The goal of converting or fixing your current bathtub is to make it more accessible to the point where a senior whose mobility is limited by normal environmental settings.
Making your unit behave more like a walk-in tub should be your guide for a safe and accessible final product. Let’s look at the safety features of walk-in tubs and find out how you can emulate them.
The safety features of walk in tubs:
- Low step-in height (0-7″)
- Watertight door
- Safety grab bars
- Non-slip floor and seat
With a combination of a conversion kits and other enhancements, your existing bathtub can be transformed to one that centers around safety using the suggestions made below.
- Conversion Kit
Found with companies like Safety Bath, a door insert kit can be used to replace a wall’s cut-out with a watertight door. This achieves an entrance threshold of 9″ to 12″ lower than what was originally in place, eliminating the chances of slip-and-fall accidents predominant among aging seniors.
- Safety Grab Bars
Although traditional bathtubs do have built-in grab bars already situated, you can add ones of your own that are easier to reach. You can mount a few on near-by walls as they’re easy to install and very affordable. Just avoid the ones with suction cups because they can be the cause of many hazardous situations – stick to what is known to work.
If the walls are too far apart and impractical to utilize, you can buy a quality adjustable grab bar safety rail for an average of 30 bucks – no holes in the walls, extremely useful, and safe.
- Wheelchair Access
Making your shower stall easy to access with a wheelchair is easy – you just add a ramp and you’re ready to go. Your bathtub, on the other hand, will either require a transfer bench or seat, or a special ramp.
You can, of course, combine different safety components to build a set-up you’re most comfortable with. Let’s go over these individually for you to make an informed decision.
- A transfer bench or seat can be in the form of a sliding swivel seat or a fixed seat, usually supported by four leveling legs or clamps that attach firmly to the rims. The transfer bench or seat to the price range of $50-$300.
- AmeriGlide’s Conversion Kit involves a door insert much like Safety Bath’s only it incorporates a removable door and ramp for wheelchair-bound seniors and veterans to enter the tub with ease.
- Bath lift chairs enable you to slide on from seat to seat without straining your muscles to get up and sit down. With the push of a button, the chair descends and lifts at your convenience, making soaking in your own bathtub an effortless possibility.
- Mobile seats work almost identically to bath lift chairs only they can climb in and out of the tub using a motorized rotational bar on the tub’s rim. These are by far the most helpful seat for handicapped persons of age and they can set you back at least $2,000.
- Non-Slip Surfaces
Once you find the upgrades and add-ons that you’re most definitely going to be using for your unit, you can combine them accordingly so you never should lose your bathing independence ever again.