People typically wash themselves by bath or by shower, the choice of which commonly stems from what they grow up doing. If you washed yourself by taking a bath when you were younger, that usually carries over into adulthood, and the same is true with showering. When it comes to taking a bath, the ability and practicality of doing so can change with age. When someone gets older, it may be increasingly difficult, and even unsafe to get down into or up from a bathtub.
What Are My Bath Safety Equipment Options?
So what are your options if you are a bath taker? There are several, depending on your financial capabilities, physical ability, and commitment to taking a bath. The most expensive bathroom safety equipment option is installing a walk-in bathtub. Walk-in bathtubs require professional installation and cost thousands of dollars. They have a narrow entry and a small threshold to get over, so if this “path of travel” is difficult or unsafe for you, this might not be the best option.
The Bath Lift
The next option is significantly less expensive. That is, the free-standing battery-powered bath lift. Free-standing bath lifts can cost in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, do not require professional installation, and are easily assembled. They will lower you to within a few inches of the bottom of the bathtub, recline in the down position, and will not lower you without enough power to raise you back up. A bath lift tends to work best in a standard bathtub, but can be used in a Roman or Jacuzzi style tub. When used with a standard bathtub, there is the added safety feature of being able to sit down first before moving your legs into the tub during transfers. One of the best bath lifts on the market is the Bellavita made by Drive Medical, which lowers a person better than its competitors, is of excellent quality, and is typically available for about $ 650.00.
Low Cost Grab Bars
An even lower cost option is the installation of grab bars or the use of a clamp-on tub rail. A grab should be professionally installed, while a clamp-on tub rail just needs to be securely affixed to the tub edge. This option, however, requires a certain amount of physical strength and capability in order to use safely and effectively. Therefore, the use of a grab bar or camp-on tub rail is a good option if you just need a little leakage or steadiness as you get into and out of the tub.