Emerging New Health Technologies for Seniors

Emerging New Health Technologies for Seniors


Seniors in the very near future will have many new ways of tracking and reporting their health to doctors and other medical personnel. One of the most important advancements in health care during the recent decade are ‘personal data trackers’ that can help doctors monitor their patients while they are at home. These devices include portable electrocardiograms that are built into a smartphone case, as well as mobile apps and activity trackers that help keep tabs on patients and even GPS devices.

New Companies Are Often Targeting Seniors Specifically

New companies are starting up all around the company that include smart technologies like pill trackers that let caretakers and doctors know if pills have been missed, senior monitoring systems, and even mattress sensors that can measure heart and breathing, and send an alert if any problems arise.

For example, recently the medical record companyPractice Fusion partnered with the manufacturers of a smartphone heart monitor (AliveCor) and an online diabetes management system (Diasend), to facilitate the integration and reporting of important medical information.

Many of these new technologies will need to get FDA clearance – a process which can sometimes take years – before they enter the market. However, others like the Nike+ FuelBand and Fitbit (which work essentially like pedometers) and the Wellframe app that guides patients through a cardiac rehabilitation program — are primarily meant to foster healthful habits and are either currently available or will be soon on the market.

Some Remain Cautious About the Impact of these Technologies on Privacy Rights

However, although these technologies are impressive and very likely to become an important part of the medical landscape soon, there are some that are skeptical or caution of these new technologies. For example, many mobile apps rely on patient-generated data, which some doctors are reluctant to rely on. Some consumers are worried about privacy interests in relation to these new forms of medical reporting.  Some privacy advocates are concerned that the existing federal privacy law won’t be applicable to the growing volume of data that is now being produced by the various health devices and mobile applications. These advocates point to a need to change the existing privacy law so that it is able to incorporate these new technologies into its privacy framework.


Helping Seniors Remain at Home with Home Care

Helping Seniors Remain at Home with Home Care

Home care, also called referred to as non medical in home care and personal assistant services (PAS), is elder care that allows seniors with special needs to remain in their home versus moving to a care facility. texas in home careIn home carehelps senior remain at home longer. Home care is suitable for the chronically ill, disabled, someone recovering from surgery or someone who just needs a little assistance to remain in their home vs. moving to a senior care facility. It’s often a lot more affordable too.

Elder care and home care services can include personal care services including medication reminders, bathing, dressing or hair washing as well as homemaking services that can include meal preparation, light housekeeping,laundry, yard work, cooking, grocery shopping or transportation.

Home care can also include elder care services such as companionship, card playing, taking walks, or simply reminiscing. Respite relief for family, transportation, medication reminders, activities, companionship and more are also provided.

Trained and experienced caregivers can provide Texas elder care services wherever ‘home is’ including a personal residence, assisted living facility,nursing home or hospital. Most offer specialized training in caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s as well as Hospice.  There are MANY Texas home care companies to choose from that are licensed, bonded and insured.

Cost of care

The cost of home care varies with two ways to pay for care; private pay or through local state agencies and non profit organizations who pay particular attention to low-income, minority older people and older people residing in rural areas. While they typically do not charge for their assistance, they are often under-staffed, and unable to provide adequate long term planning. They do tend to be highly knowledgeable about local programs.cost of texas home care

Cost of Home Care Private Pay: Private pay companies and agencies usually require a minimum of 3 to 4 hours of care per visit. Many will begin services with one visit per week, knowing that seniors are sometimes resistant to start care. Typically a senior who is resistant to care will be open to more hours of service once they experience the benefits of a Caregiver’s visits.

A home care aide will typically visit an individual several times a week for periods lasting from 2-8 hours. The cost of home care nationwide in 2012, the average hourly amount being paid for non-medical home care is $19. The cost of home care in Texas average around $17.00 / hr.

Private individuals (friends, family, volunteers) can also be called upon to provide most of the same services with fees that are 20-30% lower. However, these independents are typically uninsured,do not go through background checks and may be unable to provide alternatives in case they are not available to work on short notice.


