Important Things to Consider Before Installing a Bath Lift
We recently took an in depth look at a some of the best bath lifts currently on the market. And while we also discussed the different pros and cons of owning one within the included buyer’s guide, there’s another question we can look into now.
What exactly should you consider before you head out and buy a new bath lift?
Let’s take a look.
The type of bath
Before purchasing a new bath lift you need to check the configuration of your bath to make sure everything will fit. The following items should be noted:
Bath material and construction
What is the bath made from? If you are going for a heavy duty bath lift you will want to ensure that the bath is constructed in a way that will tolerate the load. A light plastic bath could be a problem, where as a solid ceramic bath should hold any bath lift that you decide to install.
Size & depth
If you have a deep set bath you will need to check the specifications of the chosen lift to ensure that it will rise and lower the sufficient distance to be practical.
It’s no good buying a bath lift that is awkward to use because of the dimensions of your tub.
Handles and additional fittings
You should also note the position of any additional (built in) items to your bath. Where are the handles positioned? Are the any inserts for housing bathing products? If so, they could get in the way of the flaps of the bath seat.
However, some manufacturers provide seat flap protectors to help get around this problem.
Length of the bath
Bath lengths do vary. If your chosen bath lift takes up too much room within the bath it could prevent you from having enough space to stretch out your legs.
Note the dimensions of the bath along with the dimensions of the seat to ensure that everything will be installed in a way that provides sufficient space for you to relax and enjoy your bathing.
The type of bath lift
After noting the design and specifications of your bath, you will be able to confidently choose the correct bath seat for you.
However, there are of course various seats available, ranging in features and price, (for a detailed look at 5 of the top rated bath lifts head here).
Let’s take a look at what you should be considering when it comes to buying the actual bath lift.
First off you should consider the actual seat type.
Where possible you should opt for a seat that is padded, rather than a straight plastic chair, (optional cushions are sometimes available though so check that first).
Some manufacturers will include detachable machine washable covers. (These are designed for bath seats used in a communal home / hospital setting and are there to help to reduce infection concerns). Such covers will also help increase the comfort levels of the actual seat.
The lowest level that the seat can rest in the bath varies from model to model, (as well as the depth of your bath).
Very few bath lifts will lower right down to the bottom of the bath. All the same you should check this specification in order to ensure you will be comfortable below the water line with out the need to fill your bath to the rim.
Like wise the highest lift point should be noted. This has to be high enough to reach the top of your bath so that you can easily slide into position when entering the bath.
Where the lift raises higher than the bath construction, you will be able to swing your legs over the side of the bath without any issue.
Bath lift weight
We mentioned this above when it came to bath construction. How heavy is the bath lift you are looking into buying?
Not only does it need to fit the load of your bath, it might also need to be light enough for other users to remove it when they need a bath, (although some models such as the one featured in the video above will just swing aside and away from the bath when not required).
Some bath seat models can be taken out in pieces. This will make it easier to remove when needed.
Bath lift Capacity
Is there a maximum weight capacity that the bath load will tolerate safely. This will need to be checked in line with your body weight size.
Are the controls easy to use? Is the controller suitable for both user and carer to operate?
Many bath lift controllers are designed to float in the water so that they can be easily reached at all times. This is the sort of feature to look out for.
Overall stability is obviously important. How exactly will the bath lift be installed, merely to the sides of the bath or actually drilled into the wall?
Many bath lifts have large suction feet that are used to stick to the sides and bottom of the bath when in use. Such design features will offer the stability you need to safely use the seat alone.
which stick to the bottom of the bath to provide stability.
How often does the manufacturer state that the seat needs servicing? A power lift used by multiple users may need annual servicing to ensure functionality, as well as safety is maintained.
If the equipment has been supplied through social services the provider should take care of this for you.