Are you or an aging relative experiencing mobility issues? If so, a walk-in tub may be exactly what your bathroom needs. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about walk-in bathtubs, so you can make the right decision for your home.
What is a walk-in tub?
A walk-in bathtub is a specialized tub featuring a door allowing for easy access in and out of the tub. Unlike traditional tubs, individuals do not have to worry about climbing over the edge and losing their balance. Typically, these tubs feature a chair-height seat and high tub walls, allowing for users to soak their entire bodies. However, some models have the same configuration as a standard tub.
They’re ideal for anyone who wants to improve the accessibility of a bathroom in their home. This has caused their popularity to spike as more and more people come to realize just how much their quality of life can improve with this simple switch.
Is a walk-in tub right for your home?
There are a number of reasons why someone may decide that a walk-in tub is the right decision for them. At Herl’s, we typically feel they fall into one of the following groups.
They tubs provide a safer option than traditional tubs or showers
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, and of those, 80% occur in the bathroom. Statistics like these don’t paint a pretty picture. Fortunately, walk-in tubs were designed to provide those with limited mobility the full use of their bathrooms. Bathtubs designed for this purpose eliminate the worry of climbing over a high tub wall or slipping in the shower. What’s more, walk-in tubs can be fitted with additional safety features such as grab bars. Whether you’re concerned about your own safety or that of a loved one, a walk-in tub can help reduce the risk of injury without compromising privacy or independence.
Therapeutic benefits of warm water therapy
One of a walk-in tub’s best features is its high walls allowing, for an individual to completely submerge their body. For individuals suffering from chronic ailments, warm water therapy can be an effective home treatment. Warm water therapy isn’t a new concept, either. It’s been around for thousands of years and its healing benefits have been confirmed through studies and testimonials.
For millions of aging adults, arthritis is the bane of their existence. Fortunately, it’s been shown that regular practice of warm water therapy can reduce joint stiffness and pain. By simply soaking in a tub, an individual can reap the same benefits. Studies have also shown warm water therapy to be beneficial in managing diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25% of Americans age 65 or older have some form of the disease. The good news is that warm water therapy may help reduce blood-sugar levels. Additionally, regular usage of a bathtub can lower stress levels, help to alleviate sleep disorders, and improve your overall well-being.
Walk-in tubs are made with acrylic, our material of choice.
We recommend acrylic to most of our customers because it’s one of the strongest and most durable materials in the bathroom remodeling industry. Acrylic is highly resistant to mold and mildew and very easy to keep clean. Furthermore, it’s guaranteed not to chip, peel, crack or fade over time. However, what’s arguably the most important is that acrylic is naturally slip-resistant, unlike tile and porcelain. This additional safety feature is just another reason why a walk-in tub is a great purchase.
Easy and convenient installation
Another benefit is that they’re designed to fit in place of a standard tub. You don’t need to worry about ripping up your bathroom or tearing down walls. Your new tub can be installed in as little as one day by a team of factory-trained professionals.
Will Medicare or Medicaid cover the cost of a walk-in tub?
Unfortunately for most seniors, Medicare will not pay for walk-in bathtubs, as they are not considered to be “durable medical equipment.” That being said, there are a few exceptions to the rule. The beneficiary of the tub would need a medical diagnosis and written prescription stating the medical benefits of the tub are absolutely necessary. Even then, there is no guarantee. If Medicare does end up paying, support would typically come as reimbursement rather than in advance of the purchase.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is more likely to provide financial assistance. However, this differs from state to state. For each state, there are multiple Medicaid programs. For example, there are four in Maryland and two in Delaware. It’s important to check with your state to determine whether or not you can receive financial assistance for a walk-in tub.
Financing is always an option
If neither Medicare, Medicaid, or paying for the tub outright are an option, you can look into financing options. At Herl’s, we have several wonderful financing options that can make the purchase of a walk-in tub easier on your wallet.
Why Choose Herl’s
Herl’s Bath & Tile Solutions is a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) by the National Association of Home Builders. You can rest assured knowing we have the expertise and knowledge that’s essential to providing the best bathroom remodeling solutions for safely aging-in-place. Each of our expert installers are factory-trained with at least 125 installation jobs to their name.
Contact Herl’s Bath & Tile Solutions today to schedule a FREE in-home bathroom remodeling consultation and price estimate on the walk-in tub of your dreams.