Bath Lifts - Bath Independently Once Again
17/02/2019 | ReliMobility
Bath Lifts - Bath Independently Once Again
To be able to take a bath a nice warm bath means absolute relaxation for many people. The ability to enjoy these undisturbed moments can be limited by illness and age. This often means that the height of the bath tub becomes an challenging obstacle to overcome. Help from others to assist with private moments such as bathing is usually not wanted by those who may need assistance. However these difficulties with bathing can be overcome with the use of a bath lift. Using such a bathroom aid facilitates getting in and out of the bath and ensures a pleasant bathing experience. It will also ensure the user can get in and out of the bath independently without any help, increasing their independence and privacy.
How do bath lifts work?
All of our bath lifts raise and lower the user inside the tub. In order to do this, the seat is raised to the height of the tub rim, so that the user can sit down comfortably and without further help. They must then put their legs inside the tub and slowly lower the seat. Most lifts have a backrest that will tilted after lowering. After bathing, the user is raised by raising the seat up to the level of the tub rim, they can then swing their legs outwards.
The raise and lower functions of the bath lifts are controlled by an easy to use handset.
What types of bath lifts are available?
Depending on user requirements and on the construction of the bathroom and the bath, different types of bath lifts can be used. The most popular type of bath lift is the scissor lift, This particular type is placed in the bathtub and fixed there with suction cups on the bottom plate. The floor and seat plate are connected with a scissor shaped plastic. The power to control the bath lift comes from a battery that is commonly found within the handset, or more rarely in the backrest. The battery can be disconnected to allow for easy charging outside of the bathroom. More modern bath lifts will check before lowering that the battery has sufficient charge available for the final lifting operation. If this is not the case, the bath lift cannot be lowered. Scissor lifts can be used in all standard bathtubs. However, so that the user still has enough space for the legs and a comfortable bathing is possible, the tub should have at least a length of 120 cm at the bottom.
Inflatable cushion bath lifts can be used for shorter bath tubs. An inflatable air cushion is placed in the tub and inflated by a compressor outside the tub with air. This once again is all controlled by a handset. Since all the technology is located next to the tub, these models require significantly less space and are also suitable for space-saving tubs. Inflatable cushion bath lifts are also powered by a rechargeable battery and are an excellent solution for those who require a mobile bath lift to take abroad with them on holiday etc.
Cloth lifters are particularly space-saving. In a cloth lift, a webbing is rolled up by a motor on the wall behind the bathtub. The other end of the band is attached to the outside of the tub. The user sits on this tape and then slides down into the tub. Cloth lifters are always fixed and have no backrest.
For special care requirements, fixed wall or ceiling lifts are used. Here, as the name suggests, the lifter is fixed to the wall or ceiling of the bath and then works like a crane. The user sits in a sling and are raised directly from the wheelchair or portable shower chair, swung over the tub and then lowered. Due to the complex technology and handling such lifters are rarely and in special cases used.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each type of bath lift has its advantages but as with most things there are some disadvantages.
The common bath lifts are the scissors action bath lifts. They are uncomplicated to handle, relatively inexpensive to buy and ideal for standard bathtubs. As already stated, however, a minimum length of the tub is an important prerequisite for the use of such a model. For baths with elements on the side wall (drain, handles, etc.), the sliding of the side flaps on the inside of the bath can be hindered. Without tools, the intervention of the user is necessary for each lifting operation. It may also happen that in tubs with a drain in the middle this is covered by the lifter. Then the bath lift must be removed from the bath tub to reach the drain.
Inflatable cushion bath lifts are compact, light and transportable and can be used without effort in almost all baths. Their disadvantage lies mainly in the price, they are generally more expensive to buy than scissors lifts.
Permanently installed bath lifts have the advantage that the user can get into the lift directly outside the tub and then swings or drives over the tub. However due to the construction, costs are high for the purchase and it requires a relatively large installation.
What should be considered when purchasing a bathtub lifter?
Anyone planning the purchase of a bathtub lifter should first be aware of who will use the lifter later and who will continue to bathe without any aids. Depending on the required support and the spatial conditions, the most suitable model can then be chosen. For classic lifts, a standard bathtub that is not too short is required in any case. For corner baths or other special shapes, these models are not suitable. For extra wide tubs lifters can be equipped with wider side flaps. Here the total width of the tub at the upper edge must be measured.
Another criterion is the user weight. Most bath lifts are approved for a maximum body weight of 140 kg. For more agile users, reinforced versions are available. If the Lifter occasionally come along on trips or on vacation, it is important to decide on a demountable model with the lowest possible weight of the individual components. If there are handles or other structures in the tub in which the side flaps are located, the lift can only be used with appropriate side flap deflectors. These are hung on the edge of the tub and prevent the side flaps from getting caught on obstacles when lifting.
Which accessories are useful?
For a bath lift, no accessories are needed in most cases. For users who are severely limited in their mobility, there are transfer aids that facilitate the translation from the edge of the tub to the seat of the lifter. As a pure turntable you facilitate the rotational movement that is necessary when placing the legs. Versions with a sliding rotating surface also facilitate the transfer from the tub rim to the middle of the lift. These transfer aids are simply placed on the seat and are therefore to be used independently of the model. They remain on the seat throughout the bath.
For further safety when getting in and out, it makes sense to attach a handle to the wall next to the tub . This provides additional security when sitting down and getting up. The possibility for this of course depends on the structural conditions of the bathroom.