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walk-in bathtub

Accessibility Products

Have you been considering a walk-in tub with added safety features for your bathroom lately? For most people, the bathroom is a place to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, for some, it only adds to daily fears and frustrations…

Bathroom-related accidents are all too common.  Every year, more than 25% of all elderly people experience some type of accident in the bathroom.

That's 1 in 4 seniors – a shocking statistic when you start to think about the implications a slip and fall in the bathroom can have.  

Many come away with minor injuries. Others may take some time to heal. For many, however, it can be life-changing.

Moreover, independent bathing is a luxury many of us take for granted. For many people over the age of 65 and those facing mobility restrictions, the ability to wash and bath alone is just not possible anymore.  

Has Independent Bathing Become Impossible?

Conventional bathtubs have simply not been designed with mobility restrictions in mind. Unfortunately, the inability to bath alone has become one of the primary reasons for institutionalization. If you are unable to bathe yourself, chances are you’re going to need full-time care.

That’s why bathroom remodeling, and more specifically, walk-in tub installations, has become one of the primary options for anyone seeking to maintain independence in their own home.  

Here are some of the essential safety features that set walk-in tubs from conventional bathtubs:

Standard Walk-in Tub Safety Features

Certified walk-in tubs come standard with several features specifically designed to offer, first and foremost, ease of access. Do not buy a walk-in tub without the necessary certifications to ensure you have the following:  

1. Non-Slip Surfaces

Certified walk-in tub models include a textured floor surface in order to prevent slipping.

The non-slip surface is created by thousands of minute, shallow indentations in the surface. This is so subtle that, in most cases, it cannot be seen with the naked eye. When the surface is wet, these shallow indentations fill. If you stand on the wet surface and your foot starts to slide, the water is squeezed out of the indentations turning them into thousands of suction cups that help stop you from slipping.

2. Low-Step Threshold

An important aspect of any bathtub is the step-in height or threshold. Traditional bathtubs have high walls that are difficult and dangerous to step over.

However, with a walk-in bathtub, the low threshold step is just a few inches from the floor, making it much easier and safer to step into, or out of, on your own.

This low threshold adds comfort by eliminating much of the risk and stress associated with the simple act of entering and exiting the bath for anyone with mobility restrictions.

3. Safety Grab Bars

One of the keys to bathroom safety is balance assistance – making it less likely to slip or trip. Easy-to-grab handrails work perfectly with walk-in tubs, providing safer mobility and comfort while getting in and out of the tub. These strategically placed grab bars can really prevent catastrophic falls and add that extra reassurance and self-confidence you need in the bathroom – something a conventional bathtub does not offer.

4. Walk-in Tub Certifications

People who use walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches experience the most difficulty bathing.

Therefore, a walk-in tub with an ADA (Americans with Disability Act) compliant safety can make bathing easier and safer for people with mobility issues.

ADA seats adhere to strict safety regulations. Their comfortable height and perfect back support are essential for many bathers.

Also check if your chosen tub comes with IAPMO, UL, and ETL certifications. Certain states will not allow a walk-in bathtub to be installed without these approvals.

5. Accessible Control Panel

When you are inside the tub, modern walk-in tub designs offer an easy-to-use, accessible control panel that may include buttons to fill or empty the tub, operate bubble jet streams, and more. Many tubs also include handheld shower sprayers and even elbow-operated mechanisms to make the process of bathing accessible to anyone. Depending on your specific and unique requirements, modern walk-in tubs can offer immediate accessibility while restoring your quality of life almost instantly. 

6. Door Features

Deciding whether you want an outward or inward swinging door comes down to more than just preference. Both have their own distinct advantages, but for others, it is a decision that could literally save a life.

Outward Swinging

Outward swinging may not be an option for some, depending on your bathroom space, but the practicality of this design contributes to its integrated safety features. In the event of an emergency, the tub door can be opened while it is still filled with water. Naturally, the bathroom will be flooded, but this eliminates the need for the tub to drain before the occupant is able to exit.

Outward swinging doors also offer practicality for wheelchair-bound individuals. An outward swinging door allows for easy side transfers from a wheelchair into the tub.  An outward swinger is another obvious choice for most people who have special bariatric requirements.

Inward Swinging

Most walk-in tub models come with an inward opening door. Many smaller tub models are also specifically designed this way in order to allow tubs to be installed in the smallest of bathroom spaces. Make no mistake, walk-in tubs are big and you should consider your home’s layout. How is the tub going to get in there in the first place? The added benefit of a door that swings inwards is included, once it's closed and the tub fills, the water pressure acts as an extra seal to ensure no leaks occur. Outward swinging door models are for everybody.

Walk-in Tubs: Safe Independent Bathing

Whether you are disabled, suffer from mobility restrictions, or just looking to gracefully age-in-place while remaining in your own home for years to come, New Bath Walk-in Tubs can offer you back some much-needed independence and restore your quality of life.  
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