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I am interested in comparing different brands and knowing different prices...

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We found a shower bench that fit the bathtub and got a handheld shower that was easy enough to install ourselves. If the bathroom is chilly, I'd recommend getting a space heater and warming the room up first. There are much cheaper options than getting a walk-in bathtub. Good luck to you!
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Walk-in tubs are extremely expensive, will be used for a relatively short time, and make a house tougher to sell.

If, given all that, you really want one, I would first make very certain that you are getting the tub for the right reason. I've known more than one family who put in the tub because their parent wasn't bathing (and saying that it was because they couldn't comfortably get in and out of the tub), then, once it was installed, still didn't bathe because many elderly prefer not to (for lots of reasons that are off-topic here).

I have also known families who have installed them and then, weeks later, their parent had a health issue that caused them to move to a SNF or AL. If someone is at the point where they cannot get in and out of a tub, they may also be at the point where they won't be living in the house much longer.

I've also known people who have still slipped in the bathroom, even with the better accessiblilty of the walk-in tub. It's still wet and slippery. Getting a bath in a regular tub with someone to help you in and out is still way safer than a walk-in.
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Hi Garden,
My mom and I haven't had a problem with clogging.....knock on wood. The tub has two different ways the water drains. The power motor drain is in the side of the tub....low level. (It has a screen type thing over it and I always use a paper towel after she is done to take away any hair or stuff that is over it.) The other drain is like any other tub. If too much stuff clogs it up, you can pull out the plug piece, wash it and put it back to move up and down with the manual drain.
Once again, I HUGE thumbs up for my mom and her new tub!
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Fox, the issue of draining made me wonder - how does the tub get snaked out if there's a slow down of the water draining? In regular bathtubs, it involves removing the little round drain and plunging, or removing the faucets and snaking.

Have you ever had to do this? Unfortunately, tubs do get clogged and I was wondering how much different it was in this kind of tub vs. a regular tub.

If the person has to stay in the tub while it's draining, there could be a delay just waiting for a slower drain to absorb the water, even with a power motor.
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I wanted to comment about the draining of the tub while you are still in it. There is a power motor on the drain and it takes 60 to 90 seconds to drain. One of the best things my mom has ever pruchased for herself in her lifetime!
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I don't recall if these have jets in them, but if they do, there are electrical issues to consider as well.
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Thanks to the posters on this forum, I decided to not get a walk-in tub:
1) they are expensive. 2) you have to drain the water before getting out safely.
First, I don't want to sit in a tub while it drains, leaving residue. Second, I like to get out, then maybe come back in (due to anxiety.)
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Hi Sunny,
We had 5 or 6 salesmen in to my mom's place giving us their "pitch".
The prices were all over the place depending on the brand name you wanted or the add ons that were wanted. It is sort of like buying a car. You can get acar for anywhere from $10,000 (the windows are not power and there is no radio, to $200,000 if the brand is Jag or MB with all the bells and whisles.) My mom's tub came to around $12,000 after installation. You can expect to buy the tub and then double that cost with that amount to put it into the spot. You MUST make sure your installer knows what they are doing. You might have installation problems, as I did, and have headaches.......but well worth it to see the joy of an elderly person having a bath if that is all they have had since the 1920's or 1930's.
I suggest them 100% and the cost can help with the "spend down" needed for other services once they have such and such left for savings....
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Sunny, check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find out if they have a Caregivers' Expo in your area. They're typically held in October in Michigan.

Many vendors at these expos have booths, and some offer Expo special discounts. There have always been 2 - 3 assistive remodeling contractors, generally with photos of remodeled bathrooms, ramps and other improvements.

Take a photo of your father's bathroom and see if you can get a rough estimate from one of the local contractors.

Falcon also started a thread on this issue sometime ago with cost estimates for various options. These kinds of retrofits can be expensive, very expensive.

