The Different Types of Bath Lifts
A bath lift is a great device for anyone who suffers with mobility problems, such as elderly people or some disabled people, especially when it comes to bathing. After all, having a good soak in the bath is supposed to be relaxing, but how is that possible if you struggle with getting in and out of the bath in the first place? That’s where a bath lift comes in handy.
A bath lift is a device that safely and gently lowers or raises a person in and out of a bathtub. There are a few different types of bath lifts, some suiting more people than others. The main three types of bath lift are manual bath lifts, inflatable bath lifts and battery operated bath lifts.
Manual Bath Lifts
Manual bath lifts work completely without batteries. Instead, they work by using a hydraulic piston that gradually lowers the bath lift into the bath. When the manual bath lift reaches the bottom of the bath, it locks into position to allow you to bathe as usual.
This type of bath lift does require you to be able to hold some of your weight, however. This is because when you wish to get out of the bath, you have to release the lever and move your weight slightly so that the bath lift can raise you upwards. But don’t worry if you struggle to hold your weight for the whole time, as manual bath lifts have multiple locking levers (usually about four) meaning if you have to place your weight onto the bath lift whilst it’s rising it will not drop all the way to the bottom. Instead it will lock into to the last stage it passed. Of course, to ensure safety, make sure to have grab rails to aid you when getting in and out of the bath and a non-slip bath mat.
Inflatable Bath Lifts
Inflatable bath lifts use a compressor to pump air into the cushion to inflate it. When the air is released, the inflatable bath lift deflates. The compressor unit for an inflatable bath lifts is usually battery operated.
This type of bath lift, unlike some other types of bath lift, allows you to sit at the bottom on the bath with only the flat cushion between you and the bath, which is an added benefit if you have a shallower bath. However, remember that the water level will drop a little after the bath lift is deflated. Also,you must be sure to inflate the bath lift before you fill the bath with water, otherwise the bath lift may displace the water which may cause the bath to overflow. You can always top the water up after the bath lift is deflated; as long as you remember to empty the same amount of water back out before you inflate the bath lift again.
The bath lift has suction pads, or suckers, so that the bath lift is kept stable in the bath. These work best on a smooth surfaced bath, so if your bath has dimples you may need to have more suckers to fully secure the bath lift. Inflatable bath lifts are often quite portable, as they are light and when deflated can be folded into a much smaller shape. However, you must have reasonable balance to use this kind of bath lift. Grab rails are a good thing to have alongside this bath lift to help you keep your balance.
Battery Operated Bath Lifts
If you cannot lift your weight very well, or don’t have a reasonable sense of balance, then another option to consider is a battery operated bath lift. Battery operated bath lifts are powered by a rechargeable battery and controlled by a remote control, which often floats on the water so that it’s always within reach. But don’t worry about getting stuck at the bottom of the bath if the battery runs out of charge, as battery operated bath lifts do not lower you into the water if they don’t have enough charge to raise you back up again.
When the battery is fully charged, it should last around a week depending on how much the bath lift is used. Obviously, the more you use the bath lift, the sooner you would need to charge it. The battery is removable and should be charged using a mains plug, but be sure to charge it outside of the bathroom. Battery operated bath lifts are completely safe to use as they have watertight seals as well as using low voltage DC electricity.
Other Bath Lift Features
Some bath lifts are able to recline rather than leaving you sat upright, which is much better for when you’re bathing. Some people may be worried that the bath lift may not reach the top of the bath, but there are tall bath lifts available for those that require it.
Certain types of bath lifts come with a swivel and slide board. This is a board that sits on the edge of the bath lift, slightly on the lip of the bath, and moves you across to the centre of the bath lift when you are seated. It also helps you to turn when entering or exiting the bath.
It is important to consider all of your needs before purchasing a bath lift. Ask around; perhaps some close family or friends have a bath lift and can give you advice, or better still, you could try to ring up companies like Walk in Baths who will advise you on your purchase. The more information you have before making a decision, the better.