Bathing is becoming harder for your parents. Their bathroom needs updating, and you’re all considering a walk-in tub. Your family knows they’re more expensive, but they seem to be ideal for a parent who has a harder time getting in and out of a traditional bath/shower combination. Are they worth the cost?
A Low-Threshold Entry Is Easier for Older Adults
A walk-in tub is taller than a traditional bath and shower combinations. Most are around 36 to 38 inches high. That height allows for a tightly sealing door to be installed on the tub’s outer wall. Rather than stepping over the tub wall, you open the door, step in, sit down, and latch the door.
Walk-in tubs can be pretty upscale with whirlpool jets, textured anti-slip flooring, built-in grab bars, and push-button controls. They have built-in heaters to keep the water warm for an entire bath. They also have drain systems that are designed to drain in a matter of minutes.
For an older adult with worsening mobility, these tubs are helpful. Hand-held shower wands enable a person to take a shower from a seated position. If a bath is preferred, the back of that seat is at an incline to make it easy to lay back and relax. The jets soothe aching joints and muscles. Grab bars offer support while the user stands back up after bathing.
The Cost May Be Too Excessive
There are few cons to a walk-in tub, but you should consider these items carefully. The price is much higher than a traditional tub. The cost of the walk-in tub alone is going to be several thousand. You also have the cost of installation, which can cost a couple thousand.
If you’re replacing a traditional bath/shower combo, you’re probably going to need to have an electrical outlet installed. As the jetted tubs need electricity, most bathrooms need upgrades before the walk-in tub is installed. If you want to avoid that, you need to look for a walk-in tub with no jets or a built-in water heater.
While the door seals usually come with a lifetime warranty, that warranty doesn’t cover damage to your bathroom floor if the seal goes when the tub is full. A walk-in tub can hold up to 80 gallons of water. That much could come pouring out if the seal goes. Is there enough water in the water heater to fill the tub?
Your Family Needs to Decide If It’s Worth the Expense
A walk-in bath is very helpful to a parent with mobility issues, but senior care is an alternative that may work better. Make arrangements to have caregivers help your parents with baths and showers. That’s one of many senior care services that help your parents remain at home without struggling to manage home and personal care. Senior care is arranged to help them feel encouraged and supported while aging at home.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Moraga, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.