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Bath lifts | General Information

Bath Lift Types, Features and Maintenance

Bath lifts are powered by either batteries, water or manually, to raise and lower the user in a bathtub. The user should be able to sit in or transfer from a wheelchair onto the seat of the bath lift. Extending the flaps on either sides of the seat can help the user maneuver safely onto the bath lift. Suction cups secure the lift to the tub.

Invacare Aquatex | Bath lift | Silver Cross

Types of Bath Lifts

There are three main types of bath lifts: battery-powered, manual or water-powered. Battery-powered bath lifts allow for easy transfers with simple touch of a button. The majority of bath lifts available on the market today are battery-powered. Manual bath lifts require the person to manually turn a crank to lower and raise the lift. Although it doesn’t require a lot of strength to use the crank, it will take about 50 turns to lower the lift. Water-powered lifts lower and raise the bath by filling a bladder. A hose gets hooked up to either the tub spout or shower head diverter to connect the lift to the water supply.

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Features of Bath Lifts

A bath lift fits inside the bathtub. The user must be able to sit or transfer onto the lift and swing or lift their legs over the tub wall. Hand controls or manual crank will lower or raise the user in and out of the tub.

Most bath lifts can reach a height of 17″–18″, some can reach 23″. The lift height needed depends on the height of the tub, measured from the inside.

Many bath lifts will come with flaps on the sides of the chair. These flaps make it easier for the person to transfer on to the bath lift by sitting on the edge of the tub, sliding across the flap and into the chair. Without the flaps, they would have to be able to maneuver themselves over the gap between the side of the tub and the chair.

Full platform bath lifts are also available. These lifts are for people that can’t be placed in a seated position. It can also accommodate others with different recline options. Often these lifts can accommodate heavier individuals with a weight capacity of around 500 lb.

Maintenance of Bath Lifts

Most bath lift manufacturers recommend an annual inspection to ensure that all the mechanisms work properly. The company that the lift is purchased from should be able to provide this service.

How much does a bath lift cost?

A manual bath lift will cost around $300 for the unit without optional accessories. A battery-powered bath lift with a fixed backrest will start at around $400, $450 and up for a lift with a reclining backrest, and $550 and up for self-control recline. Options such as head rest, covers, etc. can be in addition to these prices. Bath lifts for deeper/and or wider tubs (like garden tubs and Jacuzzis) will start around $700. A custom, full length, water-powered bath lift can start at around $5000.