Walk-in Tubs and Showers for Seniors

Many older adults with mobility issues may struggle with bathing normally. Sometimes, their current bathroom is not sufficient, and as a result, may not meet their needs. In every four seniors aged 65+, one experiences a fall every year. And of course, numerous ways have been developed to reduce injury from a fall, and assistance through a medical alert system is one of them. Preventing falls is way better than mitigating, and the installation of walk-in tubs is one of the most appropriate methods.


Walk-in tubs are bathtubs that are built with a door and a seat to improve the safety of older adults with mobility issues. Walk-in tubs are so much easier to work with than high-edge traditional bathtubs. The molded seat and the way the walk-in tubs are built make falling impossible for seniors and allow them to their baths in upright, seated positions. Walk-in bathtubs are not only for preventing falls, they are therapeutic, and have both health and economic advantages.

How Does a Walk-In Bathtub Ensures Safety of an Older Adult?

Different models of walk-in bathtubs come in different shapes, colors, sizes, and features, some of which, are shared by most types. Safety features of walk-in tubs include:

  • Low Threshold: Walk-in tubs come with doors that seniors can either swing in or out to allow them to enter the tubs over a low threshold, rather than having to climb over the high edges of traditional bathtubs.
  • Reduces Slip Risks: Walk-in tubs come with built-in slip-resistant floors that prevent seniors from falling or slipping as they take their baths.
  • Increased Stability: Most, if not all walk-in tubs come with grab bars/handrails to offer support to older adults as they bathe.
  • Temperature Control: some walk-tubs have temperature control features to prevent seniors from suffering burns as they bathe.
  • Emergency Support System: the walk-in bathtubs have emergency call buttons to enable the elderly to reach out for help when in need.
  • Accessibility: Most walk-in tub models allow seniors to be transferred from their wheelchairs to the tub seat.

Drawbacks of Walk-In Bathtubs

Caregivers can find it difficult to help a senior loved one with bathing, considering the designs of most of these products. Seniors may suffer delayed first aid should they need emergency medical assistance, unless the model has a feature that drains the water fast or has a built-in emergency support button. Also, older adults run a risk of flooding should the water-sealed doors suffer failure resulting in flooding or leaks. Walk-in tubs are more expensive than conventional bathtubs. It may force seniors or their loved ones to hire an electrical or plumbing professional to install the tubs. The U.S. Medicare Program does not cover health problems associated with walk-in tubs. Read more at https://www.medicare.org/articles/will-medicare-cover-a-walk-in-tub/.

What If a Walk-In Tub Do Not Fit in the Budget? Alternatives?

Luckily, some alternatives can help improve safety and allow seniors to enjoy their bath independently. Older adults living with disabilities or facing physical challenges know the risks that come with taking a bath on their own, especially when using the traditional bathtub. What is the solution for this? Walk-in tubs are seen as the solution for seniors to have a safe and comfortable bath at home. However, seniors or their loved ones should weigh all the available options, which include the alternatives that can work well, if walk-in tubs are out of reach due to inadequate funds.

Bathtub Transfer Benches: These benches sort of create an overpass, allowing seniors to assume a sliding position and move forward and backward as well as side to side as they bathe. They also provide older adults with support and seating space as they take their baths.

  • Bath Chair Lifts: These are the best option if one is looking to stay on a budget. They are also very easy to operate. Bath Char Lifts are suitable for the elderly looking to submerge in a bath. The product comes with a button that operates a motorized seat, reducing the water and increasing it when the bather is done.
  • Slide-In Style Bathtubs: these tubs are quite similar, but a bit different from the walk-ins. Slide-in style bathtubs come with higher walls with built-in seats, which swing and allow the older adult to take a bath.
  • Free Standing Lifts: these are best suited for seniors with severe disabilities, including those not able to change position in bed.

Some of the Best Walk-In Bathtubs

Brand Walk-In Tub Types cost
American Standard Soaker, Aerotherapy, Hydrotherapy $3592 – $11767
Kohler Soaker, Aerotherapy, Hydrotherapy $4000 – $12000
AmeriGlide Soaker, Hydrotherapy, Wheelchair Accessible, Shower Enclosure $2279 – $4850
Ariel Bath Soaker, Aerotherapy, Hydrotherapy $1856 – 5475


Find more information about the best walk-in bathtubs for seniors at https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/best-walk-in-tubs/.

Safe Step Walk-In Tubs

Seniors or their loved ones can only buy Safe-Step walk-in tubs from the company, and not from retailers, like other brands, including American Standard. This has an advantage and disadvantages. On one hand, the older adult buying the product will not get a chance to see the walk-in tub before making their decision. And on the other hand, it allows seniors or their loved ones to communicate and interact fully with the main provider. This means they can get professional help and a guide through the whole process, which may not be available with other brands.

Types of Safe-Step Walk-In Tubs

Safe Step has broken down tubs into models that best suit your specific needs. They have walk-in tubs, which come with a lower threshold. Walk-in showers, like Safe Step walk-in tubs, allow for safe entry and bathing in the shower. The only difference is, that a Safe Step walk-in shower does not fill water in a basin. It works with a traditional showerhead, with more optional features, including shower wands to make bathing comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. And then they have hybrid tubs, which combine the features of a walk-in tub and a shower and come with a low-entry threshold for safety purposes. Find more information at https://www.safesteptub.com/.

Cost of Safe Step Walk-in Tub

Product Cost
Hybrid Tub $2500-$10000
Walk-In Tub $2500-$8000
Walk-In Shower $4000-$10000

The price for installing any of the three products is approximately $5000.