Talking to Your Parents About Health Care Issues

Talking to Your Parents About Health Care Issues:
How to Initiate the Conversation.


It’s never too late to discuss with your parents what they want in the event their health situation changes…unless it’s after something happens. Don’t wait until you’re in crisis mode. Emotional stress levels will be high enough. Don’t add to them.

Research has shown that, as people age, they prefer to continue living independently, preferably in their own homes. While adult children often worry about their parents’ situation, it can be difficult to know if parents really need, or want, help from their children.

Talking with your parents a head of time and understanding what they want, allows for the opportunity to honor their wishes, especially if it’s not possible for them to communicate at the time due to a stroke or other debilitating illness.

If there are other siblings involved who perhaps have other thoughts and opinions about the situation, there is no room for discussion, as your parents have made their decision(s) clear to everyone.

The following suggests ways in which you can talk with your parents about their health, finances, and day-to-day capabilities.

What You Should Know

For your parents’ welfare and your peace of mind, it’s important to have family conversations about staying at home before problems arise. An AARP survey found that parents feel better about having this discussion when things are going well, as part of planning for their future. Here are some tips for the conversation.

Initiating the Conversation

For many adult children, finding the right way to bring up the subject of independent living is a major stumbling block. Experts in communication and aging suggest some ways to break the ice.

Let your parents know what you need. Example: “What kind of help would you want if you were not able to do everything yourself and you wanted to continue to live safely in your home.”

Share your own emotions about your parents’ changing situation and encourage them to do the same. Example: “I know you have always prided yourself on being independent. I imagine it’s very difficult to ask for help. Is that right?”

Raise the issues indirectly. Relate it to someone else’s experience or something you have read about or seen on television. Example: “I know you’re taking pills for your arthritis, heart, and cholesterol. How do you keep track of which pills to take when? Would it help if you had one of those medication organizers you can buy in the drugstore?”

Watch for openings. Example: “You mentioned having problems with your eyesight. How does it affect what you normally do, like reading or driving?”

Give your parents a list of questions or concerns you have. This could be about their current and future situations. Schedule a time to sit and talk about your concerns. (Consider your own relationship with your parents when attempting this.)

Dealing with Resistance
Respect your parents’ feelings when they make it clear that they want to avoid a subject. You may want to try again at another time, using a different approach.

Involve Others – This might be a third person that your parents respect, such as a doctor or clergy, or other family members. You might want to hold a family meeting at which everyone discusses concerns and develops a specific, mutually acceptable plan to resolve them.

Investigate community resources. There are often community resources readily available to help older people remain independent, such as transportation services or home care. Check them out. If it’s clear to you that your parents do need assistance, you’ll be ready to share options with them.

Focus on Key Points

The first topic to address is your parents’ own perceptions about their current needs, concerns, and worries for the future, as well as their hopes and goals. There are some major issues that can affect an older parent’s ability to remain independent. Asking appropriate questions can help you avoid making assumptions about parents’ preferences.

Current Residence

Ask them…is your home still appropriate for your needs? Can you still manage stairs or are you better off on one floor? Does your home have safety hazards that need to be removed? Could simple modifications make it easier for you or more convenient? Should you think about living somewhere else?

Daily Activities

Ask them…do you need help with household chores, such as cleaning, fixing meals, or taking care of the house or yard? Does trouble seeing interfere with your daily activities? Can you easily hear a knock at the door or the telephone ringing?

Getting Around / Driving Issues

Ask them…Can you get to your doctor appointments? Is driving the car getting difficult? Do you have reliable transportation for shopping, medical visits, religious services, and visiting with family and friends?

Health Issues

Ask them…what health problems do you have? Are your prescriptions current? Have you been to the doctor lately? What did he or she say about your health? Did the doctor review all your medications to be sure there are no possible bad reactions? Are you having any problems taking your medications? Could you use some help remembering what pills to take and when to take them? Can you pay for the medicines the doctor tells you to take?

