Step in Tubs – Allowing Bathing For Seniors and the Disabled

After a certain amount of time, we stop using our bathtubs for the leisurely soak we were accustomed to in our childhood, and it becomes an overlarge shower stall. And this is fine, as a daily bath would strain our water resources far too much in this country. However we all enjoy a hot bath from time to time to help us forget stress, or to ease aches and pains.

Hydrotherapy is an ages old method of relaxation and health restoration. Hospitals even use it to help patients recover from severe injuries, or to help treat muscle, joint and circulation issues. Stiff or injured muscles respond well to warm water and pressure jets. Joint pain decreases and is highly recommended for those suffering from arthritis. Blood vessels dilate and this decreases tension within tendons, easing inflammation. The benefits from a regular soak to these areas of health are reason enough for those without any problems to try a weekly bath.

Yet this method of stress relief is often a dangerous proposition for those who are older and/or disabled. Even with rubber bath mats and grab bars to maintain balance, the big step over the rim of a tub can be precarious. The compounded danger of a painful fall for a senior is the possibility of a severe injury, either to bones or the more delicate tissues and circulation system. Those who live alone will also find this daunting; they might need assistance after a fall. Even if one is living with someone else, it can be embarrassing to have to call for help in a state as compromising as preparing for a bath.

By installing an ADA approved step in tub, all of these problems are easily circumvented. These safety tubs aren’t just for seniors, but those with injuries or disabilities can also derive great benefit from this type of tub. Most offer a seat just inside the door, eliminating the need to lie down. This is a great boon to those who have chronic lower back problems or a weakened support system. The seat is ergonomically formed and canted so that soaking in the water is still comfortable and relaxing. Many have a padded headrest for longer soaks. Controls are kept close, and most step-in tubs come with a shower head attachment to help with washing your hair, face and back. This gets rid of the need to submerge oneself completely, which is an awkward proposition in this configuration.

Other features to look for are insulated tub walls, so that heat does not escape easily. While this sort of tub has less surface area of water, the body can still radiate heat away as easily as regular tub. These tubs should be made of high quality fiberglass, and have perfectly finished edges and corners, so they will feel soft and comfortable to the touch. Steel frames are another key feature, which ensures the structural integrity of the tub. And finally a high quality seal is the key to the whole step in tub idea. Remember to research your tub model before buying- you don’t want to end up with a model prone to leaking.

The benefit of this type of medical tub is that it brings hydrotherapy to those who need it, but can’t use it due to the design of a traditional bathtub. This catch-22 is removed once a step in tub is introduced into the equation.