There is nothing more relaxing than having a bath (for some people). However, sometimes bathing can be a difficult occasion. For those who experience trouble getting in and out of the bath, have limited motion, or are disabled, a bath lift is a safe and convenient choice.
Bath lifts are simple devices which lower a person down to the bottom of the tub and back out again in a controlled motion, so providing that extra helping hand and assurance while making bathing a pleasant experience.
They are ideal for people facing the following state of affairs:
- Elderly who prefer to have a bath rather than a shower but stop doing so because they fear that they will get stuck in the bathtub.
- Seniors who can no longer physically manage to get up and down safely from the bottom of the bathtub.
- People (with limited motion) who need to soak in hot water for certain medical conditions.
- Individuals who require access to the bathtub in a sitting position so as to prevent accidental falls.
There are two main designs:
- Manual / Water powered – These are operated hydraulically using the weight of the person to lower the lift; and the buoyancy of the water to raise the lift. They usually fill up like a bladder and since no batteries are needed for their movement. This is the most cost effective design and hooks up to the existing water faucet, but they are generally not as nice to use as electric powered bath tub lifts in terms of convenience.
- Automatic / Battery powered – The motor driven versions are typically powered by a rechargeable battery located behind the backrest or in the handset. This must be removed and recharged regularly. Most units have some sort of protection device that will not lower you into the bath tub unless the battery has a significant enough charge to lift you back out of the tub. The Aqua-Joy Batlift is a popular choice in this category.
However, both the above listed options have no, or only limited back support. As a result, they can be unsuitable for older with balance difficulties or those who can not tolerate the position of being on the bottom of the tub (those who are more comfortable in an upright position).
One can overcome these shortcomings by opting for reclining bath lifts. For individuals with reduced hip flexion or back conditions such as kyphosis and scoliosis, or taller people need assistance to maximize the available length of the bath, this version is suitable. The back recline feature is obviously more relaxing in baths that require longer time. The AquaJoy Reclining Bath Lift from Drive Medical is one such available option in the market.
Bath lifts need to be removed to allow another member of the household to use the bath but their weight and rubber suction pads can make the removal process difficult. However, some of the suction feet in new designs have a lifting mechanism (the quick-release feature), which helps in easy removal and convenient, space-saving storage of the devices when not in use. Some models have detachable components making it lighter and safer to remove. The Bellavita Bath Chair Lift is the lightest product available in this category which incorporates all these remarkable features.
You might also want to check out some accessories for your bath lift from Bellavita such as:
- Comfort Covers for seats (make sure it is also non-slip) – available in colors Gray / Blue / White
- Additional control and batteries-Bellavita Hand Control including Storage Battery
- Padded Headrest (available in colors Gray / Blue / White)
Since bath lifts are not popular selling items, and they're fairly large too, most local stores do not want to carry them. The best place to buy such items is online where you can compare the best prices, get free shipping and generous discounts.