Installing hot tubs that are accessible for the elderly and those with disabilities in your home is essential in terms of safety. Aside from being among the ultimate additions to your home that are guaranteed to skyrocket its value, hot tubs offer numerous health benefits for people with disabilities. Did you know installing a hot tub could help family members with Autism?
A study, according to one Dr. Rob Ring, showed that having your autistic child sit in a hot tub for a certain period of time could actually help moderate their behavior. Installing a safe accessible hot tub prevents accidents that could occur around the area and also enables everyone to enjoy its health benefits.
How The Elderly Can Benefit
Hot tubs are great for the elderly who may experience age-related diseases like arthritis and back pains. A full immersion is guaranteed to give them instant pain relief as the water minimizes the gravitational pull on their joints. Water jets, which are featured in most bathtubs, help massage sore spots and the body’s acupuncture points thereby releasing tension and relieving back pain. Hydrotherapy sessions in a hot tub enable people with disabilities to keep fit and maintain a healthy weight. At the same time, they get to avoid conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle.
People with mobility issues can use water currents to stimulate movement by trying simple things like flexing toes, rotating their legs or doing simple kicks. The heat works to increase blood circulation which is great for elderly skin. Simultaneously, efficient blood flow ensures nutrients reach all parts of the body where they are needed.
Physical benefits aside, hot tub sessions also have proven cognitive benefits. They help reduce stress and promote relaxation which consequently improves the function of the brain. All this knowledge in hand, you must be wondering how you can make your tub accessible. Well, below is the perfect guide when it comes to this particular subject matter.back to menu ↑
Making Your Hot Tub Accessible
When getting a hot tub, many things come to mind; the design, number of seats, color, location, height, and the list continues. However, before you think about where you will place your hot tub or what design you want, the first thing you want to do is ensure you get one that is accessible to everyone. Accessibility in the home should not be limited to the driveway, doors, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Seniors and members of your family with a disability shouldn’t be left out of the fun for starters. Secondly, recreation aside, those in need of hydrotherapy sessions can do it right at home if the tub is accessible. Thirdly, the US Government, under the Americans with Disability Act, requires that amenities are made more accessible to a diverse population, including those with disabilities.back to menu ↑
Hot Tub Features for People With Disabilities
There is much focus on inclusivity in the hot tub industry. Dolphin mobility, for example, has produced the F145 pool lift for this particular purpose. It is usually fitted on the side of any hot tub, inground or above ground. The pool lift comes with a remote control that is user-friendly. A disabled person can easily operate it on their own or with the help of another person. The lift is fitted with a chair that is adjusted to allow a disabled person to sit on it. After sitting, the controls are used to lower the chair into the hot tub where a person can slide off the chair. Once done the remote is used to lower the lift back into the water and carry them out of the water. The lift’s waterproof capabilities make its resistant to all weather conditions hence can be left out always. Accessibility box checked, let us now look at other considerations you need to make when getting a hot tub.back to menu ↑
Deciding On A Hot Tub
There is a wide range of types of hot tubs available in the market: wooden hot tubs, soft-sided inflated hot tubs and acrylic hot tubs to list a few. First, ensure you buy a hot tub with slip-resistant flooring. Elderly people are more susceptible to fractures if they experience a fall. It is therefore important to ensure your hot tub floor is non-slip to prevent falling incidences. If you can afford it, go for tubs with open and close door access which will pose less of a risk for the above group as they go in and out of the tub. Choose tub designs that feature grab bars that are very steady so as to ensure added safety. The tub you select should also feature large buttons that are easy to push for jet control. Handrails and a mini staircase could also prove beneficial.
After choosing hot tub designs which are safe, you can now get down to the tub’s material. Wooden hot tubs are the most common thanks to their favorable prices what with most ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. They are also easy to construct and lighter since they come in parts. Acrylic tubs, on the other hand, have higher prices ranging from $10,000 to $16,000. They are characteristically very heavy and not transportable in pieces. The good thing is they can withstand different climatic conditions and last longer. Soft inflated hot tubs cost less than $500, are easily movable and require less work during the initial set up. The problem is that they have to be replaced regularly since they get punctured easily. Before buying a hot tub, take the time to decide on whether you want your tub to be permanent or portable. Choose a portable tub if you have limited space or budget constraints. They usually have almost similar features to the permanent ones hence no need to worry. However, if your home is permanent and you have the money, feel free to invest in a permanent one.back to menu ↑
Choosing The Most Accessible Location
Choosing a location for a hot tub installation that is safe and accessible to all is crucial. Indoor tubs can be installed in the bathroom area. If you decide to go with this, ensure you have a walk in the bathroom to make the place easier to use for seniors in the home or those with mobility conditions.
For outdoor installations, try to sink the tub by at least 18 inches. This will provide easier access for family members with disabilities. Choose a location that can fit fold benches right next to the tub. This will make a great place to cool off should the temperatures get too hot. You will also need to check on the town’s regulation codes in relation to privacy. Barriers can be built around it if the regulations require so or for your own private purposes. For outdoor locations, sites with easy maintenance access are important.back to menu ↑
Safe Electrical Connections
An electric current needs to run from the house to the hot tub location. To be on the safe side and in order to avoid accidents like children or the visually impaired tripping on wires, underground electrical connections are recommended. Given that a hot tub uses more power than all house appliances, it important to remember to add a circuit breaker to your electric control box. This is because the water needs to be maintained at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In case of any malfunction, the breaker will protect other house appliances. However, please note consulting an electrician is much safer.back to menu ↑
Accessories For Your Hot Tub
Now that you have a tub that can accommodate everyone in your family, go ahead and get some tub accessories. This help improve the aesthetic look of your tub as well as its efficiency. The hot tub should be a place where the whole family goes to relax and unwind. Hot tub accessories will add to this experience. Drink holders are an amazing addition. Installed on the sides, they allow you to enjoy beverages while relaxing in the tub. Hot tub covers are helpful in preventing debris from entering your hot tub if it is located outside. They can also act as a security measure if you have small children, by avoiding cases of drowning. Ozonators are useful in injecting sanitizers allowing water to be used for long periods. Weatherproof stairs are an important fit especially for high hot tubs, as they allow for easy access in and out of the tub.
Hot tubs serve many purposes. They help increase property value as well as improve the look of one’s property. Additionally, they provide a place to relax and have fun and at the same time as offering therapeutic value. The health benefits they offer are outstanding. It is for this reason that everyone should consider building tubs that are safe and accessible to able bodied family members as well as those who have mobility conditions.