Suffering from a disability is a struggle of its own. It can permanently remove the quality of life and leave seniors and other individuals with a feeling of hopelessness and a loss of pride. Not to mention, limited mobility and disabilities can often leave seniors and other individuals feeling as if they have no choice but to depend on others including in-home caretakers and other family members. This isn’t a burden many want to place on others. In comes the miracle of assistive devices. A question I see often is concerning lifts for seniors to use in the shower or bathtub. What is a bath lift? Here is what I can tell you on this topic.
So, what is a bath lift? A bath lift can also be referred to as a shower lift or bathtub lift. Bath lifts can provide safety, comfort, and ease of use for individuals suffering from mobility issues. Additionally, bath lifts use remote buttons for movement, allow for reclining and are often powered by batteries. Bath lifts are one of the highest end options you have for assistance in and out of a bathtub.
I also wanted to take the time in this post to cover some other frequently asked questions and break down a few options you will have when searching for the best bath lifts. Prices can vary significantly so it’s ideal to have a strong understanding of the options and features that a quality bath lift can offer.
Understanding Bath Lifts and How They Work
To recap, bath lifts are explicitly designed to assist individuals with mobility issues with getting in and out of the bathtub. The point is to not only maintain and enjoy proper hygiene but to offer individuals the chance to restore some independence and self-pride.
Most bath lifts are extremely easy to install and only require a few (up to four suction cups for traction) and a few other components. Bath lifts can recline, raise and lower and often offer up to 50 degrees of flexibility or movement. In addition, bath lifts use easy to see and easy to reach buttons to promote easy function and comfort.
Bath Lifts and How to Enter the Bathtub with Common Bath Lifts
A bath lift will typically either begin (or be placed) right outside the tub or by resting in the tub when not in use. High-end bath lifts will allow you to be seated before entering the bathtub and make the full powered ride into the tub while you are seated.
The more common version of bath lifts will require you to take a seat on the padded cushion while the four suction cups adhere to the floor of the bathtub. Once seated, you can use the easy hand controls to lower yourself into the water and recline if you so wish to do so. They are extremely to use and sleek in design.
Are Bath Lifts Comfortable to Use and Sit On?
Absolutely. Most bath lifts will offer padding and cushions for your buttocks and your back and neck. Once you are seated and lower yourself into the tub, you can merely recline the bath lift back to its common maximum of 50 degrees.
50 degrees is very common to the same position you would be in if you were relaxing in the bathtub with neck and shoulders out of the water, but the rest of your body submerged into the bath water.
Transporting a Bath Lift with Ease
A common misconception with bath lifts is that they must be fixed to your bathroom or remain in one bathroom. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some very high end expensive electronic bath lifts will affix to an exterior wall near the bathtub, but for the most part, common bath lifts simply rest inside the bathtub.
If you wish to transport or remove the bath lift, you can do with ease by merely lowering the lift to its most condensed position. From this point, you can just fold the lift and carry it for easy transportation. Bath lifts are kept at light weights but with high maximum weight bearing capacity for this reason alone.
It’s designed to be taken with you on vacations, family travel and when visiting others. Be sure when purchasing a bath lift that you have these considerations in mind and find a bath lift that can tailor to these specific needs. Overall, however, bath lifts can quickly be picked up and taken with you on the go.
Are Bath Lifts Expensive Compared to Other Assistive Devices?
Unfortunately, yes, bath lifts are expensive compared to other assistive devices. Often, bath lifts can run you a few hundred dollars or multiple thousands of dollars depending on how fancy and high end of a lift you are looking for. A common pricing point for quality bath lifts will sit right in the 200-400-dollar range.
Other assistive devices will usually run you less money out of pocket such as commodes, shower chairs or even transfer benches. However, none of these assistive devices offer the same level of comfort and ease of use as a bath lift can. Plain and simple.
What Should You Look for In A Bath Lift?
If it were me searching for a bath lift, I would have a few things I’d want to cross off my checklist. First and foremost, I would be searching for comfort. Ideally, you will want a bath lift with the ability to recline 50 degrees. Additionally, I would want a bath lift that offers padded seats, backrest and neck rest.
Additionally, if mobility is the common problem we are all facing (which it is) be sure to purchase a bath lift with easy controls to lower into the tub and raise yourself out of the tub. Lastly, I’d look for the feature we previously discussed. The ability to easily fold and transport the bath lift.
It’s likely you will need to maintain hygiene or take a bath somewhere other than your own home in the future so ensuring you can always bring your bath lift with you on the go is critical.
Final Word, Bath Lifts Can Offer Some Excellent Relief and Sense of Independence for Seniors
Bath lifts are another excellent tool in a market filled with great assistive devices for seniors. It’s a great option if you are struggling with a disability and mobility issues and can surely help bring back great hygiene practices and overall comfort to enjoy doing taking baths. I mean let’s be real, who doesn’t enjoy a good bath to relax sore muscles and unwind after a tough day?
What experience do you have with bath lifts? Do you recommend any specific model or lift? Be sure to leave a comment below.