Bathtub lift – the classic, the pillow and the trick with the towel
A hot full bath in your own bathtub – for many people this is a cherished habit that they have often had for many years. You don’t want to have to do without that later, either. Because especially when you are plagued by a niggle, a bath in the tub is often a real treat. If, for example, the bones ache or if you cannot rest in the evening and want to relax for a while with fragrant bath products such as lavender and lemon balm and a few quiet sounds.
If at some point you can no longer even enjoy such joys in life because your own body no longer participates, then it is usually associated with great frustration. Then at the latest you will feel really old and frail: If you become physically too immobile,to swing yourself into the tub on your own, or when getting into the tub is such a shaky affair that it is simply too dangerous. And really nobody wants to be constantly dependent on the help of relatives or nursing staff for such everyday tasks!
Fortunately, today there are very simple and inexpensive solutions that help us to prevent precisely that: A bathtub lift like this not only brings a lot of convenience and comfort into your own four walls. It also provides a lot more security. It is definitely part of the basic equipment if you want to live independently at home for as long as possible.
The most popular bath lifts have a seat frame that looks like a chair with a backrest. The seat ensures comfort, support and safety when entering the bathtub. The lift usually has a base plate that adheres to the floor with the help of suction cups. Technically, you can think of the device as something like a lifting platform: an integrated device ensures that the chair is raised and lowered. The mechanics can be operated by hand crank or electronically. In this case, the user controls the bath lift himself by hand with the help of a waterproof and floatable control element with a battery.
Entry and exit of the bath lift with chair
In the highest position, the height of the seat of the bathtub lift should match the edge of the bathtub as exactly as possible. This ensures that when entering the bathtub from a standing position or from a wheelchair, the user can sit directly on the lift without any further obstacles. Then the lift is lowered by hand crank or automatically by pressing a button. After bathing, the seat is returned to its original position so that it is easy to get out of the chair.
Advantages and disadvantages of the classic bathtub lift
A bathtub lift with a hand crank is of course not exactly comfortable. With this technology, which now seems slightly antiquated, it is also tacitly assumed that a person will help with getting in and out. For this reason, the much more comfortable electronic model is almost exclusively chosen today. The lift can take place in any commercially available standard tub. No great manual skills are required for assembly. It can therefore be carried out by laypeople. And of course the other family members don’t have to do without bathing, because the device can be removed and stowed away relatively easily. Most bathtub lifters have a load capacity of up to 140 kg. Of course, there are also some models that can withstand greater loads.
Bath pillows and towel lift – simple and space-saving alternatives
A very popular alternative to the bathtub lift in chair form is the bath pillow. This is an air-filled pillow that is usually made of skin-friendly and easy-care polyethylene. Before bathing, the user mounts the pillow in the tub with the help of suction cups. There it can then be filled with a compressor within a few seconds. This is controlled with a waterproof remote control and is either connected directly to the mains or operated by a battery.
This is how getting in and out when using the bath pillow works
The user assumes a safe and comfortable position on the bath pillow, which is completely filled with air. Then air is released. The pillow becomes flatter and the body sinks into the bathtub in the desired position. The seat height is of course individually adjustable. For a comfortable exit, the cushion is refilled with air until it has reached the optimum height.
Advantages and disadvantages of the bath pillow compared to the classic bathtub lift
The bath pillow is a little more expensive than the other models, but it is also extremely comfortable and at the same time very safe. Assembly is not required. It is a portable device. You can completely deflate the air after use, take the pillow out of the tub and stow it away. In addition, the pillow has an unbeatable advantage over the lifter in terms of mobility: You can easily take it with you on your trip – whether on vacation or visiting relatives or friends. The standard version of the bathing pillow is designed for a load of up to 150 kg.
And then there is a very simple solution: the so-called cloth lift. A wide and very stable cloth is stretched across the tub. It is attached to the side edges of the tub or to the floor in front of the tub with the help of brackets. The cloth lift also has an electronic control unit, with the help of which the cloth can be rolled in or out to the desired length. The control unit is usually mounted on the wall, which is right next to the bathtub in the bathroom.
And this is how the cloth lift works
The user sits on the cloth. With the control unit, he moves it up or down to the desired position and can adapt the bathing strap to his individual needs: if he lengthened it, he sank deeper and if he shortened it, he was lifted up again. After bathing, he can get out of the tub from a comfortable seat height and unhook the strap. With the help of the control unit, the cloth is then rolled up again and disappears into the holder.
Advantages and disadvantages of the towel lift compared to bathtub lifts and bath pillows
In contrast to the other models, the cloth lifter is very space-saving. It is light, handy and not as bulky as a bathtub lift with a chair, for example. It can therefore be easily operated and transported independently by most people with physical limitations. The towel lift is suitable for all types of bathtubs. The assembly is uncomplicated and can also be carried out by less skilled people. There are lifters for permanent installation on the wall, but also as flexible devices that are not permanently installed.
This model is therefore particularly suitable as an aid in rented apartments, as the tiles are not damaged and the lift can be easily taken with you when you move. Even if there are belt lifts that have handles that you can hold on to when getting in and out, and those that also have a backrest, some users find the device to be a rather shaky affair. The feeling of security is therefore less than with the two previously mentioned models. With a load capacity of up to 150 kg, the cloth lift is in no way inferior to its competitors. If required, devices with a load capacity of up to 200 kg are available.
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