What can be done for an elder who has difficulty getting in and out of the tub?


Q: My mother is having a hard time getting in and out of the tub. How can we all feel more secure and allow her to have independence?

A: It is important for your mother to explain to you where she feels uncomfortable. It will make it easier for you to come up with good solutions.

One of the easiest and most cost effective fixes is to get a bath chair. There are chairs that sit in the tub and there are also chairs that extend over the side of the tub. These chairs allow the bather get in to the tub without ever getting up. Adding a handheld shower will give your mother the choice of staying seated on the chair while bathing. A well-placed grab bar is also an essential added safety feature.

If your mother has the ability to remodel her bathroom a walk in tub is the best of all worlds. The tubs are designed to allow the bather to walk into a secure bathing environment, get safely seated and then enjoy a whirlpool soak. These tubs are designed to fit in the space of a standard 5-foot or 6-foot tub. At the end of the bath, the water will drain and then the bather can safely exit the tub. This is safety and luxury in one.

Abbie Sladick is certified by the National Association of Homebuilders, an expert in Universal Design and founder of GreatGrabz safety bars. Read her full biography

Sladick is certified by the National Association of Homebuilders and an expert in Universal Design. She is a member of the advisory council for the National Kitchen and Bath Association and has also sat on the American Society of Interior Designer's National Council on Aging in Place and Universal Design.

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