As seniors age, the younger population becomes increasingly concerned about their health and any risks they might encounter. Hot tubs and spas are generally cited as dangerous for several reasons, including the hot water, the potential for falls, and hot tub rashes or infections. However, hot tubs carry a plethora of benefits for seniors that SpaCap.com hopes to illuminate today.
First of all, being a senior myself, I don’t want my children worrying about me. So I do what I can to eliminate things that might get me injured. I research things like accidents around the home, specifically the hot tub for this article. What I found is that with a few changes I would be able to make my hot tub a lot safer.
One of the main issues for us seniors is access. Most hot tubs and spas are fairly high at the side so slips and falls getting in and out are a fairly common occurrence. There are a number of options, like stairs and a handrail. But I think a set of stairs up to the side of my spa looks tacky and serves to remind me that I don’t move like I used to. It’s true, but I don’t like to be reminded.
So I considered sinking the spa to deck level. However statistics show that people are just as likely to injure themselves in a flush mounted spa. Again the issue seems to be access. With a flush mounted spa, more people tend to misjudge a step and fall into the spa.
What I found was that a spa that is only partially sunken so that it still sticks up above the deck level at least eighteen inches is the safest. Rather than digging a hole in the yard, I built a deck up around the hot tub cabinet and then a bench all the way around the sides.
This way I can walk easily up to the spa, turn around and sit down while I take off my foot wear and robe, then easily turn toward the spa and get in. The deck looks attractive and the bench makes it safer. No one is going to walk to close to the spa and accidentally fall in. Plus it makes a nice place to sit with just my feet in the spa when the water gets to hot for me.
It was a fairly easy process and didn’t require pouring a cement pad.
First I selected where to place it in the yard. Then I prepared the spot by peeling up the sod and digging out about six inches of the top soil. Next I ran power out to the spot underground. If you don’t know anything about electricity, this is a good place to hire an electrician. But you can dig the trench and lay the conduit yourself and save some money.
Then I filled the hole with crushed gravel, back up about a three inch depth and raked it out level. To check for level I used a laser level. You can rent one and get some simple instruction how to use it but they are cheap and I like having it around when I am doing landscaping so I bought one from Home Depot.
Next I rented a power compactor (kind of looks like a lawn mower but it jumps up and down instead of mowing) to evenly pack the gravel.
Then I topped the gravel off with a layer of pea gravel and repeated the raking level and compacting.
Now your spot is all level and ready to place the hot tub. When it’s empty a hot tub doesn’t weight too much so I was able to get some wooden rollers (round poles about four inches in diameter six to eight feet long) and just roll the spa into position. Going across the lawn, it’s easier to put down some sheets of plywood before the rollers. Once the spa is in place you just pick up the plywood and it saves the grass from getting damaged.
Hook up the electricity. Again, this would be a job for an electrician since you want to make sure everything is properly hooked up and grounded.
Now I placed cement post holders (from Home Depot or the hardware store of your choice) according the where I was going to need to support the deck. I used two by ten dimensional lumber across the length of the intended deck, supported and secured to short four by four posts in the cement blocks. Check for level again with the laser to make sure the finished product will be right.
Then I built a frame on top of the supports of two by six lumber on two foot centers around the spa so that when done the deck would be eighteen inches from the top of the spa.
For the deck itself I used Trex composite decking because I don’t want to be out there treating it every summer when I’m ninety years old. It looks nice and it’s easy to clean. It cuts and fits together like wood but I didn’t get any slivers. Also without a bunch of knots to worry about I had almost no waste.
After the deck top was in place I added the bench around the hot tub to finish it off. I made the area over the hot tub access panel easy to be opened for maintenance. Everything was screwed into place in case I ever needed to disassemble it for some reason. Now I can keep using my spa every day without my kids worrying about me falling in.
Pamper yourself. Do what you can to eliminate the hazards around you home and hot tub so you can enjoy your senior years as much as possible.
Here are some ideas to reward yourself with…
As we seniors age, we get more wrinkles and liver spots, or age spots. These may cause you some concern, but we are also susceptible to a variety of skin diseases because the epidermis weakens with age. You may suffer from eczema, rosacea, or bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin condition in which the layer between the epidermis and dermis breaks down. When that happens, cells can become inflamed and large, painful blisters form all over the skin. Facials help the face’s muscles relax and moisten the skin while drawing toxins away. You may especially enjoy facial masks made with lavender, green or chamomile teas, or lemon. I like them not only because they make my skin feel great, I just enjoy the fragrance. Some of my senses aren’t quite what they used to be (eyesight, hearing ) but my sniffer still works pretty well and I really enjoy a clean pleasant fragrance more than I used to. But maybe that’s just me.
All of us, seniors included experience stress and anxiety. As we watch the world changing around us in ways we never imagined possible, you may find yourself being more anxious than ever. A massage can be a great way to relieve those tense muscles. Either Swedish or Thai massage can do the trick. I suggest trying both and deciding for yourself which one you like best. Swedish massage is the most traditional type and involves lying on a raised, flat surface while pressure points in the back, neck, shoulders, and face are massaged. Thai massage, also called “passive yoga,” may attract seniors who are more active. Thai massage involves stretching muscles and increasing endurance. The therapist uses the back, elbows, and feet as well as the hands to complete the massage. Thai massage can be done through clothing, so it may also benefit those uncomfortable with nudity. Lets face it, I don’t look good naked anymore.
Obviously, I’m a big believer in using a spa everyday. I think using a hot tub on a regular basis can decrease problems from sore or tight muscles, arthritis, and other bone or muscle conditions. Heat naturally relaxes sore muscles, so frequent exposure to a hot tub may help “reteach” them to relax, to a point. Hydrotherapy can also help weak or shaky muscles affected by Parkinson’s and other diseases. The water helps the muscles rest, giving us seniors a break from trying to control them.
Ease of Access
In order to get the maximum benefit from any routine it needs to be convenient and accessible. Having a Hot Tub at home is an important part but not if the cover is too cumbersome for a senior to use by ourselves. SpaCap Hot Tub Covers are designed to be light and easy to use for this very reason. Order one today for yourself or the senior in your life.