This topic is a particularly tricky area for adult children and their parents to discuss. You may want to be less direct than the following questions, depending on your comfort level.

Ask them…what are your current and likely future bills? Can you pay for what you need? Do you need help getting government or pension benefits? Are your Social Security and pension checks deposited directly in the bank? Is all your financial information in one place? What about getting extra income from the equity in your house? Have you thought about how you might need money in the future to help you do everyday activities you might not be able to do yourself? Do you have any bills you can’t pay?

Paying for Health Care

Questions to Ask…

  • What kind of health insurance do you have? Medicare? Medicaid or other insurance such as a Medigap supplemental policy?
  • Has it paid your health care bills so far?
  • Do you have long-term care insurance?
  • Have you paid the insurance premiums and are they up to date?
  • Would you like help filling out forms like insurance claims?
  • Have you been told that Medicare or your Medigap insurance won’t cover some medical tests or procedures that the doctor has ordered?
  • Do you have questions about Medicare or Medicaid?

While you probably won’t want to discuss all these matters in one conversation, they are issues to keep in mind and to raise as your parents’ situation changes. You might also want to ask your parents what issues concern them the most.

Keeping it Positive

Avoid role reversal. Talking to parents and helping them meet their needs doesn’t mean you are “parenting” them. The most productive interactions come when parents and older children are equal in the relationship.

Be prepared to let your parents make their own life choices, even if you don’t agree with them. Your parents have the right to make their own decisions (as long as they are not impaired with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia).

The Bottom Line…

As people age, they prefer to continue living independently — preferably in their own homes. Talk to your parents about their situation so you can determine whether they need or want your help.

Consider pushing the issue if your parents’ health or safety is at risk. This must be a personal decision, recognizing your parents’ right to be in charge of their own lives.

Act firmly, but with compassion if you decide you cannot avoid intervening. Example: “Mom, Dad, we can’t ignore this any longer. We have to deal with it.”

Source: AARP


Elderly Bathroom Safety – Better Safe than Sorry!

Elderly Bathroom Safety – Better Safe than Sorry!


The bathroom can be a dangerous place for the elderly. Factors like general weakness, joint and muscle pain, balance impairment and failing eyesight all contribute to making daily ablutions more and more difficult as time goes by. Things once taken for granted – being able to keep oneself clean, and using the toilet, slowly become insurmountably difficult, and a cause for fear and stress.

Of course, there are many things that can be done to turn the bathroom into a safer, user-friendly place for the elderly people you’re caring for. Take my advice, and don’t wait for an accident before you do something about this! How many changes you make and when is up to you. If your parent is still mobile and able to complete normal daily care routines alone, then you can start by installing bathroom safety rails and non-slip mats. On the other hand, if you notice a decline in function, you need to think ahead, knowing that things are not going to get easier. Installing a walk-in bathtub earlier, rather than later, can stave off a loss of independence and prevent accidents from happening.

If possible, involve your parent in elderly bathroom safety planning

Try to get a clear understanding of how your parent uses the bathroom. If possible, it’s a good idea to do a ‘walk-through’ with him or her. Let them show you how they lower themselves into the bath, and how they get out. Where do they hold on when stepping into the shower? Where should a handrail be placed, next to the toilet? Is it painful for them to lower themselves on to the toilet?

Your parent may find talking about these things embarrassing, and many seniors don’t want to admit that they are losing function in areas as personal as this. Be gentle in your questions, but make sure that you really find out how capable they really are. Using the excuse of needing to know where to place grab bars gives you a chance to do a ‘dry’ run, i.e., with your parent fully clothed and just pretending to sit on the toilet or climb into the bath. Of course, if you are already in the position of having to help your parent with bathing and using the toilet, then you know very well how difficult it can be. If you haven’t put the correct support appliances in place in the bathroom, you’re also risking injury to yourself and the possibility of a fall for your loved one.

