How Walk In Tubs Facilitate Independent Living

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An independent elderly woman.How Walk In Tubs Facilitate Independent Living

Trading off nursing homes and assisted care living facilities, more Americans can embrace the comforts of staying in their own homes throughout their golden years. The desire for independent living is strong. In fact, the AARP surveys repeatedly show that the majority of elderly persons prefer to remain in their own home if given a choice.

The dream of remaining in their community can become a reality, even for those who need help caring for themselves. By identifying key areas that pose a safety risk for elderly, and implementing changes to those areas, a home can become a secure sanctuary.

For example, it may seem like a small matter but consider the unique challenges that older people may encounter in bathing themselves.

• Limited mobility may make it difficult for them to get in and out of the bath tub.

• The footing can become slippery, thereby increasing the risk of injuries in the event of a fall.

• Towel bars pose a special concern, because they are not sturdy enough to support the weight of a person. If these are used for support or balance, they may pull out of the wall.

• Traditional tubs offer no seating for someone who is unable to stand for a long period. Sitting down inside of the tub may not be a great choice because it can be difficult to get up once seated.

• The faucets and showerhead can be hard to reach and operate.

Walk in tubs eliminate these difficulties and make it possible for an elderly person to be able to bathe independently. Featuring doors that can open either inward or outward, it lets the user easily step in or out of the walkin tub on their own. The height of the step can vary between five to six and a half inches. Special grab bars provide a sturdy surface to balance on when navigating to the built in seating. Safety rails and non-skid flooring further reduce the chance of a slip and fall accident. Another important feature is that the facets are located in an area that is easy to reach. Once inside of a walk in tub, a person can choose to fill it with water for a bath or use the handheld sprayer for a shower. Walk-in tubs also generally take up less space and are easier to clean. While they are available in a multitude of colors and shapes, there is also another benefit. Some have built in whirlpool features that can offer a form of hydrotherapy that increases circulation and facilitates healing.

Solutions such as this can be implemented throughout a home to enable an elderly person to "age in place". While this is invaluable to achieving quality of life, there are also financial considerations. The cost of personal care is high, but there are ways to offset this.

Long-term care insurance is one possibility if planning begins far enough ahead. This will typically help pay for some types of in-home care. Another way that many seniors are financing their age in place philosophy is with a reverse mortgage. Some communities have even implemented senior assistance programs that provide for transportation to doctors visits, to pick up a prescription, or even grocery shop. Some of these may charge a service fee, or have a membership requirement, but they are worth investigating.

The bottom line is that accomplishing independent living during the senior years is a trend that is becoming more common. As the popularity climbs, so does the likelihood of making this an achievable goal. In many cases, preserving an elderly person's ability to stay in their home also preserves their dignity, which is truly priceless.


AmeriGlide has the lowest prices you'll find anywhere on walk in tubs. Compare walk in tub models and read user-submitted reviews, or call an expert today to order a custom-fit walk in tub!


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