Everything There Is To Know About Walk-In Tubs For The Elderly

A walk-in tub has safety features designed for the elderly. Unlike traditional bathroom tubs, walk-in tubs reduce slippage and falling. If you’re suffering from mobility issues, a walk-in tub would be worth the added expense.

What Is a Walk-In Tub?

Walk-In Tubs

A walk-in tub is designed to allow the user to enter by just walking in. Compared to standard bathtubs, walk-in tubs have a low entry threshold, so you won’t have to climb over to enter. Most dependable walk-in tubs feature a door on the side.

The tub is waterproof because of the door seal. A therapeutic soak with walk-in tubs in an upright, seated position is possible. It’s double the depth of standard bathtubs.

Who Should Buy A Walk-In Tub?

Walk-in tubs benefit homeowners. While some consider it a luxury addition, the tubs enhance accessibility and mobility. Unlike standard bathtubs, you can experience a great sense of independence with a walk-in tub.

These two scenarios may prompt a homeowner to consider installing a contemporary walk-in tub:

  • Homeowners with disabilities: If you’re experiencing mobility issues, installing a walk-in tub would help eliminate the risks of falls. Brands like American Standard have wheelchair-accessible walk-in tubs. You can get in and out of the tub without taking large steps.
  • Older adults: Walk-in tubs come with features that allow seniors to live in their homes independently. They also include treatment features like hydrotherapy and chromotherapy. The hydrotherapy feature, for instance, allows you to relax joint pains, injured muscles, and stress.

Walk-In Tub Safety Features

Whether from Kohler or American Standard, an ideal walk-in tub should have all the basic safety features.

Walk-In Tub Safety Features

Apart from size, you need to pick an ADA-compliant model. Here’s a highlight of the common safety features:

  • Quick Drainage System: You enjoy a shorter waiting time and prevent standing water. Since you can’t open the door until all the water has drained, this feature helps avoid sitting in the tub too long.
  • Anti-leak Door Seal: The seal, often made of rubber, helps prevent falls and keep water from leaking. Safe Step makes both inward and outward-opening doors for its range of walk-in tubs. Inward-opening doors prevent leaks, but the tub should drain before exiting. Also, you don’t have to make way for an inward-opening door. Outward-opening doors eliminate the cumbersome stride around the door before opening it.
  • Grab Bars: They aid in your balance and take a bit of weight off your feet as you enter and exit your walk-in tub. The majority of walk-ins will have one or two grab bars.
  • Non-Slip Textured Flooring: An anti-slip textured floor boosts traction and stability when getting in and out of the walk-in tub. The feature works more like non-slip mats in standard bathtubs.
  • Easy-to-Reach Controls: High-end models have ergonomic controls, making it easier for the elderly to adjust the settings according to their physical characteristics.
  • Low Step-In: A low entry threshold is another key feature. Low step-ins make it easier to enter and exit.
  • ADA-compliant seat: the built-in seat is temperature-controlled.

Walk-In Tubs’ Luxury Features

  • Massage Technology: High-end walk-in tubs include multiple air and water jets that deliver a spa-like experience during your hydrotherapy sessions.
  • Chromotherapy: Built-in lights offer health benefits of chromotherapy. Colors can set the mood of your bath and create the ultimate spa experience.
  • Self-cleaning: Add your cleaning supplies and turn on the self-cleaning feature. Most traditional bathtubs are prone to mold and mildew build-up without proper maintenance.
  • Anti-Scald Technology: This feature automatically filters in cold water to safeguard against scalding water.
  • Handheld Shower Wand: the removable handheld shower wand lets you reach and rinse your body.
  • Heated Backrest: As your walk-in tub fills, the heated backrest will keep your back and neck warm. Most high-end walk-in tubs have a control panel that lets you toggle between different heat levels.

Types of Walk-In Tubs

Choosing the right type of walk-in tub depends on your budget and preferences. Here’s an overview of popular walk-in tub options.

  1. Soaker Tub: Because a soaking tub is intended to submerge your body, it is larger than a standard bathtub. Even so, these tubs come in a variety of sizes. There are longer soaker tubs, while others are shorter but deeper than a standard bathtub.
  2. Bariatric Walk-In Tubs: A bariatric walk-in tub is a bathtub with a door and seat designed to accommodate large bathers. These tubs typically have wide doors and seats, making them ideal for bariatric patients. Most bariatric walk-in tubs are wheelchair accessible.
  3. Walk-In Tub Shower Combos: Walk-In tubs with a shower have a handheld shower, and some include a glass screen to prevent water from slashing outside the bathroom. You could also have an expert install an extra showerhead which is ideal for taking a bath while standing.

Other common walk-in tubs include two-person tubs, hydrotherapy tubs, wheelchair-accessible tubs, and more.

Our Top 3 Walk-In Tub Brands

We reviewed some of the best walk-in tubs from notable manufacturers. Here are guides to help you pick the right walk-in tub for your home:

Why Installing a Walk-In Tub Is Worth It

High Safety Standards

Walk-in tubs have built-in safety features. They’re ideal for homeowners over 65 who are more prone to slips and falls. Unlike standard tubs, they come with built-in handrails, anti-slip flooring, low step-in, and more.

The in-built seat enables bathers to sit when bathing. It’s safer for seniors who cannot stand for long periods. Walk-in tubs with textured flooring reduce the chances of slipping when using the tub.

If a senior enjoys taking showers, you can get a walk-in tub shower combo. Aside from the handheld shower, Kohler Shower Package includes a gooseneck shower arm. Bathers can opt to take a shower while standing in the tub.

Health Benefits

The pressure exerted by water improves blood circulation, which leads to better mobility and pain relief. Walk-in tubs provide a massaging effect through water jets to help you relax and sleep better. You can enjoy a spa-like experience with hydrotherapy and chromotherapy.

Optional Comfort Features

Popular manufacturers like Kohler, American Standard, and Safe Step offer the option of adding luxury features. You can add air jets, water jets, and a full massage system or handheld shower wand.

Walk-In Tub Price

An average walk-in tub costs between $2,000 and $20,000. Walk-in tubs with more luxury features are a bit pricey. Installation costs between $2,500 to $8,000, depending on the job.

American Standard and Kohler help clients get financing to purchase a walk-in tub. Like traditional bathtubs, the maintenance is low.

Walk-in Tub Conclusion

Walk-in tubs minimize bathroom accidents. More expensive than traditional bathtubs, walk-in tubs make getting in and out of a bathtub easier. They are ideal for seniors who want to age in place. It’s important to include a walk-in tub when designing a senior’s bathroom.