Handicap Accessible Bathing OptionsBarry Smith
Just because someone isn’t quite as mobile as most people doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel refreshed after taking a bath or shower. But someone who’s handicapped will have different needs when it comes to bathing. In order to make bath time relaxing and enjoyable, measures can be taken to help handicapped people with common problems.
To accommodate wheelchair bound persons, as well as other handicapped individuals, a few options are available to make bath time easy again. If you have a handicapped loved one, or if you’re handicapped yourself, it’s important to go over all your options and see which product best fits your situation. Each of the options have their own set of pros and cons, and at the end of the day you’ll know what’s best for you.
Factors to consider when making your choice include, your desired level of mobility, whether or not your bathroom has to be able to also accommodate other people who aren’t handicapped and your budget.
Transfer Benches, Lifts and Chairs
Transfer benches are often used for wheelchair bound persons. They help you get in and out of the tub without the need to remodel your bathroom. The great thing about transfer benches is that they’re an affordable option for disabled people on a tight budget. They come in different shapes and sizes and their price tags are flexible. Depending on which option you settle for, this could be considerably cheaper than any of the other option on this list.
With a standard transfer bench, there’s a bench that looks like a chair with half of its feet in the tub and the other half on the bathroom floor. The seat hovers over the tub. To get into the bath tub, a handicapped person can slide onto the bench, and lower into the water.
There are also many other options available to help handicapped persons get in and out of the tub, from special lifts to swiveling benches. So if this option looks like the best fit for your needs, it’s definitely worth learning more about the choices available to you.
Although transfer benches can be a versatile option, there are still certain mobility issues with them. Some transfer benches attach to your tub permanently, so they might be problematic if not everyone in your house is handicapped. Some options in this category may also require someone to help the handicapped person in and out of the tub, meaning they don’t all help you live independently.
Barrier Free Showers
Barrier free, or no-curb showers are meant to make it easier for wheelchair bound people to get in and out of the shower. Because there’s no obstruction in the way, wheelchair bound persons can simply roll into the shower without any effort.
No-curb showers are a great solution if there are both handicapped and fully able individuals living in your house, but these showers also come with their own set of disadvantages. One particularly problematic thing many people find after installing a barrier free shower is that preventing water from leaking out of the shower onto the bathroom floor can be an issue. So if you’re planning on getting a barrier free shower in your own home, you’ll have to plan ahead to prevent this problem.
It’s also important to note that, with a transfer bench, there’s no need for any other equipment, but to make a barrier free shower work for you, you’ll also need to buy a special waterproof shower wheelchair to sit on while you shower. Another option is to use a simple waterproof bench, but then you might need someone to help you in and out of the shower, as you won’t simply be able to shower while sitting on your wheelchair.
Walk-in Tub/Shower Combo
Installing a walk-in tub and shower combination will be more expensive than opting for a bath chair option, but it can certainly pay off. Not only will a walk-in tub and shower accommodate everyone in your household, regardless of their level of mobility, the tub can also be fitted with massage jets to improve your bathing experience in other ways.
Walk-in tubs typically have doors to help bathers easily get in and out of the bath without having to stretch their legs. For bathers who can’t move their legs at all, this option can make it easier to get in and out of the tub as well.
If there are family members in your household whose mobility aren’t impaired, they can simply use the walk-in tub like a normal bath, leaving the door closed at all times. Or, if they would prefer, they can also get in and out of the tub through the door.
Walk-in tubs prove to be very versatile, but to get a feel for whether or not it’s the solution for you, it’s always great to take a look at your options. If you would like to know more about walk-in tubs, or if you’d like to take a look at your option, feel free to call Knoxville Walk-in Tubs and we’ll walk you through our range of medically certified handicapped bathtubs and showers.
The great thing about a walk-in tub combo option is that, unlike with a barrier free shower, you won’t have to worry about water on your bathroom floors.
Apart from options to help you get in and out of bath more easily, it’s also important that your bathroom has lots of space for a wheelchair to move around. Your home is should be a place where you can feel comfortable. Investing in your quality of life is certainly worth the cost.