For seniors and those with disabilities, falls are a constant risk. One of the most common spots for accidents is in the bathtub. Walk-in tubs, with numerous safety features, lower the chances of a fall while providing bathers with therapeutic benefits. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best walk-in tub companies in Buffalo to simplify your search for this increasingly popular product.
Walk in-tubs provide many benefits for seniors who wish to age in place and for younger Buffalonians with disabilities. About 12 percent of Buffalo’s population is over 65, and 13 percent of people under 65 have a disability, according to census figures.
Most walk-in tubs in Buffalo come with a number of standard features that make it safer for these individuals to bathe:
A swinging, watertight door with a lower entry threshold than a standard tub
A built-in seat designed for comfort
Grab bar(s) to hold for stability
A handheld showerhead
Consumers also have plenty of options for add-ons. These will vary by manufacturer but may include sterilization systems, anti-scald technology, an overflow drain, heated headrests, aromatherapy and chromatherapy.
When choosing a walk-in tub in Buffalo, start by considering what type of tub you want and work forward. Walk-in tubs fall into one of a handful of categories or can be a combination of one or more.
Walk-in tub type
Basic walk-in tub with safety features
Soaker with air jets that provide a gentle massage
Soaker with stronger jets that provide higher-pressure massage; may be referred to as a whirlpool tub
Heavy-duty walk-in tub built for larger individuals
Wide-swinging door allowing movement from a seated position into the tub
Combines two or more of the above types
Walk-in tubs generally fit in the same space as a standard bathtub, differing in height only. But the volume of water used to fill the tub is considerably larger, so a larger water heater may be necessary. Most sellers of walk-in tubs will offer installation services, but you will be free to arrange installation on your own.
How much do walk-in tubs in Buffalo cost?
Because of the number of different configurations and customization options, walk-in tubs in Buffalo vary greatly in price. The average cost of a tub with installation is between $5,000 and $7,000, but basic tubs are available for less. Fully customized walk-in tubs loaded with features can cost up to $20,000.
Most sellers of walk-in tubs in Buffalo have financing plans available for customers. Some may offer zero percent interest and/or longer terms. Be certain to ask about any discounts for seniors or veterans.
Medicare likely will not contribute because walk-in tubs are not considered durable medical equipment, but the program may make exceptions for medical necessities. New York’s Medicaid program may have coverage through home modification programs, similar to grants for disabled veterans. If you have long-term care insurance, it is worth checking with your company to see if it offers coverage.
To protect your purchase, it is important to understand the warranty that comes with your walk-in tub. Many companies will advertise lifetime or lengthy warranties, but be aware that not all components of the tub may have equal coverage. Buy from a manufacturer or retailer that patiently answers your questions on this topic and any others. Once your tub is installed, be sure to ask about how to regularly clean your tub so it remains enjoyable for a long time.
Safe Step walk-in tubs are American-made and go through a 14-point quality control process. Customers can schedule free consultations to learn about the tubs, which come with a lowest-price guarantee, professional installation and a lifetime warranty. Consumers love Safe Step for its professionalism, courtesy, installation efficiency and walk-in tub amenities.
Designed with comfort and safety, Kohler Walk-In Bath features a wide door and ultra-low step-in to make bath entry easy. Hydrotherapy jets target the legs, feet and spine while neck, shoulder and back surfaces are heated for warmth and comfort. Customer reviews say that sales reps are professional and installation went smoothly.