Make sure that safety appliances are properly installed

Bath grab bars, shower grab bars and other bathroom safety rails must be able to take an elderly person’s full weight, and they must do so over and over again. It’s important to be sure that they are installed exactly according to instructions, with the correct installation fixtures. If you’re at all unsure,  have a qualified builder or handyman do it for you. My grandmother injured herself badly when the rail she was using to pull herself out of the tub ripped right out of the wall. She hit her head and cracked three ribs as she fell in what was a completely unnecessary accident. It turned out that my grandfather had installed the grab bar with the wrong screws, which were too short. My brother promptly re-installed all the rest of the safety equipment in their bathroom, and found two other rails were also incorrectly installed! So don’t be afraid to get good help when you’re putting in safety bathroom bars of any kind.

A few elderly bathroom safety tips to remember:

  • Involve your senior parent in planning for their bathroom safety rails.
  • Ensure that you really understand your parent’s abilities and difficulties in the bathroom.
  • Choose high quality, durable products from a reputable company. Safety is NOT the area to cut costs and buy garbage. In other words, low cost is not the most important criterion here.
  • Measure twice, install once.
  • Be absolutely sure that grab bars and bathroom safety rails are installed precisely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You can find an excellent range of senior bathroom safety features here. Their prices are fair, and the quality of their ranges for bathroom safety is superb. I was really pleased with their caring customer service as well. You can see that they know everything there is to know about caring for the elderly, which feels very reassuring to carers like me.


How to Care for Aging Parents – Helping Parents Stay Home

How to Care for Aging Parents – Helping Parents Stay Home


For many of us, there comes a time when our parents are becoming noticeably frailer, and decisions concerning their daily living and care become an ever greater responsibility. We all age differently, and the decision as to where an elderly parent should live must take into account their abilities and even their personalities. Because we love them, we want them to  as independent as possible, yet we must also be realistic.

After my Dad died, my brothers and I offered to help my mother move into an assisted care facility, but it was obvious how upsetting that idea was for her. She’s always been a very independent person, with a strong attachment to her home, and although she’s over eighty, she’s still fairly mobile and able to look after herself. Rather than putting her through the stress of a move, we decided to invest in modifying her home, ensuring that home care assistance will be viable when the time comes.

Safety first for aging parents

My mother had a bad fall two years ago, breaking her left hip. Although she healed well from the hip replacement surgery, the recovery left her much frailer than she was before. Our biggest worry since then has been that she could fall again, and the place that could most easily happen is her own bathroom. That’s why we started the renovations there, installing a walk-in tub, and non-slip flooring. The one we chose was the ‘Elite Walk-In Bathtub’, and Mom fell in love with it immediately, especially when she discovered the warm air jets! You can see the one we chose here called Elite Walk-in tub. It was a great help to her self-confidence, because she is now able to easily bathe herself again. We foresee that she’ll probably need a full-time home care nurse in the next couple years, and when that happens, the walk-in bathtub will make it much easier to help her in the bathroom.

Taking care of elderly parents can be stressful, both for you and for them, especially as their physical function begins to decline. Preserving dignity is so important, and it’s certainly a major reason why so many aging parents want to stay home instead of moving to a nursing home. Rather than sticking your head in the sand, try to think ahead, and install the necessary equipment in the home. This kind of forward thinking is vital when you’re taking care of aging parents at home. Waiting until AFTER a fall happens means medical costs, loss of function for the senior, and an additional stress load for all.

Create the right environment for a home care provider to succeed

Many people seem to imagine that, when it comes to taking care of aging parents at home, simply hiring a home care nurse is going to be the answer to everything. But in order for this solution to succeed, the home care nurse needs the right equipment. Various items can make all the difference, and you need to take into account each of daily activity that may need active or passive support. Do you need to replace a shower or tub with a senior safe tub? Have you checked for danger spots, where the floor gets slippery, or there’s nothing to hold on to? Where do you need safety bars? Should you be installing a stair lift? Or a reclining lift chair? If your elderly parent suffers from arthritis, have you checked through the kitchen, and replaced appliances that hurt their hands? There are suitable replacements for most home gadgets that do not require the use of pressure (painful to arthritic hands).

