The 3 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Walk-in Bathtub!

I had never heard of a walk-in bathtub until after my Mother-in-law fell in the bathroom and broke her hip several years ago.  The hip injury set in motion what I now know to be an epidemic.  In fact, over 15,000 seniors die every year from fall related injuries.   Fortunately my mother in law survived, only to break her hip a second time within a year! According the AARP surveys, if you fall and sustain a serious injury there is a 66% chance you will fall and be injured AGAIN with in six months!

Independent living is now my 87 year old Dad’s most important objective. When I first learned of walk-in baths and adapted bathing technology, I was amazed and fascinated. But, I knew nothing about these “walk-in tubs.” So, I researched every walk-in tub I could find (including tubs from the US, Canada, Europe and China), in order to learn how to determine which product is right for a given situation, which ones are high quality and which are not. I’ll tell you right now… it’s a jungle out there!

What makes it so hard for consumers to safely buy a walk-in tub in this “jungle”?

  1. Walk-in tubs are a necessity, not a luxury. If you are in the home you hope to stay in, a walk-in bathtub (or a slide-in or transition tub) is, without question, the single most important “first step” to being able to achieve independent living.
  2. Discovering which walk-in tub is the best for you is essential.  Every person’s health, weight or mobility challenge is different, and there are many options to learn about.
  3. Most manufacturers and walk-in tub peddlers don’t really know how to advise you to select the best walk-in tub for you. In fact, I believe the “best” walk-in bathtub marketers are often selling the worst walk-in tubs!

The three things you need to know before you (or a loved one) buy any walk-in tub.

  1.  How to determine the best walk-in bathtub design for you.You have unique physical and mobility issues. Walk-in tubs range in sizes from tiny to very large. Quality ranges from garbage to state-of-the-art.  The wrong design or size will create a very unpleasant “rest of  life” experience, and a waste of your precious money. WARNING – Most walk-in bathtub re-sellers don’t know (or don’t care) how to properly size a walk-in tub to match your needs, nor do they know high quality engineering and designs to best meet your mobility needs.
  2.  How to get the maximum health and safety benefit based on your medical issues.  The proper deep soaking walk-in or adapted tub will offer you access to Medical Hydrotherapy™, which can be life altering. However, this technology is little understood in the US. There are many aspects of “Jacuzzi” and water jetted systems that can be unsafe for you. Also, medically appropriate systems may be prescribed by your doctor. Proper hydrotherapy design can make the difference between a true medical breakthrough for you, or perhaps an unwanted health risk.
    WARNING – It is very difficult to locate a walk-in tub internet re-seller or manufacturer that truly understands the significance of Medical Hydrotherapy™. Don’t buy any walk-in tub without knowing your health concerns are being best addressed and after consulting with your healthcare provider.
  3.  How to respect your financial situation and maximize your investment. Your financial situation is unique to you. Most internet “walk-in tub peddlers” are selling the same few products. They suggest to you that price is the only factor; as if “a walk-in bathtub is a walk-in bathtub”. Well, just as not all 4 door gray sedans are equal, neither are walk-in bathtubs. There are vast quality differences. Also, there are many important safety and ADA guidelines that will impact the accessories best suited for you.

Finally, installation is vital to be done right. Many walk-in tub installers put them in like a washing machine. Walk-in tubs can be installed properly and in a professional fashion in a number of different ways, and at differing costs.

WARNING – You should be fully and objectively advised on all walk-in tub options and prices, and installation pricing options, so you can decide how you want to invest your money. You should be able to decide if you want to buy a Kia, or a Bentley, or something in between.

Bottom line – Knowledge is Power. Get some before you buy any walk-in bathtub.