Anyone who now finds standard baths awkward to use are running the risk of finding themselves unable to get out of a bath, a very unpleasant and distressing experience for anyone who has been through it. Slips, falls and the injuries that arise can be debilitating and life changing if serious. A walk-in bath is the ideal solution, as it helps improve the bathing experience for someone who finds using a standard bath difficult.
When deciding if a walk-in bath is suitable or not, keep in mind that although the walk-in bath reduces the threshold to step over, it does not eliminate it. A walk-in bath is suitable for people who can manage a step of around 8-9 inches (200-230mm), roughly the height of a step on a flight of stairs.
Other important considerations include:
Will the person be able to reach and operate taps and plugs?
Once safely in the bath people will need to be able to reach the taps and plugs in order to operate the bath, and it is important to give consideration to this aspect of the bather’s mobility. The Luxor walk-in bath has an option of touch control button taps so the bather can easily fill the bath from a seated position before lowering the power belt all the way to the bottom of the bath and enjoying a long soak. People who find it difficult to sit upright or maintain good balance may prefer a bath like the Aventis, which provides a seat with a back rest for added support.
Will a progressive condition make mobility more difficult over time?
Where people have conditions or mobility that is likely to become worse as time goes by a walk-in bath is not suitable. Anyone with a progressive condition may be able to get along with a walk-in bath now, but as their mobility becomes worse they may find themselves having the same difficulties with the walk-in bath as a standard bath. In these cases a low level or level access shower or wet room will be much more suitable as it eliminates the step height altogether and allows shower seats, shower units and grab rails to be placed to suit an individual’s needs.
What space is available for a walk-in bath?
One concern people may have when considering a walk-in bath is whether it will fit in the bathroom or not. Walk-in baths are made to the same standard length/width as regular baths, so will fit into the same spot as an existing bath. A competent fitting service will ensure the walk-in bath will fit through the doors and hallways before fitting.
Walk-in baths are also available in several different types. Full length walk-in baths are the same as standard full length baths (ie 1500mm – 1700mm long), with the addition of a door for easy access. Once you step in and close the door you can fill a bath like the Cotswold and sit down and recline for a long deep soak, just as you would in the regular bath you know and love.
Also available are the short length, sit in, tub style walk-in baths like the Original and Classic. They have a walk-in door for easy access and a moulded seat so the bather can sit comfortably in the seated position. The seat makes it easier to sit down and get up and reach the taps and plugs as the user does not have so far to stretch.
Are showering facilities also required?
Full length walk-in shower baths, like the Calypso, are also known as P-shape walk-in baths, and are the same as standard shower baths, with the addition of the walk-in door for easy access. Power lifts are also available for some of these baths and can be seen on the Paragon and Louisiana. The seat will help people who require assistance getting up and down once in the bath, just as on the full length walk-in baths.
Whether further assistance is required once in the bath?
If assistance is required to get up and down once in the bath, a full length walk-in bath with a power seat will be more suitable as it will make the bathing experience safer – take a look at the Cambridge. The manufacturers lift seat cannot be added at a later date, so be sure to order one if required.
Is it possible to try before you buy?
This brief overview may have helped answer some of the obvious questions about walk-in baths, but some may still question is it really right for me? The best way to answer this is to try a walk-in bath before you buy one. Absolute Mobility has a showroom in Henley on Thames with examples of walk-in baths on display. A visit, by appointment only, is enough to settle the question once and for all.
If you are interested in a quotation for fitting a walk-in bath, Absolute Mobility also have a mobile showroom, with the Luxor and Original on board, which can come to you for you to try out. If you’d like to see and try out a walk-in bath, please get in touch on 01491 411 041.18 May,2017