As you start to think these things through, you will be creating a solution that’s specific for taking care of YOUR aging parents at home. I’d recommend going to and taking a look at their range of specialized bath safety products. They’re really great quality, and I found I got a lot of good ideas for my Mom’s safety and comfort by just seeing what’s available. Hopefully, you’ll experience what I did – the huge reward of knowing that I’ve just given my Mom the gift of safe independence in her own home, and the knowledge that she doesn’t have to leave the place she loves so much.


How to Relieve Arthritis Pain – Walk-in Bathtubs Can Help

How to Relieve Arthritis Pain – Walk-in Bathtubs Can Help

Over the past ten years, I’ve watched my elderly mother dealing with painful arthritis. As it’s become worse and worse, it’s impacted her mobility, her ability to handle normal daily tasks, and has had an ever-increasing effect on her mood. Long-term pain can lead to depression and a feeling of helplessness. That’s something no one wants to see a loved one go through.

Because she was having such a hard time getting in and out of the tub, my sister and I had to take it in turns to go around to her house and help her bathe. My mother’s fiercely independent, and I can tell you that she hated the loss of her privacy and dignity. I knew we had to do something about the situation, and began to look at options for installing some kind of disabled bath aids in her home. After looking through a lot of walk-in bathtub reviews, my sister and I eventually chose one and set about getting it installed.

Major bonus – arthritis pain relief

Our greatest concern was for our mother’s bathroom safety, so it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that the walk-in bathtub could also make a huge quality-of-life difference for her. Yes, she’s gained independence, thanks to the easy step walk-in tub. But she also found out straight away that bathing in the tub soothed her pain. The tub has something called a massage hydrotherapy system, with 18 warm jets, and using it once a day (which she can do, now that she doesn’t have to rely on one of us to come over) has actually allowed her to decrease her pain medication.

The improvement in her mood was noticeable almost immediately, so much so that one of the grandkids (4 years old) said, “Grammy, you’re a laughing Grammy again!” Before we installed the walk-in bathtub, Mom was very much against us hiring a home care nurse, and was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. I think she was scared that she’d lose all dignity, and that’s a thought she couldn’t bear. But she definitely feels more in control now, and is suddenly fine with us getting a nurse in, which we’ll be doing starting next month, part-time. For Mom, there’s a big difference between “having someone around to help” and having someone do everything for her. Knowing that she can still bathe herself means keeping that sense of control that’s so important for her pride.

Mobile for longer

Of course, finding the means to control arthritis pain also means extending the length of time that your elderly parent is mobile. When the pain goes unchecked, a sufferer becomes more and more afraid to use the affected limbs, and that leads to muscle wasting and further stiffening of the joints. By supplying a therapeutic solution, like the walk-in bathtub, you’re literally making sure that your parent will be capable of staying home for longer, and may never need to be moved to a nursing home.

Greater mobility means greater independence in other ways, like being able to go shopping or visit with friends, and all of these activities contribute hugely to your parents’ emotional wellbeing and quality of life.

If you’re thinking of installing an easy step walk-in bathtub, I recommend that you check out the different walk-in tub models here. I found Active Forever very reasonable in their prices, and the range of tubs is really good. You’re bound to find the right solution to fit any bathroom.


Bathe Safe Elite Walk In Bathtub Review

Bathe Safe Elite Walk In Bathtub Review

The Elite Walk-In Bathtub is one of the Best Ways to Soothe Away Aches and Pains.

So we weren’t surprised to find reviews like this one from satisfied customers who have had a walk in bathtub installed in their home.

“In addition to this amazing tub, the customer service was knowledgeable and intelligent and responded quickly to my many questions. I couldn’t be happier with the Elite Walk in bathtub. I cannot begin to say how truly life changing it is. If you struggle with bathing (or have a loved one that struggles and are concerned about them) this is the perfect product.”

