If you are a senior or are considering what’s best for the senior in your life, there are a lot of factors to consider. Two of these factors—freedom and safety—are often at odds with each other. You may find yourself pulled in opposite directions by considering both. Walk in tubs provide the senior in your life with the opportunity to make a compromise. Along with other appliances and customized home facilities, they can increase the safety of living alone without sacrificing the freedom that one is often so loathe to leave behind. Here are some of the reasons they should be considered.
When you’re 30, falling may not be a big deal. You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and hope that no one saw it happen. When you’re 70, falling could land you in the hospital. Bones grow brittle when we age and a fall can result in a broken hip, back, or even neck. This is especially true in the bathroom, where close quarters and hard surfaces make falling treacherous even for a young individual. Additionally, a fall is more likely to occur in the bathroom than anywhere else. Slick floors make it extremely easy to fall.
Another thing adding to the danger of the bathroom is that ledge we all must cross when getting into the shower. Walk in tubs remove this ledge and make it easier to get into the shower without worrying about lifting a leg to dangerous heights. It may seem silly to someone with full mobility to require this removal. For a senior or anyone with a disability, however, that ledge might as well be Mt. Everest. Forced to hold on to the wall or, worse, the shower door/curtain, it can be a dangerous and difficult proposition to get into the shower. This is where falls are likely to happen, especially when you combine that risky maneuver with wet floors.
If you still aren’t convinced that walk in tubs are addressing a serious and present problem, you should update your knowledge about the prevalence of falls in the U.S. According to statistics, falling in the home is the number one way for elderly individuals to meet accidental death. The CDC shows that approximately 33% of adults aged 65 or older fall every year. Many of these falls lead to injury and some even lead to death. It is a serious problem and it should be noted that injuring yourself in a fall at age 65 or older can result in a long hospital stay and the loss of freedom. It is better to take a proactive approach. Walk in tubs and other home adjustments can reduce risk.