Whether you are looking to add a walk-in tub to your home or are trying to decide if it is a good idea for your parents, there are some things you need to know about safety and the risks. Below you will find information about preventive measures, grants, and financial assistance programs that can help make your bathroom safer for the elderly.
Whether you are shopping for a walk in tub for the elderly or simply interested in finding out more about the cost, there are a few factors to consider. The tub size, the type of material used, and the features included will all contribute to the overall cost.
An introductory walk in tubs in Kansas City will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000. The average price is about $2,300 for a soaker model. You can expect to pay more for a bariatric tub, which is larger than a standard tub.
Walk-in tubs are usually made of acrylic or fiberglass. Acrylic is the most durable material, but it’s more expensive. If you want to save money, you can choose a cheaper alternative, such as zinc alloy. The downside is that it’s not durable and prone to corrosion.
Depending on the model, you can add features that make bathing easier. These include a handheld shower wand, a built-in seat, and a backrest. However, adding these features can increase the overall cost by as much as $200.
Several safety features are often built into walk-in tubs for the elderly. These include a lower step threshold, anti-slip flooring, grab bars, and more. These make getting in and out of the tub more manageable and safer.
In addition to these safety features, some of the best walk-in tubs also come with medical alert devices. These devices allow seniors to call for help in case they fall. In addition, they provide peace of mind and enable seniors to bathe safely.
These devices are available in a variety of options. They can be attached to the tub or placed on a flat surface like a wall. The buttons can be programmed to trigger an alarm in the event of a fall.
These devices are easy to use. They feature a waterproof button that can be placed anywhere in the bathroom. This helps prevent falls in slippery areas.
Another critical safety feature of these devices is the anti-scald valve. This ensures that water does not get into the tub and cause an infection.
Preventive measures to make bathrooms safer for the elderly
During January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promotes bathroom safety for the elderly. But unfortunately, the statistics prove that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home for seniors. It accounts for 80% of falls in the house. So how can you improve the safety of your older family members?
A simple change to door locks and lighting can make the bathroom safer. Also, consider installing grab bars. These bars will help you and your older loved ones to stay safe in the shower.
Other preventive measures to make bathrooms safer for the elderly include using non-slip mats and rubber-backed rugs. These items will prevent tripping and prevent the growth of mold.
Another way to make the bathroom safer for the elderly is by decluttering the area. For example, only add a chair if you have a small space. The chair could create a tripping hazard.
Use bathroom fixtures that are easy to use. If possible, install a faucet that features a foot lever. Motion sensor faucets are also available.
Slippage and fall risk
Among the most common injuries for aging Americans are slips and falls. The National Institute on Aging reports that one in three seniors over 65 falls annually. The consequences can range from minor scrapes to broken bones. Besides the pain, slipping and falling can cause emotional distress and increase social isolation.
The bathroom is an area where the majority of fall-related injuries occur. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, most of the injuries that occur in the home are caused by a fall from the same level. The most common places seniors fall are in the shower or the toilet.
While it is true that the bathroom is a dangerous place to be, there are many precautions that you can take to reduce the risk of falls. This includes non-slip mats in the shower and around the toilet.
It’s also essential to have a balanced gait. The muscles must be strong enough to support your body weight. In addition, a standard speed requires the muscles to contract correctly.
Grants and financial assistance programs
Fortunately, several grants and financial assistance programs make walk-in tubs safer for elderly adults. These programs allow older Americans to improve their homes while preventing long-term care in nursing homes.
For example, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers three grants for disabled veterans: the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, and the Housebound Benefits (HBS) grant. The HISA grant funds medically necessary home improvement projects. The SAH grant covers modifications to make a home wheelchair accessible.
In addition to the grants and financial assistance programs listed above, the USDA offers the Rural Repair and Rehabilitation (Section 504 Home Repair) program. This program allows qualified homeowners to receive low-interest loans for home modifications.
Many nonprofits and community organizations also offer grant and loan programs. Some offer only financing for the cost of the tub, while others may help to fund the installation.
If you are considering purchasing a walk-in tub, you should check with your doctor to determine if it is a medical necessity. If it is, you can claim expenses under the Dependent Care Tax Credit.