According to a recent study published by the National Institute of Aging (NIA), 80% of accidents among seniors occur in the bathroom, with over 1 in 3 seniors suffering a fall every year. Manoeuvring around slippery surfaces can be hazardous for any individual, and is an even greater challenge for those with compromised mobility and balance. Needless to say, when it comes to designing a senior-friendly bathroom, one of the biggest difficulties is creating the right environment for safe transfers in and out of tubs and showers.
Standard bathing facilities are often unsuitable for seniors, as their sides may be too high for everyday use. Luckily, there are a number of walk-in tubs and showers available that are designed to reduce the risk of falls and facilitate access for the elderly or disabled.
Choosing the right shower aid for your senior-friendly bathroom depends on a number of factors, including home design, age, balance, and personal preferences. In order to help you decide which bathroom aid is the right option for you, we’ve put together this guide to four of the most popular walk-in tubs and showers currently on the market.
Walk-in tubs and showers are senior-friendly bathroom installations that are designed to help seniors enter and exit bathtubs and showers safely. There are a number of walk-in tubs and shower on the market, and most of them can be adjusted or custom fitted to the dimensions of your bathroom. Walk-in tubs take up the same amount of space as standard bathtubs, so most of the time, installing a handicap tub in your senior-friendly bathroom is a simple process.
Therapeutically speaking, walk-in tubs and showers are a big step up from standard bathing facilities. Designed with outward and inward-swinging doors that open at waist-level, walk-in tubs set the bar for senior bathroom accessibility and safety. Exiting and entering bathroom facilities without assistance from a caregiver can help foster independence, self-care, and confidence in seniors.
Not only are walk-in tubs easier and safer to get into, but their large capacities and built-in hydro-jet technology make them perfect for massaging aching limbs and soothing deep muscle pains. Bathing is an important part of elderly hygiene and well-being, and taking regular showers can help release toxins, eliminate body odor, and prevent skin infections such as pressure sores, which are common among full-time wheelchair users. Hot water baths are also noted to provide relief from a wide variety of ailments, such as anxiety, arthritis, chest congestion, lower back pain, diabetes, and even poor circulation.
See below for more information on two popular walk-in tubs currently on the market.
Walk-In Tubs: ADL Spa
Ergonomically designed and constructed from lightweight, durable materials, the ADL Spa promotes good posture and positive bathing habits. Its built-in seat will reduce back and knee pain caused by bathing in an upright position, and can be custom designed to accommodate all kinds of users.
The tub’s highly accessible ground-level step-over curb serves as a safe entryway for seniors and those with reduced mobility, and is complete with an automatic safety latch and grab bars for additional control and support when entering and exiting the tub. The tub’s built-in seat and floor are covered with a non-slip finish which is designed to improve traction and control on slippery surfaces.
If you’re in the market for a high-quality gelcoat walk-in bathtub, the ADL Spa represents the perfect addition to your senior-friendly bathroom. Gelcoat walk-in tubs are known for their strength and durability and are easy to service and maintain in top condition. The ADL Spa makes for a highly dependable bathroom aid, and continues to set the standard for senior bathing safety and performance.
Liberty Walk-In Tub
One of the most popular walk-in soaker tubs on the market, the Liberty Walk-In Tub is specially designed to cater to the needs of those who require extra door width for everyday functionality. This sturdy, long-lasting walk-in bathtub comes with a waste/overflow and safety assist bar, a flip-up seat, and a number of other accessories, and is a great option for your senior-friendly bathroom. Spacious and comfortable for all body sizes, this walk-in tub features an outward-swinging waterproof door. Despite its size, this walk-in tub is relatively compact and suited for use in tight spaces with limited access.
The Liberty Walk-In Tub can be mounted on any type of surface and its durable gelcoat body is covered in a anti-rust, easy-to-clean anti-chipping finish. The tub’s smoothwall finish and one-piece design are guarantees for safety and security, and makes this product the perfect option for those who are looking for a quick yet long-lasting solution to all their daily bathing requirements.
Walk-in showers are the perfect bathroom bathing aid for those with limited space or strong mobility. Most handicap showers come with a foldable seat which allows users to sit down or bathe standing up depending on the on their preference. Barrier free showers are easy to install, and can be retrofitted to most standard bathroom configurations, including existing bathtubs and showers. These bathroom aids feature a range of additional accessories and features, including hand-held shower heads, easy-to-reach controls, slip-free soap dishes and grab bars for additional security.
Here are two of the most popular walk-in showers currently available on the market.
Best Bath – 5XRS
Best Bath’s 5XRS is a molded, five-piece gelcoat/fiberglass walk-in shower. One of the top handicap bathroom facilities on the market, the 5XRS is designed to provide the perfect hygiene and therapy solution for the elderly. Available in various curb heights, the 5XRS 0.75 inch beveled threshold is high enough to prevent leakage yet low enough to facilitate easy show transfers for seniors. Perfect for your senior-friendly bathroom, this walk-in shower is designed to create a safe bathing experience for the elderly and is decked out with a range of features, including chrome-finished grab bars, a folding seat, and a rubber water stopper kit.
The shower also features a spacious interior with a center drain and the plumbing on the right-hand side, which makes maneuvering within the compact shower pan relatively simple. Constructed from premium fiberglass, the 5XRS’s interior boasts a highly durable “Real Tile” finish with plywood backing. Available in various colours, the 5XRS is highly adjustable and can be custom configured to suit your individual needs.
Best Bath Corner Unit
The Best Bath Corner Unit is fiberglass-made three-piece walk-in shower featuring a low 0.75” threshold. Fitted with a center drain, 8” tile backing, plywood framing, and a ultra-durable polyester gelcoat finish, this walk-in shower boasts outstanding strength and performance. This shower is designed for use in corners and other confined areas, and is ideal for those who dislike bathing in fully enclosed spaces.
All accessories are priced separately, so be sure to contact a trained professional for more information on formats and pricing. Foldable seats are available in a number of sizes ranging anywhere from 22” x 16” to 41“ x 16”, and come with a reinforced stainless steel friction hinges which give these accessories a loading capacity of up to 250 lbs. The seats come in phenolic and padded Naugahyde versions, and can be mounted at different heights to accommodate all kinds of users. The Best Bath Corner Unit also packs a mildew and fungus-resistant three layered vinyl curtain which is held securely in place by a 20 gauge polished stainless steel curtain rod.
For more information on walk-in tubs, showers, and other bathroom accessibility aids, feel free to contact our team of trained caregiver professionals. Individual needs may vary according to the layout of your home and other factors, so do not hesitate to get in touch for a free in-home consultation.