Bath lifts are often a popular choice for people who find a bath difficult to use. They are inexpensive and simple compared to installing a new bathroom designed around an end user’s requirements. However, they are often not suitable for everyone.
The main advantage is that they provide assistance with getting up and down in the bath, but they provide no assistance with getting over the threshold of the bath. The user has to balance on the edge of the bath and lift their legs over the side of the bath. Due to this they suit people who still have very good mobility and only need assistance with getting up and down in the bath.
Be careful to ensure a bath lift meets all of the needs of the person who will use it. Where it is not suitable, a walk-in bath, easy access shower or wet room may be more appropriate as it will provide a more comprehensive solution.
Different types of bath lift are available. Inflatable bath lifts will lower the bather all the way to the bottom of the bath, but the air filled platform may be difficult to balance on when raising and lowering. When not required they are easily removed from the bath.
Another option, which is also removable when not needed, is a chair type bath lift, such as the Bellavita. A bath chair will lower the bather on a solid platform with a back rest. It will typically stand proud of the bottom of the bath by about 50mm (2 inches).
A more permanent solution is a belt type bath lift, fitted to the wall with secure fixing screws, such as the Relaxa or Molly Bather. The lift belt is strong and will lower the bather all the way to the bottom of the bath. However, the motor only lowers on one side requiring the user to shuffle along the belt as it raises and lowers, which may not be comfortable for everyone.
When people first experience problems with accessing the bath they may find a bath lift a tempting proposition, but they must think carefully about its suitability. It will only help with getting up and down in the bath. Often a bath lift is a quick fix, stop gap solution and is unsuitable for situations where mobility is becoming more difficult over the long term.
In comparison, a walk-in bath is a more expensive solution, but quite often much more suitable than a bath lift. A walk-in bath reduces the step into the bath to around 20.5mm – 23mm (8 – 9 inches).
Walk-in baths offer better assistance getting up and down. For example a sit in tub like the Classic offers a moulded seat at a convenient level. Other full length walk-in baths, such as the Aventis, have optional power lift seats that provide a more comfortable lift experience compared to a bath lift.
If you would like to try out examples of bath lifts and walk-in baths, please feel free to get in touch with Absolute Mobility on 0800 29 22 110. We will be happy to schedule an appointment at our showroom in Henley-on-Thames, or to organise a visit to your home from our mobile showroom.24 May,2017