Why a Walk-in Bath?
With 60% of accidents in the home occurring in the bathroom it is important to make the bathroom environment as safe as possible. Breaking bones whilst living with an existing injury can make the recovery particularly long. In a walk-in bath it is far less likely that you’ll fall over since you are surrounded by support on all four sides, although you could fall over into the seat. Assistive measures like grab bars, slip resistant floors and a low threshold also make it much safer than a conventional bath/shower.
Bathing in warm water takes the pressure off of your joints and reduces inflammation and stress, making bathing a simple and enjoyable activity.
Inswing or outswing?
An outswing has many advantages over an inswing so the only time an inswing should be used is where space is limited. An outswing allows more room to manoeuvre in to the bath and enables people to transfer a seat-to-seat.
Acrylic or gelcoat (GRP)?
With acrylic the sheet is heated and vacuum formed over a mould before a layer of fibreglass is sprayed and rolled over it for extra durability and insulation. The process is complicated but it creates a smooth seamless surface that results in a gloss shine. The surface is non-porous which makes it resistant to fading and is easier to clean. The non-porous material also makes it mold and mildew proof. If it is scratched it can simply be polished out.
Gelcoat consists of a layer sprayed on a mould covered with a further layer of fibreglass over that to reinforce it. Gelcoats are not able to withstand scratches and thus cannot be easily repaired so be cautious about the cheaper gelcoat walk in baths that are available on the market.
Filling up the bath
The most important part of the process: ensure your bath comes with a fast-fill faucet. This will cut the fill-in time down by half. A nice feature is a dual-diverter which means that some of the water can be sent to the head to rinse whilst the bath is filled. A heated backrest can also help during this time. (Ask your retailer what the standard fill-up time is for the bath.)
Additional extras to enhance your bathing experience:
Drain system – It is essential to choose a drain system that can be operated at arm level.
Air jets – Invigorate your bath with bubbles to produce the feel of an indoor Jacuzzi.
Water jets – These gently apply pressure to your muscles easing pains and strains.
Colour light therapy – Changes in lighting can ease your mood. Immerse yourself in relaxation – also called chromatherapy.
In-line heater – Set your desired temperature and drift away. The bath system will maintain the temperature all day.
Ozone – Keeps your bath in tip-top condition by naturally disinfecting and cleansing.
Mr Barker’s Bath
When we received a call from Mrs Barker we knew she had a distinctive problem but not one we couldn’t help with. Her husband was a wheelchair user and not as light as he once was. At 28st in weight, Mrs Barker couldn’t help, lift or move him on her own.
Mr Barker really wanted a bath to be able to soak away his aches and pains. The problem was getting in and out, up and down as well as finding a bath deep enough to cover him in hot water. We offered him our Oakham 75 Special which is wider than most walk-in baths and can also accommodate a 35st person in a seated position. The full width opening door meant that he could wheel up to the side and easily transfer across onto the seat using the grab bars. (The Oakham Special comes fitted with a spa jet massaging system which was great for soothing his aching joints etc.)
Two months on and Mr Barker is enjoying the benefits of being able to have a relaxing hot bath and the independence it brings.
Essential Bathing have a large range of walk-in baths to suit most circumstances. Contact them on: 01664 474603 to speak with David or visit: www.essentialbathing.co.uk/oakham-range/