Walk-in tubs: a discussion
As the "walk in bath tubs for seniors and handicapped" was apparently an advertisement for these tubs, I thought I'd join johnfrwhipple in asking serious questions about these. It's especially relevant as we Boomers age, and many have to take care of elderly parents. My DH and I have discussed putting one of these in for his mother, but haven't gone any further than the verbal "yeah, that's doable."
In the previous thread john mentioned he's demo'ed at least one of these because the threshold was too high. A lot of people don't realize how incredibly difficult even a few inches can be, when you're disabled. Many houses don't always have the room to install a no-threshold shower, especially one that has sufficient aisle space for walkers, let alone wheelchairs.
I also had personal experience with disability issues. I broke my leg with a compound fracture when I was 54, and was dismayed to find in those early days I could not even manage even a four-inch step without difficulty. It was amazing how much strength one loses, especially with the weight of a cast dragging your leg down. The fracture badly damaged the nerves in my ankle, and to this day I have to be careful going down any stairs, because I can't be sure that ankle will always hold up under me.
Has anyone actually installed these walk-in tubs? Are there any installation issues people should be aware of? Salesmen are always reassuring customers that "it's easy!" but as we all know, one can't always rely on their salespitch for accuracy.
What brands have you installed/used? And what has been the feedback after some real usage?
Do the rubber seals deteriorate over time, causing any leakage problems?
How comfortable is it to wash one's hair? I assume a sliding shower bar would be a good addition.
Anything else that would be useful, please add it in!