Mums (and dads) of a certain age need a little extra help getting around their homes, and especially, the bathroom.
It may be time for you to consider thinking of your mum in a different way, by recognizing that mums (and dads) of a certain age need a little extra help getting around their homes, and especially, the bathroom. Considering it’s where even the most well-abled of us is likely to have an accident, it’s no surprise most in-home falls happen in the bathroom. Slippery surfaces plus some physical or mobility challenges almost always equals trouble. So for all you good sons and daughters, here’s a primer on Accessible, or Walk-In Baths.
Walk-In Baths – What to Look For
One of the best adjustments you can make to a bathroom to help seniors avoid slipping or falling issues is a walk-in bath, which are baths that allow a person to enter the tub without climbing over the side by virtue of a self-sealing door that extends to near ground level. These handy bathroom add-ons can allow Mum, Dad, Aunt or Uncle to stay in their home longer and enjoy their lives, without needing someone — you? — to check on them as regularly. Accessible or Walk-in baths also provide welcome relief from aches and pains, and can be relatively simple to add to an existing bathroom.
Consider the following options:
Standard Soaker Baths
The basic, covers-the-bases walk-in bath. These normally hold about 78 gallons of water (unoccupied; a standard tub holds about 40 gallons) at generally 30 inches across. With a seat and a few grab bars included, this is a great choice for the bather accustomed to getting in and out without a lot of fuss.
If you want to take the at-home spa experience up a notch, this is the bath style for you. Choose from models with lots of jets, or just a few, and since most of these come standard with fast-fill and fast-drain options, you’re in and out as quickly as possible. You can also find these models with additional features like a detachable hand shower, and extra-low step in to complete the luxury experience.
Wheelchair Accessible Tubs
If you need to accommodate a loved one with a specific mobility issue, these styles typically provide a larger door opening, making entering and exiting much easier. This is also a good option to consider if your aging loved one could have increasing mobility issues in the future.
Even if you don’t install a walk-in bath (installation can usually be done in a day), here are features you can add to your existing bath to make Mum feel a bit more secure.
Crucial additions for your elderly mum. They should be sturdy and in a convenient, reachable location when entering and exiting the bath.
Think about getting your mum a bath with a floor and seating area that has textured surfaces to help maintain grip and stability while bathing.
Fast- Fill, and Fast-Drain Features
Fast-fill and fast-drain options makes the bathing process more enjoyable (not to mention, quicker.) These are generally worth the peace of mind to help prevent an over-eager bather from injury or accident.