In the meantime and/or if you don't go with a retrofit, have you considered getting one of the chairs that extend out beyond the tub? Your parents can sit down outside the tub, scoot over and lift their legs inside the tub while sitting down, scoot over some more and they're inside and ready for a shower. It does take some time to figure out how to manage the shower curtain though so there might be a few wet floors outside the tub until you figure the best way to handle this. Just put down extra rugs until you find a good method.
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Foxxmolder, do you mind saying how much it ended up costing? I've been thinking of one for my parents. Daddy sat down in the regular tub recently and needed help getting up. Mom won't even try the tub anymore.
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My mom finally got her walk in tub and she LOVES it. It is easily the best part of her week as she slides back on the built in chair and soaks her weary 92 year old body. It is just heaven to be there with her as she enjoys her soak. The water comes up to the middle of her chest, but when she scoots to the end of the chair, the water is up to her neck. If you are from the Boston area or an hour or two ouside the city, I have a great guy to recommend that has installed over 100 of them. I have a feeling I am not allowed to say his name here since it would be "selling", but I am not working for the guy in any way to say this.
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Bathtub is the best option for disabled people. It comes in many designs and also provide safety to senior and elderly people. Safety features, design, and handicap bathtub accessories are the factors that should play a major role in deciding which handicap walk in bathtub you should choose. Visit http://walkinbathtubreview.org/
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I just realized I sounded like a commercial for this product lol.. I promise I am not affiliated in any way. We went through the same thing trying to decide if we should get the walk in tub since my mom prefers baths. She lives alone right now (not sure how much longer unfortunately) and it has worked really well.
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I bought my mom the Bellavita Bath Lift. Not sure I can put a link here, but if you go to Youtube and put that in search, lots of videos come up. They run about $500 or so and It gently lowers her into the bath. We didn't want to alter the bathtub permanently with the walk in tub... so far this has worked wonderfully!
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Walk in tubs brands etc. are not always the major information need. Personally, what kind of health does one have? At the time we purchased a walk in tub, both my husband and I could "walk"into it. Within a few months, my husband went down, and could not use the walk in tub, because he became bed fast and could not walk.
Had we known that this would happen, we would have purchased a tub that one could use a lift and put them over the side down into the tub. So design for unknown needs for the future may be something to think about. There are so many different designs. Many are only walk in tubs. As long as you can walk in. Great! But if there comes a time you need the therapy tub, it would be good if it was more reversible so it could be used with a lift if person needing the therapy cannot stand or walk. Just thoughts. joylee
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Would it be less expensive to take out the tub and install a step-in shower instead? We found that a better idea for resale in my MIL's house. People think the modified tub with the step-in "doorway" is ugly. With my parents we found that sponge baths in the sink with them either sitting on a shower chair or standing with a walker were safer than having them try to shower. After we had to call the fire dept. a couple of times when Dad fell off the shower chair (don't ask) we banned them from the tub.
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Thank you all for such great advice, information, and past experiences.
It looks like we won't be going with the cut out tub to go in and shower. she likes baths too much and having her body covered with water. The doctor also wants her to bathe more often. Any other people have parents that only bathe once or twice a week? Does it have to do with the depression?
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I did alot of checking on the walk in tubs for my parents. those horrible prices are right in line... And you have to NOT open them until the water drains out. Don;t believe the salesmen about how quick this is.. even a few minutes of cold is too much for most elders. I could buy a nice hot tub for this money and get them in and out quicker!
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If you google "Safeway Step Bathtub Cut Out" you can see pictures of what a more commercial bath tub cut out looks like, just so you get the concept. Looks like they run between $800-1500. My mom's setup is more amateurish, probably done by one of the maintenance men in the facility where she lives. But it works just fine.
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Foxmolder my mom also has a "cut-out" tub. She lives in an older independent living facility and they retrofit some normal tubs. She can step over the lip of the cut out (probably 3" off the bottom of the tub?) and then I have a seat in the tub. She uses a hand-held shower while sitting on the seat and we both love it. I wish in her case the cut-out was a bit wider, as she's getting so frail that getting her in and out is more problematic as she has to stop over the lip of the cut out. But there are also good grab bars by the tub that she uses while stepping in and out. So if you go the cut-out tub route, be sure you have good grab bars all around the tub.
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i had a buddy when i was a teen who walked in and passed out in a tub. it wasnt his house, it belonged to the city police chief.
he was dragged to jail by his long , luxurious , hippy hair..
true story..
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Foxx, the quotes you've gotten do sound outrageous, but from a construction standpoint there may in fact be some issues. I assume you got breakdowns of what electrical and plumbing would have to be changed? Were there any other structural changes as well?

