When you look around most bathrooms today, it becomes apparent that they were not designed for anyone with physical challenges. If you are dealing with a handicap, most bathrooms are not friendly.
When you look at history, bathrooms are a relatively new development, even though the bathtub that forms the core of many bathrooms hasn’t changed significantly from the bathtubs excavated from the 1700 b.c. Minoan dynasty. It wasn’t until recently that bathtub designs began to accommodate the needs of individuals with physical challenges.
Wheelchair accessible showers have been available for some time now, but many individuals with physical limitations don’t need a wheel chair. But they do need stability while showering. It’s not easy to stand in a shower with a walker and soap up at the same time!
The common bathtub isn’t any better. Bathtubs require agility to get into and back out of. The controls and spigot are usually at the far end of the tub and crouching into a sitting position can be very difficult, if not impossible.
Fortunately, there is a solution for this problem—the walk in bathtub. These bathtubs with doors in the side, eliminate the need to climb into the tub. Instead of having to step over a 20-inch high tub side, you only step over a low ledge, similar to stepping into a shower. Once the door has been closed, you can relax on the built-in chair, while the tub fills. Or you can use a hand shower to wet down and rinse with. Because you can do all these activities in a seated position, almost all risk of losing your balance is eliminated.
While using a transfer bench in a standard tub is also a safety improving factor, it doesn’t allow you to enjoy the benefits of a full bath. These include improving overall circulation, boosting immune function, and relaxing muscles and joints. Using a hand shower only warms the immediate part of the body that the water is flowing over.
A walk in bath can make assisting a handicapped person easier as well. The high walls surrounding the tub give something to lean on safely. The built in seat cannot slide. There are many models that are designed especially to work with you as you assist your patient or family member with the bathing needs.
These new bathtub designs finally recognize that no matter what your age, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of a comfortable and safe bath.