You can read more about the Bathe Safe Elite Walk-In Bathtub on this page and learn about all of the ways that this walk in tub can help you enjoy your life more fully.

One of the best features about the Elite Walk In Bathtub is that it eliminates the fear of falling in the shower or bathtub. For aging loved ones, it can be difficult to maintain balance in a slippery bathroom tub. The Elite Walk-In Bathtub is the best fix for this problem as it offers many solutions standard in the walk in tub. These solutions include a low threshold step in, an inward swing door, a 17″ high seat, a contoured and anti-slip seat and an easy to use drain and faucet.

If you are looking for an easier, more comfortable way to bathe, the elite walk-in bathtub is an excellent choice. This walk in bathtub is designed to allow you to safely and securely bathe in comfort and privacy or with the help of a caregiver.

Reviewers were really enthusiastic about the way that the Elite Walk In Bathtub has revolutionized the way that they feel about bathing and the amount of time that it takes to have a bath. Getting in and out of a bathtub can be dangerous for anyone, especially for people that are a bit unsteady on their feet. The Elite walk-in bathtub takes away a lot of the fear of falling by providing a door that the person can use when he or she is ready to take a bath.

Once the door is securely closed and latched, you can fill the walk in tub with water and take a bath just as you would normally. This walk-in tub can also be used to take a shower, if that is what you or your loved one prefer.

Reviewers were really impressed with the quality of this particular walk in tub because it is crafted to fit into any bathtub area. Once the walk in bathtub is installed, you can feel more confident about taking a bath, knowing that you will be safe and secure as you get in and out.

Another reason that reviewers like this walk in tub is the comfortable bench area that allows you to sit comfortably without having to put pressure on joints or tight muscles. When you enter the walk-in tub, it almost as if you are simply moving to sit in a comfortable chair while you bathe.

People that used to really enjoy taking baths are now able to do so again with the Elite walk-in bathtub.

Walk-in bathtubs have been around for years, but the technology has really improved and made them an excellent choice for people that need a better way to bathe.

Many of the reviews that I saw were written by caregivers who were either caring for a loved one or employed as a home health care nurse. Since they spend so much time caring for seniors, I realized that they know what they are talking about when they say that this walk in bath tub is a great purchase for someone who is having trouble with balance and coordination or cannot operate the normal bathtub easily.

Reviewers also say that the low threshold step is one of the best features on the walk-in tub.

Most bathtubs have a large side wall that you must climb over. In order to make this walk-in bathtub easily accessible for seniors, the tub now has a small safe step. With this step, all of the water will still be contained in the walk in tub without leakage, but you or your loved one will be much safer when getting in and out of the tub.

This luxurious waqlk in bathtub is a great addition to any home because it makes bathing so much more comfortable for seniors. If you are currently feeling a bit unstable as you get in and out of the bath, you can ensure that you are safe while in the tub with a elite walk-in bathtub.

At the beginning of this review, I said that this walk-in bathtub would help soothe away aches and pains. That is because you can purchase an Elite walk-in bathtub complete with 18 relaxing hydrotherapy jets. Having this type of jet system to accompany your bath is a great way to relax more fully as you are soaking in the tub and to really loosen up tense muscles and relieve soreness or stiffness.

If you are considering a Elite Walk-in Bathtub, this diagram will help you understand how the Walk In bathtub works, how it is set up, and how it can help you feel more comfortable and secure in the bathtub.

You can now bathe without the fear of falling and add a beautiful new bathtub to your home. With the luxurious Celebrity Walk-In Bathtub, you will now be able to soak in a luxurious bath with hydrotherapy jets relieving all of your tension and stiffness.

Reviewers have also said that they enjoy the ergonomic handles and the panels available on the Celebrity Walk-In Bathtub. It is extremely easy to make the transition from a regular bathtub to a walk-in bathtub, and it can often make the bathing experience much more pleasurable and enjoyable.

