing experience a fun and refreshing one.