Bathing is an important factor in sanitary health maintenance, as well as mental well-being. However, bathing can sometimes prove time-consuming, difficult, and even hazardous for people with reduced mobility. Statistics indicate the shower and tub areas are some of the most dangerous places in homes, even for able-bodied people. Unnecessary assistance bathing may lead to a dependence on other people. A bath lift, walk-in tub or shower may prove an integral part of a mobility-enhancement program.
Selecting a Bath Lift
A bath lift is an important device for a mobility-enhancement program. Consideration for the needs of a mobility impaired individual will assist with the selection process. My Home for Life offers many bath lift units. The Peter Pan Bath Lift requires no electricity or batteries. The lift lowers or raises with minimal effort by the turn of a handle. This lift may prove useful in areas with frequent electrical outages. The Whisper Automatic Bath Lift is complete with a reclining backrest for people that enjoy a relaxing bath. The Bellavita Bath Lift is well-suited for deeper model tubs.
Spin Life offers the Aquajoy, which is equipped with a machine washable padding and reclines for added comfort. The battery safety indicator will notify the user when recharging is necessary. This bath lift is ideal for someone that may be expecting a move in the near future or living in an apartment, as it is designed to fit most tubs and requires zero installation.
Walk-In Tubs and Showers
Safe Step, American Walk-in Tubs and others manufacture quality and comfortable walk-in tubs and showers. Many walk-in tubs and showers are available with free installation and a lifetime warranty. People with limited mobility that are capable of safely maneuvering from a wheelchair into a chair may discover a walk-in tub to be ideal. Many walk-in showers are wheelchair accessible. The tub version can be placed in the same space as an average household tub, whereas the shower may require slightly more space. People with knee replacement surgery, stroke survivors, osteoarthritis sufferers and other individuals with limited mobility often feel more secure in either a walk-in tub or shower compared to conventional tubs and showers.
On the other hand, built-in grab bars work well for people with upper body strength and for balancing. An anti-slip floor is a major consideration for safety. Optional customized therapeutic air or hydro-massage systems are available for an additional fee. A faucet with a hand-shower mounted on the deck of the tub may be added to assist in rinsing away soap and for shampooing hair.
In-Home Consultation, Insurance, and Financing
Some companies offer in-home consultations to determine individual needs. Walk-in tub and shower units are available to accommodate many budgets. Most walk-in tub and shower companies will work with major insurance companies to obtain the maximum benefit allowable. Medicare does not generally cover the cost of a walk-in tub or shower; however, there are companies offering affordable payment plans.
SUMMARY: Safety and fall prevention when bathing is a major issue for people with limited mobility. A bath lift, walk-in tub or shower may assist with independent living needs. In-home consultations are available for needs assessment and budget planning.
Photo courtesy of Bradisoc.com.