Being able to bathe independently is very important. When a carer helps you bathe, it is usually a very clinical and practical affair with the focus on getting clean as quickly and safely as possible, whereas bathing yourself provides an opportunity to relax and let the warm water and bubbles soothe your muscles and ease tension and stress. We offer two ways to bathe independently, walk-in baths, and bath lifts. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s run through the main pros and cons of each to help you decide which is best for your personal needs.
Walk-in baths come in two main formats, the standard walk-in bath, and a deep soaker. They are each designed to overcome different mobility issues. A standard walk-in bath is the same shape and size as domestic bathtubs, the main difference is that it comes with a door at one end, and the Abalone Walk-in Bath is a good example of this.
Walk-in baths allow people with balance issues and reduce strength in their legs to simply walk into a bath, rather than having to lift both legs over the side of the bath. Once you have entered the bath, you close the door and then start filling the bathtub. It is important to have good quality thermostatic taps fitted to ensure that the tub cannot be too hot when filling – this is especially important if you are suffering from conditions such as type 2 diabetes which can affect your sense of heat.
If you find it hard to sit down in a bath, the deep soakers solve this problem, as they have a seat moulded into the bath so you simply walk in and sit down. Because the baths are shorter than the standard models, the taps are closer to the end where you sit, so you can lean forward to operate the taps, and if you have popper wastes, you can drain the bath by opening the waste with your foot. The Priya Deep Soaker Walk-In Bath is a good example of this. If you have a shower fitted at the seated end, you can also use these to shower in comfort if you do not wish to bathe every day.
Walk-in baths have two disadvantages over bath lifts. First, you have to enter the bath before you can fill it with water, and you also need to drain the bath fully before you can get out. Our baths come equipped with two wastes to speed up draining, so this is no longer a problem, but you will have to wait while the bath fills with water, which not everybody likes at first, although you will soon get used to it. The other disadvantage is that if you struggle to sit down and stand up in a normal bath, a standard walk-in bath will not help – however, the deep soaker provides a solution to this.
Bath lifts overcome the problem of having to wait for a bath to fill with water while in it – you can fill your bath as normal and then sit down on the bath lift and press the decline button, and it will gently take you down so you can enjoy a good soak. Our Elixir Bath Lift is a great example of this, and is one of our best selling bath lifts.
However, they do come with one disadvantage – you need to have the strength, flexibility and stability to step over the edge of the bath. To aid this, you can use a sliding bath chair with a swivel seat, and we also provide a swivel and slide seat for our bath lifts, that allows you to sit onto the seat from outside the bath and then swing your legs in. However, it still requires a little more dexterity than just walking into a bath.
As well as rising bath seats, you can also use inflatable bathing cushions to help lower yourself into a bath, and raise out again. The Mangar Bathing Cushion is the best product on the market for this.
Best of Both
One option many of our customers now choose is to have a standard walk-in bath equipped with a bathlift, offering the best of both options. You can walk into your bathtub, close the door, sit down on the bath lift and start filling the bath. When the bath is full, you can then lower yourself into the bath. This also provides the added security in case of a problem with the drainage preventing the bath water from draining, as if this ever happens with a walk in bath, you cannot open the door. This is another reason why we provide baths with 2 wastes that are operated separately – it reduces the risk, albeit an exceptionally small risk, of a bath not draining.
So head over to our bathing store and find your perfect bathing solution today.