Upgrading to a walk-in bath is usually a decision you make based on your mobility needs. A walk-in tub allows those with reduced mobility to enter and exit their bath safely and quickly, through a door with a low step instead of over a high tub ledge. By design, walk-in bathtubs are much safer for seniors than standard tubs. But it’s still vital that you use them properly if you want to remain safe. Here are some essential safety tips you should follow when using your walk-in bath.
Make Sure Items Are Nearby
Once you enter your walk-in tub and begin to fill it with water, you can’t get out again until the tub is empty. So, before you step inside, make sure that you have all items you’ll need during your bath close by. This might include your towel, bathrobe, and any sources of entertainment you’ll use during your bath, such as a phone, tablet, music player, or book. If you find yourself already seated in your tub and missing any of the items you need, ask someone to get them for you or do without them.
Don’t Twist and Lean
Once you’re in your tub, avoid excessively twisting or leaning over the side of your tub to reach the items you need. (Hence, the tip mentioned above.) This is extremely important for people with limited mobility, as they can often lack the core strength or balance to lean far over and safely sit back up. Doing this—especially in a slippery environment like a bath—can be extremely dangerous.
Don’t Slouch Down
Walk-in tubs have an upright seat that is safer and more accessible than a standard tub’s reclined position. However, it does mean that the water won’t fully submerge your shoulders and neck, and you can’t dunk your head under the water either. Please resist the temptation to slouch down to immerse yourself deeper in the water. This can be extremely dangerous. You might find yourself unable to pull yourself back upright or, worse yet, you could slip off the edge of your seat and wedge yourself down in the footwell, between the seat and the opposite wall of the tub.
If you want to wet your shoulders or need to wash your hair, use the handheld sprayer on your tub to do this. That feature is there for your safety while bathing.
Installing a walk-in bath will instantly make your bathroom a safer place. But please ensure that you follow the tips above so that you can remain safe while bathing in your walk-in tub.