Accessible Features for Bathtubs

A bathtub can be a dangerous place for anyone, but especially elderly people who are at greater risk of injury from falls. Even a simple fall while bathing can result in broken bones, head trauma and other serious injuries.

Many seniors and people with disabilities need help bathing and using their tub. Luckily, there are several products that can improve accessibility in a tub and make bathing more comfortable for you or your loved one. The most important feature to consider is the door: A tub with an inward-opening door makes it easier to enter and exit than a bathtub with a swinging door. For more accessible bathub output visit

Some walk-in tubs have a low threshold that reduces the height of the entry point. This can be helpful for people who have difficulty standing or stepping over a tall tub wall. It can also be useful for wheelchair users who rely on a lateral-sliding transfer.

Most manufacturers of walk-in tubs offer models that are ADA compliant. This means that they meet a minimum standard of floor space and seat size, plus they have grab bars to aid in balance and stability.

Other features that are available in some walk-in tubs include a massage system, which uses air or water jets to soothe your muscles and help you relax. Some models of tubs have color therapy lights that change the water to a certain color or cycle through a variety of colors.

Because the water inside a tub takes time to heat up, some manufacturers make their tubs with thermostatically controlled taps that keep the water at the desired temperature while you bathe. Some tubs also have faucets that can be operated with a single hand to reduce strain on fingers and hands.

Another option for making your bathtub more accessible is a bath chair. These portable benches can be hung over the edge of your bathtub, allowing someone who needs to step into their tub, or who has trouble clearing the threshold, to sit in a chair and then raise their legs into the tub. They can be used by ambulatory or wheelchair users, and are also useful for people whose mobility may decline over time (like with Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Scleorosis).

The biggest drawback of many of these accessibility options is that you can’t try them out in a store before purchasing them. Some box stores do have some tubs on display, but most companies will send a rep to your home to measure your bathroom and look through models with you online. This can feel like a high-pressure sales process, but it’s worth the effort to be sure that you get a tub that meets your needs.

Most of the companies that sell walk-in tubs offer a lifetime warranty on the tub shell and 5-10 years of warranties on other components such as the controls, jets and seat. Some companies will allow you to return a tub if it doesn’t work out, although this isn’t always possible since the company would have to pay for shipping and installation of a new model.