Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Three Bathtub Replacements for Senior Safety

My goal is to modify bathrooms to make them safe and accessible for seniors.  So I love to see a spacious bathroom with a 60”x 60” turning radius for a senior who is, or may one day be, moving around in a wheel chair.  But most bathrooms are just not big enough.

I’ve noticed, however, that there’s usually a bath, about 60” x 30,” that seniors no longer use.  They’re legitimately scared to climb over the edge to get in and out of it, knowing that one misstep can lead to a life-changing fall. Seniors want to know what they can do with that space to make it usable.

Here are three practical ideas for bathtub replacements.
1. The Walk-In-Bathtub

Some walk-in bathtubs fit into the same 30” x 60” footprint squandered by the obsolete bathtub.  There are also narrower, shorter models, 28” x 48”, which use a panel to fill in the gap, keeping remodeling costs to a minimum.   Not only does the walk-in bath tub provide a warm, relaxing, and luxurious in-home-spa experience, it’s also safe, accessible, therapeutic, and health-promoting.

The senior no longer has to clamber precariously over the edge of the tub. They open the door and walk right in. Also, instead of sitting on the bottom of the bath, where getting up and down might be challenging, the senior can relax on the built-in, 17” high seat.

2. The Tub Cut

Some seniors, however, may not be ready to say goodbye to the old bathtub. Or maybe they’re working with a tighter budget. These folks can transform their existing tub into a walk-in tub and walk-in shower with a Safeway Safety Step tub-cut.  A bathroom remodeling company will cut an opening in the bath-tub’s wall and add an insert that reduces the step into the tub by almost 9 inches. Then, to make it an accessible bath, they can install an optional water-tight door.

3. The Seated Shower

In a recent post I mentioned the Seated Shower from American Standard which fits into the same space as the standard bathtub. It comes with a full-sized chair that’s perfect for anyone unable to stand, or fearful of standing, in the shower.  Because it’s open on one side with a low 3” threshold, a senior can get in and out with ease.  And just to make sure everyone is safe, there’s a built-in wrap-around grab bar.

Have you recommended any of these products to people you care for?  Tell us about your experience.

Goodbye for now….George Flowers

P.S.  If you live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, please contact us for a free in-home consultation—we’ll let you know if your loved one is safe and what we recommend.  Or call us now at 1-877-426-8466.

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