What is a Mobility Accessible Tub? (Answered)

what is a mobility accessible tub

A mobility accessible tub is a bathtub that is specifically designed for the elderly, patients with mobility issues, and the disabled.

The tubs are larger than regular bathtubs and usually come with certain features for stability.

They also come with deep floors and sit-in structures that allow users to easily step in and out on their own.

Mobility accessible tubs are designed for the comfort and safety of the patient or elderly, and the ease of their caretakers.

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Why a Mobility Accessible Tub?

A mobility accessible tub is not an extravagance, but rather, a good investment. This applies regardless of whether it is for a disabled person or a person with limited mobility.

A good percentage of elderly people slip and fall in their tubs, causing fractures that often require surgery and, in extreme cases, lead to devastating ends.

A mobility accessible tub saves the patients and their loved ones unnecessary physical, financial, and emotional damages.

Disability and old age are two things that take away from people the ability to do things that they otherwise should be able to do themselves. These tubs allow a certain level of independence that a lack of it thereof would not be able to afford the user.

With minimal or, in less severe cases, no help at all, the users can maintain their dignity by being able to shower/bathe themselves. It also puts their caretakers’ minds at rest because they can comfortably step back knowing that the bathtub will keep them safe.

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Types of Mobility Accessible Tub

Walk-In Bath Tubs

Image credit: bathplanet.com

The main features of a walk-in tub are its watertight doors and a seat. This makes showering/taking a bath less daunting for elderly or disabled people. It is also quite comfortable and allows them to take their bath with minimal risks of falling.

The tub is designed with a slightly curved and lowered step-in. This allows for easy access to the interior of the tub. It also makes it easier for people who use wheelchairs to be placed inside the tub.

It has handrails for balance; most of them come with textured surfaces to prevent slipping. The walk-in bathtubs are also larger than regular tubs, allowing for more room.

The watertight doors allow for the large entrance opening without taking away the ability of the user to soak in comfortably for a refreshing bath, thus combining the effects of the regular bathtub and a mobility accessible tub.

The main purpose of a walk-in bath is to prevent slips and falls while taking a bath and to allow easy access to the bathtub.

Tubs with Transfer Benches

The main feature of this tub is the addition of a transfer bench or a seat. They act as a safe means to get people that cannot move on their own into the bathtub with minimal effort and without them getting hurt.

The seat can also be used as a chair if the user would find it preferable to take a bath sitting down instead of lying or standing.

The main purpose of a tub with transfer benches is to allow disabled persons or people on wheelchairs access to use their bathtubs with minimal risk of accidents and a heightened guarantee of comfort.

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Tubs with Sliding Doors and Lift

The main feature of this tub is the presence of sliding doors and lifts. They usually come with sensors that allow the sliding doors to open on approach and close by themselves when the user is safely inside.

This makes it so much easier for people to have their baths with little to no intervention.

The lifts also work in such a way that they lower and raise people into and out of the tub. This is one of the most failsafe and easy ways for people with serious debilitating conditions to take their baths comfortably.

Another unique feature of this bathtub is that it does not require you to change or discard your current tub. You can have a lift fixed to your current bathtub instead.

The main purpose of the tubs with sliding doors is to reduce the amount of effort and help a disabled person would need to get into and out of the bathtub.

Added Features of a Mobility Accessible Tub

Standard mobility accessible tubs often come with certain in-built features, but depending on how willing you are to maximize the use of your tub, there can be added features for your benefit.


Hydrotherapy is a highly recognized means of pain management.

A lot of patients with mobility issues have accompanying muscle and joint pains. Heated water is beneficial for relaxing contracted muscles and soothing aching or throbbing joints. They are sometimes sufficient for alleviating the user’s pain and, in severe cases, act as a supplement after the use of painkillers.

Heated hydrotherapy is also remarkable for calming anxiety and depression, which is highly common among disabled patients. It relaxes the body and gives a cathartic effect that is crucial in helping the patients deal with their mental stressors.

Related: Best Disability Products for Seniors

Heated Backrests

These come inbuilt, but can also be upgraded. It is amazing for paraplegics as it stimulates blood flow and is also a passive form of therapy. Even for people who are not entirely disabled, it is a definite plus to be considered when buying or installing a mobility accessible tub.

Internal Grab Bars

These also usually come inbuilt, but depending on the model of the bathtub, you might have to consider adding extensions or additions to your inbuilt grab bars.

There are various types available, each serving different purposes, but all ensuring the safety of the user while in the bathtub.

Anti-Slip Floor and Seats

Usually, your mobility accessible tub should be built in a way that prevents you from slipping. However, depending on the material of your tub, you might find that anti-slip floor mats and seat covers come in handy. They are failsafe methods of preventing accidents and slips, as they give the foot a good grip.

Hand-held Shower Heads

These are especially important for people who would rather use the tubs with seats. They can, however, be used by all users of mobility accessible tubs.

They allow you to take showers comfortably on the days you would rather take a shower than a bath. Furthermore, they can also be installed in such a way that they serve as standing showers as well.

What is a Mobility Accessible Tub? (Answered)


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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