Experiencing a fall can lead to serious complications, especially for seniors who may already be dealing with decreased mobility and balance issues. One-third of seniors suffer a fall every year, and according to the National Institute on Aging, eighty percent of those falls take place in the bathroom. Lower your chances of falling while you get in and out of the shower by considering a walk-in bathtub.
Staying Safe with a Walk-in Tub
We’ve all lost our balance once or twice climbing into a traditional bathtub. With a 15-inch threshold, it’s easy to slip and hurt yourself. Thanks to specialty products like walk-in tubs, you can make your bathroom a little safer. Walk-in tubs come in different sizes, but most will have a lower threshold at about 3-7 inches high. The best walk-in tubs on the market have water-tight hinged doors that are built into the side of the tub. Most walk-in tubs have inward doors, but custom designs may be ordered to meet alternative needs. There are a variety of tubs to choose from, including therapeutic spa tubs with bubble massage air jets and fast fill-and-drain models.
Along with your walk-in tub, you may want to consider adding other safety features to your bathroom, such as:
- Shower chair or transfer bench
- Grab bars
- Non-slip mats for the bottom of the bathtub
- Non-slip rugs in front of the shower/bath and sink
- Shower caddy to keep essentials within reach
- Install lighting that will increase visibility
The Cost of Walk-in Tubs
If you currently receive Medicare benefits, you may be wondering if your coverage will help pay some of the costs of a walk-in tub. Unfortunately, Medicare usually does not consider a walk-in tub as durable medical equipment (DME) and will not be covered by your insurance. If you qualify for Medicaid, your state program may offer some financial assistance in the purchase and installation of a walk-in tub. If you have to pay out-of-pocket for the walk-in tub, you may be able to arrange a payment plan with the company you buy it from.