Given that the existing tub is a whirlpool tub, there will be additional installation issues that would extend the price beyond that of a basic changeout, so that's something to consider.

I'm not familiar with the specific contractors you mentioned, but I assume you're researching and interviewing contractors who specifically do adaptive retrofits?

As to stepping up on a stool, there are shower chairs that extend out over the tubas HearttoHeart mentions. That's what we bought. Mom would sit down outside the tub and scoot over inside the tub, all while sitting down and just lifting her legs (which you could do for her if necessary). She never got up until she was all through with her shower.

I assume you also have had a carpenter (NOT a handyman) install grab bars, and only installed in the studs?
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Can I post a pic here? I take a pic of it and post it here or maybe I can email to you? it really is so simple - I don't know how much the suggested google kit is but I'm sure it is far more expensive than the way we did it. All it took was 3 pieces of wood and a little sealer and white paint!
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Fox, google "Bathtub cut out kit" and you will see pictures and prices. Once you put this in, you will no longer have whirlpool function, but you will have a safe entry to the shower.
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Dear Kep,
You have caught my attention beyond words. I am reading your post over and over again and I just can't PICTURE IT!
Please please please explain in futher detail. I am ready, willing, and ABLE to make this for my mom. I'll spend a thousand or two! just can't pciture it!
I think my mom's tub MIGHT have trouble doing it, since her tub is a whirlpool tub and there is additional hardware under th tub.....
Even if I can't do it..... please tell everyone on here the mechanics in detail. Once again, a walk in tub is OVER 10 or 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!
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As per my design, we hired a handy-man who came in and cut a square out of the side of the tub and made a frame to cover the sharp edges then sealed everything. He left about 2 inches of the side at the bottom to contain water and with safety railings and a shower chair, my elderly mother could step in and take a shower sitting down using a hand-held shower. It all cost less than a $100 - this was after we found out how expensive those walk-in tubs are, and even after several people said it couldn't be done. It could be done and a family friend came to look at the finished project so he could fix his elderly mother's tub the same way. And he did it. It's certainly a cheap alternative to the expensive tub or having to put in a shower.
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P.S. The tub chair I'm referring to is the 'Bathtub transfer Bench/Bath Chair With Back, Wide Seat, Adjustable Seat Height, Sure Gripped Legs, Lightweight, Durable, Rust-Resistant Shower Bench
From MedMobile'
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I did the same thing for my mother (as captain) to modify the bathroom for my mother... She won't even use the hand-held shower... but, will use the tub chair...the longer version.. this type to slide into...showerchairselderly/store which se likes... I thought of the walk-in tub also, but am really happy I didn't spend the money... (also, make sure you have grab bars by the tub and toilet for her to us... this is really important so she doesn't fall)
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Coy LOVED our walk-in tub. Only wish I'd bought it years earlier. Now I am enjoying it. My mother hates it. I doubt it is the answer for elders who hate to bathe. For those who'd love to but have a hard time stepping over the tub to get in or getting up from the ground level it is absolutely awesome.

I got 3 quotes. Two were very close together and the third one was almost double that. Yikes!
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i offered to modify my mothers shower and or tub several times till she finally leveled with me that she had an aversion to being soaking wet. so yea , id be careful spending a lot of money on something the elder might resist..
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