Senior citizens are more likely than younger people to suffer from mobility issues, and that can often present problems when they need to wash themselves. Getting into and out of a traditional bath can be very tough, and there's always the possibility of a fall taking place. Regular shower enclosures are a little more useful for the elderly, but they still have a lip over which you have to step, and extended standing can be tough.
With that in mind, it's a good idea to renovate to fit in either a walk-in tub or a walk-in shower in the home of an elderly person. Either option is good, but a walk-in tub is probably more effective and comfortable, and here are just three reasons why.
1. More Relaxing
In general, having a bath is more relaxing than having a shower since you get to luxuriate in the warmth while lying down. In a walk-in bathtub, you will be sitting instead of lying down, but you'll still get to feel the warmth around your body. That warmth can help the circulation, loosen the muscles, and help ease the pain associated with arthritis. Certain models even have whirlpool jets and other luxury attachments. A shower isn't as effective in this regard since you are never submerged.
2. Stable Without Standing
Elderly people typically find it harder to stand for an appreciable amount of time, including the few minutes it takes to have a shower. Walk-in showers that have been specifically designed for seniors may have inbuilt chairs, but these can be hard to use since they won't sit within the direct stream of the shower. Additionally, the body won't be cushioned by the same buoyancy provided when you're submerged in a bath, so you'll feel stable sitting in a shower but not particularly comfortable.
3. Better Temperature Control
It's typically easier to control the temperature of a walk-in bath than a walk-in shower. With a walk-in bath, the water will start to pool near your feet before slowly rising up to cover most of your body, so there's plenty of opportunity to turn things up or down if the water feels either too hot or too cold. In a walk-in shower, a sudden drop in temperature could strike at any time, and the shock will often result in a fall. Additionally, it is usually hard to change the temperature of a shower without standing directly under the water.