10 Walk-In Tub Advantages
As more seniors begin to age in place, walk-in tubs are becoming more commonplace. While it’s an upgrade to your home that might cost several thousand dollars, there are many walk-in tub advantages to consider. Whether you’re nearing your senior years or you’re already in your senior years and need to modify your home, many options exist.
If you’re cnsidering upgrading to a walk-in tub, consider these ten advantages.
What is a Walk-In Tub?
A walk-in tub is a tub with no step that is safer for people with mobility issues or those who want to age in place.
A walk-in tub has a door that swings open and closed, so you don’t have to worry about lifting your leg over the tub and risking falling and hurting yourself. Some walk-in tubs can accommodate wheelchairs, and others have benches that make it easy to get in and out of the tub without too much effort.
They are great for seniors who worry about tripping and falling and even younger people with limited mobility. A walk-in tub allows you to maintain your independence while not putting your safety at risk.
What are the Walk-In Tub Advantages?
Walk-in tubs typically aren’t the norm in a home, but they have many advantages you may want to consider.
Here are ten walk-in tub advantages to consider when deciding if it’s right for your home.
They are Safer
Falls are the number one cause of death among seniors, but a walk-in tub can reduce the risk. Not having a tub to step over, plus having a bath seat and handrails, ensure seniors stay safer while bathing.
Other safety features you can install in your walk-in bath include non-slip floors and handheld showerheads.
Helps Seniors Maintain Independence
Even as seniors become less mobile, they can continue handling their own bathing needs with a walk-in tub. With a lower risk of falling, seniors can maintain their sense of dignity and continue handling their bathing needs because there isn’t a tub to step over.
Allows Seniors to Age in Place
Seniors who want to stay in their homes rather than move into an assisted living or nursing home facility benefit from a walk-in tub. Being able to handle your own bathing needs increases the chance of being able to stay in your home where you’re most comfortable. Even if you need assistance bathing, being able to bathe in your own home with minimal help is the key.
It May Help your Home’s Resale Value
Depending on the demographics in your area, a walk-in tub may increase your home’s value. For example, if the people looking at your home are older or intend to live in the home long-term, they may appreciate a walk-in tub as it’s more accessible.
Can Help Seniors with Aches and Pains
If you purchase a walk-in tub with jets, you’ll benefit from hydrotherapy. Treating chronic aches and pains, relaxing your muscles, and increasing blood flow can help you feel better and do more.
Comes in a Variety of Sizes
One of the most surprising walk-in tub advantages is the various sizes they come in. You can purchase a walk-in tub that’s the standard size of the tub your house came with, or you can purchase bariatric walk-in tubs that are larger and meant to hold more weight. You can also find walk-in tubs that accommodate wheelchairs if you’re wheelchair-bound.
You can Purchase a Walk-In Tub and Shower Combo
There are walk-in tub and shower combos if you have limited space in your home and need a walk-in tub and a standing shower for other household members. This makes it easy to satisfy everyone’s needs in the home without sacrificing space.
Walk-In Tubs may be Tax Deductible
If you have extensive medical bills, you may be able to include the cost of installing a walk-in tub in your medical bills and take the tax deduction. It’s important to talk to your tax advisor about your eligibility for the deduction, but it’s an important consideration when determining if a walk-in tub is right for you.
You May Lower your Medical Bills
A walk-in tub helps you maintain your hygiene while reducing the risk of falls. This can help lower your medical bills by preventing infections, increasing your blood flow, reducing aches and pains, and reducing the risk of falls that require emergency care.
Invests in your Future
If you’re not a senior yet, but install a walk-in tub now, you invest in your future. By making the home more ‘senior-friendly,’ you’ll have a higher chance of being able to age in place rather than being forced to downsize or move to an assisted living facility.
The Downsides of Walk-In Tubs
Of course, any new fixture in your home has its downsides. Here’s what you should consider.
Professional Installation is a Must
Professional installation costs more, but it’s worth every penny with a walk-in tub. You would lose all the walk-in tub advantages if it weren’t properly installed.
Not only must you worry about proper plumbing but also proper placement and electrical wiring for the tub to ensure it works properly, is safe, and increases your home’s value.
The Initial Cost may be Higher
A walk-in tub usually costs more than a standard tub because of its accessibility and features. Most walk-in tubs have more features than standard tubs, contributing to the higher cost.
Higher Water Usage
Walk-in tubs require more water because they are generally deeper than traditional tubs. As a result, you may have higher water bills or need a larger hot water heater to fill the tub properly. Most models require a 50+ gallon hot water heater to fill the tub properly.
Concerns about Walk-In Tubs
The many walk-in tub advantages make it easy to think it’s the perfect choice for you, and it might be. But before you do, consider these common concerns.
Are walk-in tubs hard to clean?
The good news is that walk-in tubs are easy to clean, much like a standard tub. They need regular cleaning, which is the case for any tub, and once a month, you should consider deep cleaning it to keep the jets free of debris and dirt.
To maintain the tub regularly, you simply need to rinse it with clean water after each use. Running warm water through the tub and wiping it down after each use will ensure there isn’t a buildup of body oils and dirt.
Weekly you should wash the tub with dishwasher granules and warm water, thoroughly wiping everything down to ensure the tub is clean and free of dirt.
Are walk-in tubs hard to maintain?
Maintaining walk-in tubs is much easier than most people think. The largest area of concern is the jets. You need to keep the internal parts clean, which means running not only mild detergent or an all-purpose cleaner through it but also bleach.
Once a month, add ½ cup of bleach to the water when you clean the tub. Then, run the jets with the water and detergent mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the water sit for five minutes, and then do it again. This cleans out anything accumulated in the jets, reducing the risk of premature breakage.
Can walk-in tubs hurt a home’s resale value?
One of the best walk-in tub advantages is that they can help your home’s value in the right market. For example, if the buyers looking at your house are older or concerned about mobility, a walk-in tub will make your house more desirable for them.
What are the common alternatives to walk-in tubs?
If a walk-in tub isn’t an option for your house, there are alternatives to consider, including the following:
- A shower chair or transfer bench
- Rolling shower chair (waterproof wheelchair)
- Walk-in shower
- Medical alert system
- Senior living (assisted living)
Do walk-in tubs drain quickly?
Walk-in tubs come in many varieties, including standard and fast-draining models. Unfortunately, standard draining tubs can take as long as 15 minutes to drain, which is a long time to sit in the tub (and get cold).
Fast-draining tubs can take 2 – 7 minutes, depending on the model, drain size, and piping. Getting a faster draining tub might cost more, but it may be worth it.
Is there a weight limit for walk-in tubs?
A standard walk-in tub holds up to 300 pounds. If you need a tub that holds more than 300 pounds, you’ll need a bariatric tub with a larger frame, wider doors, and the ability to hold more weight.
Do walk-in tubs leak?
It’s a common concern to wonder if walk-in tubs leak because of the door that opens and closes, especially if you forget to close it. While nothing would stop water from leaking if you left the door open, most walk-in tubs have leak-proof seals to prevent water from leaking out the sides of the door when closed.
Understanding the top walk-in tub advantages can help determine if it’s right for your house. While there are downsides, they mostly have to do with the size of the tub and the cost. The advantages often outweigh the disadvantages.
If you’re thinking of aging in place and want a safer way to bathe without risking falling and hurting yourself or needing a visit to the hospital, a walk-in tub may be the answer to your needs.