Mobility-style baths, or walk-in baths, are an excellent alternative to traditional baths for those with mobility difficulties. These baths allow you to bathe in the comfort of your home without support and enjoy a safe bathing experience without putting strain and stress on your body.
In this article, we’ll uncover the safety features built into mobility-style baths and what to expect if you’re looking to purchase one.
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- Features of mobility-style baths for safety
- Types of grab rails for walk-in baths
- Different grab rail styles
- Slip-resistant mats in walk-in baths
- Multi use shower head
- Low doors
- Thermostatic bath fillers
- Quick draining
- Built-in seat
- Sanitary coating
- How does a walk-in bath aid with bathroom safety?
Features of mobility-style baths for safety
Sit-in baths are designed for those with mobility issues, and below is a list of the safety features that help with this.
Types of grab rails for walk-in baths
Several variations of grab rails are incorporated in walk-in baths to make this type of mobility bath more accessible to everyone. Below are the types of grab rails available.
1. Straight Horizontal
These bathroom grab rails are installed where seating and standing is required, such as getting on and off a seat for a bath routine. These help push you down and support you when getting up off the seat.
2. Straight Vertical
Straight vertical grab rails are suitable for when a pulling movement is required. In particular, they’re great for assisting with you entering and exiting the bath and can aid with all types of weights.
Angled bathroom grab rails combine the benefits of vertical and horizontal benefits and help with either pulling or pushing movements. They’re typically found in baths, as they assist with various movements rather than having to have multiple grab rails installed.
If you have limited space in your bathroom, folding grab rails might be an excellent choice. They’re stylish and versatile, as they fold out when required and fold flat against a wall when not in use, helping create more space in a bathroom.
Different Grab Rail Styles
Aside from the various types of grab rails, there are various styles of grab rails available to complement your bathroom and suit your design choices. These can also aid with safety by improving grip and visibility.
1. High Contrast
Bathroom rails are available in bright colours to improve visibility for those with a visual impairment.
2. Slip Resistant
Hands rails are designed for safety, but the addition of a slip-resistant, gripped surface can further improve safety. This is something to consider for baths where there’s water present. Though you might want to consider that the surface will be rougher if you have sensitive hands.
3. Plastic Finish
A plastic-finish grab rail is more affordable than the alternative styles. While they might be more clinical-looking, they’re hardwearing and warm to the touch, which makes them a great choice in colder environments or if you have poor blood circulation.
4. Polished Chrome
This style is probably the most luxurious design, though the surface can become slippery when exposed to lots of water. If you opt for this style, consider installing it outside of the bath rather than inside to improve your safety.
Slip-resistant mats in walk-in baths
Aside from entering and exiting a mobility-style bath, a big safety predicament is slipping or falling while you’re bathing.
Thankfully, integrated non-slip mats on the surface of the bath help to minimise falls by adding texture to the bath floor. This provides texture for when you first get in the bath and lift yourself off to exit.
Multi use shower head
Not all walk-in baths include an integrated multi-use shower head. But those that do pivot to hard-to-reach areas come with various spray settings.
This allows you to rinse shampoo out of your hair without having to dunk your head under water and move in an uncomfortable position. This function also allows you to shower in the bath for versatility.
Mobility baths include a low door threshold, so you don’t need to lift your legs over the bathtub to get in and out, helping to reduce the risk of slips and falls. Some bathtubs are available with a wider door to accommodate users.
Additionally, all mobility-style bath doors are sealed to ensure that water remains inside the bathtub to prevent leaking onto the bathroom floor.
Thermostatic bath fillers
These bath fillers can make it easier to acquire the exact temperature you need without the risk of scalding water when you test the water or enter the tub.
You’ll need to drain the water out of the bath before opening the door or you risk water leaking everywhere in your bathroom. Thankfully, many mobility-style baths are equipped with a dual-drainage system.
This feature ensures that the water drains quickly so you don’t have to sit in the bath waiting for a long time. This feature can help to speed things up. A faster draining system is not only more convenient but safer in the event you need to exit the bath quickly.
One of the best bath aids for safety is a built-in seat. This makes it easier to clean yourself without having to lower yourself in the bath and then remove yourself, which can put unnecessary pressure on your joints.
The seats have a built-in textured surface to prevent you from sliding around and slipping while you get on and off the seat.
Some luxury mobility-style baths feature a sanitary coating to provide easier maintenance and prevent a build-up of mold and mildew. This is a useful feature if you live independently to prevent you from having to thoroughly scrub the bath after each use while getting peace of mind that it’s clean.
How does a walk-in bath aid with bathroom safety?
This type of bath with door access makes it easier to enter and exit the bath. The doors are designed at a low height to avoid you having to step over to enter and exit the bath.
A low threshold makes it easier to get in and out of the bath if you have mobility issues compared to stepping over the side of a traditional bath.