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Aging in Place  /  December 28, 2022

Walk-In Shower VS Walk-In Tub

Walk-in tub vs walk in showe

Home repairs for seniors are intended to make homes safer and more functional for people who have age-related medical conditions. Many of these improvements center on the bathroom, where 80% of falls that send seniors to the emergency room occur. When a person has mobility issues, stepping over the edge of a bathtub could result in a tripping accident.

Walk-in showers and walk-in bathtubs are two improvements that can facilitate aging in place. You may have a preference as to whether you would prefer to take baths or showers. If you have no preference, other factors may play into which is better for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of each.

Walk-in Showers

A walk-in shower either has no threshold at all or only a very small lip, less than an inch high, between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. It typically also has a built-in seat and a handheld showerhead to make cleaning yourself easier and more comfortable.

Though referred to as a walk-in shower, this may be the better option if you use a wheelchair because it is easier to wheel your chair right into the space and then transfer to the shower seat. You will need to make sure that the shower is equipped with handrails as these might not come standard.

A shower can help you to cleanse yourself more efficiently. For example, it is easier to wash and rinse your hair with a steady downward stream than it is in a bathtub full of water. On the other hand, cleaning yourself in a shower may require more motion than in a bath, which could increase your risk of a fall, especially if you experience balance issues.

A walk-in shower often requires more space than a traditional shower does. You may not be able to fit one in a small bathroom unless you can remove some walls, which isn’t always possible. It can be difficult to contain the water within a walk-in shower, meaning that not only may its floor get slippery but it can make other bathroom surfaces slippery and damp.

Walk-in Tubs

A walk-in tub is usually installed against a wall. It has taller sides than a traditional tub, but the side opposite the wall has a door built in so you can open it to step into the tub. It is still a short step of a couple of inches to get into the tub, but this is manageable for most. The door seals tightly to prevent the tub from leaking, but you do have to be sure to close the door completely. There is a seat opposite the tap for your safety and comfort.

A walk-in tub may be the better option for you if you have mobility issues that prevent you from exercising. Immersing yourself in hot water can help to stimulate your muscles and joints. Because you remain seated on the seat during your bath, it is also a good option if you experience vertigo or other balance issues. On the other hand, transferring from a wheelchair to a walk-in tub can be difficult, if not impossible.

Walk-in tubs take up about the same amount of space as a traditional tub, so it is easier to retrofit them into a small bathroom. One of the biggest downsides of a walk-in tub is the fact that you have to remain seated as it fills up and then again as the water drains away. This can take a while, during which time you may become uncomfortably chilly. Contemporary manufacturers often incorporate heated seats, efficient draining systems, and fast-fill faucets to address this issue.

Regardless of whether you choose the walk-in shower or tub, you should have professional repair services in Kelowna install them for you. Find an experienced, reliable plumber from Handyman Connection who can do the job right the first time.

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