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Domestic Spaces, a 2002 paper published in the Ageing and Society journal, found “that domestic spaces have a significant influence on the scope that older people have to retain a sense of self-determination… Older people require adequate, accessible and personalized domestic spaces in order to facilitate three important objectives: routines, responsibilities and reflection.”
The walk-in tub eliminates the need for a guardian, personalizes the positions of grab bars, eliminates the possibility of slip-fall accidents with its anti-slip floor, and includes emergency switches to ensure the user's safety. These safety precautions make the walk-in tub the obvious choice for seniors in need for a home addition that improves their overall quality of life.
For a brief look at walk-in tubs' safety features, click here.
Home modifications such as making the heights of kitchen and laundry appliances easier to reach, entrances lower, and space more adequate for wheelchair bound users are not always enough in assisting aging seniors. Bathing is a big part of our daily lives and seniors must have no accessibility issues when it comes to their daily hygienic needs. Domestic spaces are supposed to support the routines and responsibilities of older people in general. The walk-in tub answers to the needs of seniors in terms of convenience, accessibility, and the support they need for self-determination and independence.
Essentially, home spaces mean the same thing to everyone but aging brings with it illnesses and impairments that make certain fixtures, inadequate spaces and high steps more difficult for aging seniors to get an appropriate use out of, which means that certain environmental changes around the house would have to be made to make their lives easier and more encouraging of their mobility.
The walk-in tub is characterized by a door with a low step-in entrance sometimes as low as 2 inches from the bathroom floor, a comfortable anti-slip surface, therapeutic features that treat and alleviate many physical illnesses and ailments, and many personalized designs to choose from.
For occupational therapists, the home problem for seniors is mainly a lost feeling of “at-homeness”, which is the result of a disruption in accessibility and ease of navigating the house, which are problems that could be eliminated or brought to a minimum with simple technology that can help revive a sense of intimate belonging to their homes, and the walk-in tub is no exception.
The walk-in tub then gives seniors the support they need in carrying on with their daily lives with minimal domestic interference by utilizing their bathroom space efficiently. Moreover, it gives them the control over therapeutic features that improve their quality of life and supports a happier, healthier, more hygienic, and more intimate bathing experience.
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