If you are searching for a new walk-in bathtub to update your home, look no further than the Elite Walk-In Bathtub with Jets. Reviewers love this walk in tub because it is made from the highest quality materials and offers a luxurious and relaxing bathing experience for seniors. You can even purchase your new bathtub online and have it shipped directly to your home, we can even provide the install for you anywhere in the country! With the unlimited convenience of shopping online, you can make the choice to live more comfortably and more luxuriously right now!


Some Important Safety Features For Walk-In Bathtubs For Seniors

Some Important Safety Features For Walk-In Bathtubs For Seniors

As a result of the increase in the number of senior citizens in the US, there has been an increase too, in the demand for walk-in bathtubs for seniors. Most manufactured bathtubs do not have the four important needed safety features, and you will need to look specifically for senior bathtub models.

The Four Important Safety Features Needed In Bathtubs For Seniors

Ideally, a senior walk-in bathtub will have an easy to open door that may be built into the side or the front of the bathtub. This will remove the need to climb over the tub and would also reduce the risk of falling too. The controls for the tub’s door should also be easy to use too without needing to exert a lot of force.

For the disabled and the elderly, rising up from a typical bathtub may be difficult even with some grab bars on the tub, since they would usually need to use most of their upper bodies’ strength to do this. So the walk-in bathtub should also have a built-in seat that can minimize the need to exert more strength/effort to rise, which can help the elderly in avoiding the possibility of getting trapped in the tub.

Older people tend to be more sensitive to changes in temperature and can be scalded if they are exposed to some very hot water. To reduce the risk of contacting a disease like Legionnaires however, bath water may generally need to be heated to some extent. A walk-in bathtub for the elderly should have an anti-scald valve in order to minimize the possibility of being scalded.

A final issue with bathtubs for seniors is the level of ease or difficulty with using their controls. The latch on the tub’s door, its faucets and drain controls should ideally be situated within some accessible distance that can be easily reached without too much effort.

Walk-in bathtubs for seniors or the disabled should ideally have or incorporate each one of these features in order to provide their users with a safe bathing experience. Fortunately, there are several senior bathtub models available online, in a wide range of prices.


Walk-in Bathtubs for Seniors – Are they Worth It?

Walk-in Bathtubs for Seniors – Are they Worth It?

Walk in bathtubs are generally not covered by Medicare because they are not considered “durable medical equipment”. Unlike hospital beds, wheelchairs, catheters, blood glucose monitors or nebulizers, a walk in bathtub can be used by anyone.

Medicare does occasionally reimburse a portion of your purchase price, so it makes sense to seek a partial reimbursement. While there are no guarantees that you will be successful, your only loss if they deny your request, is the cost of photocopying, envelopes and postage.

You may wonder why a hospital bed is covered, but a walk in bathtub is not. Anyone can sleep in a hospital bed, right? And a power wheelchair could be used by another member of the family. If you apply this logic, walk in bathtubs should be upgraded to durable medical equipment status.

They are usually purchased because a senior in the home needs assistance with mobility issues. Using this argument, you may secure a partial reimbursement for the cost of your walk in tub.

But it is important to go about your purchase in the right way. First, before you buy your walk in bathtub, get a doctors prescription. Without it you have no chance of a Medicare reimbursement.

Next, make sure that you can afford the purchase. Because there is a chance that you will not receive assistance from Medicare, you should be prepared to absorb the entire cost of your walk in bathtub. This includes remodeling costs as well as the purchase price of the walk in tub. To make sure that you have considered all of the costs, contact several contractors. Show each contractor specifications for installing the walk in bathtub. Show the contractor the bathroom that you want to install the walk in tub into. Compare quotes.

Also make sure you check the better business bureau rating of each contractor. To be on the safe side, it is wise to at least plan another $1000 to the budget. This is because bathrooms are notorious for having hidden damage underneath the bathtub. When the contractor removes your old bathtub , he or is she may discover dry rot or other damage.

