If you have an elderly parent living in your home, then it is wise to install certain features that help your family member retain their independence. Features that allow for personal hygiene care are a must, and this may include a walk in bathtub. These bathtubs are typically easy to use for seniors who have mobility issues and they help prevent falls and other accidents. Most walk-in tubs have seats that allow seniors to sit as they bathe and this allows your loved one to experience the benefits of a hot bath when they likely could not previously. Specifically, hot baths can help with a variety of different ailments. Keep reading to learn about them and how the water can assist your loved one.
Many older individuals develop arthritic conditions. In the United States, a bit less than half of the people with the disease are over the age of 65. Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis are the most common, and the knee and hip joints bare the brunt of the stress and the soreness. The best way to keep joints in good shape is to allow the cartilage in the joints to regenerate and heal. Inflammation and stress must be relieved from the joints for this to happen.
Thankfully, a hot bath can relieve joint stress and pressure by reducing body weight. This happens due to the buoyancy of the water and how it acts against the weight of the body. As weight is reduced, stress is released from the joints and inflammation then reduces. The joints can then begin the healing process. Healing is also possible through the increase in blood flow to the joints. Blood flow increases as the warmth of the water dilates blood vessels. This allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the joints much more easily.
The warm water can also help with strengthening joints and increasing movement. This happens as the warm water reduces swelling in a significant manner. A warm bath once a day is a good choice to help your parent with arthritis issues.
Increased Cardiovascular Health
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week to retain heart health. While this is a good guideline, many seniors cannot be active for nearly this amount of time. The specific guidelines help to increase heart rate and to lower blood pressure. Well, the good news is that a hot bath can provide the same benefits. While the benefits are not as great as an intense cardiovascular workout, they are more similar to light and short term aerobic exercise.
In addition to general heart health, hot water therapy can help to strengthen the heart muscles and reduce arrhythmia risks. These things can be especially beneficial to seniors, especially since stroke and heart attack risks increase substantially as you age.
Another good heart benefit is the fact that a hot bath can reduce stress. When you feel stressed, the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and these hormones are bad for the heart. Reducing stress reduces the chemicals and allows your heart to remain strong.
Relaxation through bathing allows for a good night's sleep. Baths help to calm the body and reduce aches that can keep your loved one up at night. It can also prepare the body to ready itself with sleep. This can be especially helpful if a bath is paired with a nighttime regimen that includes turning off electronics, calming the mind, and turning down lights in the home.
If you want to know more about the benefits of taking baths for seniors or how you can choose and install a walk in bathtub in your home, then speak with your loved one's physician and visit a site like http://www.twincitystairlifts.com to learn about bathtub options.