After you purchase your walk in bathtub, you can submit your doctor’s prescription, and the paid invoice for your walk in tub to Medicare. Medicare does occasionally reimburse a portion of your purchase price, so it makes sense to seek a partial reimbursement. While there are no guarantees that you will be successful, your only loss, if they deny your request, is the cost of photocopying, envelopes and postage. Bathing is an essential part of maintaining health. If more seniors request consideration for walk in bathtub reimbursements, Medicare practice may change. Do your part to help change the mindset of the government bureaucrats who determine what goes on Medicare’s durable medical equipment list.

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Are Walk In Bathtubs For Seniors Worth it

Are Walk In Bathtubs For Seniors Worth it?

Taking care of elderly parents or your spouse  is hard work, and anyone who is in this position taking care of a senior will agree. It’s a responsibility that grows with time, and that can cause changes that affect everyone in your family.  As the years go on, more of the baby boomers are needing aides, and need ways to remain safe and independent with in their homes.  Whether your aging parents or yourself and your spouse are staying in their own homes or living with you, you will need to assess the safety aspects of their bathrooms along with any other inherent dangers throughout your or their homes. Given the combination of water, soap and slippery surfaces, the bathroom is by far the most dangerous room in the house. And besides the danger, standard bathroom fittings can become difficult, or even impossible, for frail seniors to use.  Your existing bathtub has a step in anywhere from 16-25 inches high, which could make it impossible for any senior or anyone with mobility issues to step over.

One of the best solutions is a walk-in bathtub. It provides easy step in  through a door on the side of the tub, which is usually less than a third of the height of a conventional bathtub and a safe, non-slip contoured seat. It eliminates the danger and discomfort that come with climbing in and out of a tub, along with the need to get all the way down in a conventional tub rather than sitting on a 17 inch high seat, and, for seniors who suffer debilitating joint pain, it can be a godsend when used for hydrotherapy with an 18 jet air system or 6 jet water jet system.

Implications for the property

Bathroom safety is, of course, not the only thing you have to think about before you consider making extensive changes. Turning the only bathroom in a house into a bathroom for seniors has implications for the value of your property. For me, this was not too much of a problem. My husband and I have a small cottage on our property, which we’ve completely set up for my mother’s use. With two other bathrooms in the main house, we didn’t have to think twice about whether or not to put a lovely walk-in bathtub in for her.

If you do decide to install a walk-in bathtub, look for one that fits in a standard bathtub or shower cubicle size. This makes it easy to one day change the bathroom back for general use and, if you have to sell the property in the future, you’ll have to do that. On the other hand, if you have a large property with several bathrooms, then having one that is suitable for seniors may well increase the overall value of the house .

Looking to the future for home nursing care

Putting in a walk-in bathtub for seniors can add months or even years to their independence, as they’ll be able to bathe themselves far more easily, and without fear of accidents. This option is one that many seniors and their families prefer to nursing homes, and it is most successful when the home environment has been made suitable in every way possible.

Getting an elderly person into and out of the tub can be very difficult indeed. If you’re nursing a parent at home, the likelihood is that you are in your fifties or sixties yourself, and the strain on your back is also a factor to consider. A senior safe tub can make all the difference, taking the stress out of daily ablutions, and sparing you back strain.

What should you consider when choosing a walk-in bathtub for seniors?

  • Which bathroom are you planning to convert?
  • Check the orientation of the bathtub door (to the left or right, front or back?)
  • Does the walk-in bathtub have non-slip surfaces?
  • Is it easy to clean?
  • Does it have useful extra features, like massage jets?
  • Is it good value for the money?

Do your research before deciding which walk-in bathtub to install. We chose a great model from Active Forever, and it’s literally changed my Mom’s life, especially as she’s had major relief from her crippling arthritis pain. She loves the fact that she can bath whenever she feels like it, without waiting for me to come and help her. You can see the one we installed here: the Elite walk-in tub.