The Health Benefits of Warm Baths for Seniors

Posted on Aug 7 2018 - 8:20pm by Ann Gillispie

Senior in a bathtubOld age brings with it stiff and aching joints, arthritis and poor balance. Bathing in warm water — one of the oldest pain remedies in the world — is beneficial to seniors. It relaxes and eases discomfort.

Medication can ease pain and inflammation, but they also have side-effects and can contribute to dizziness and confusion. This increases the likelihood of falls — one of the most frequent reasons for over 65-year-olds visiting the ER.

Bathtubs for the elderly have doors, eliminating the need to step over the side of the tub. They also include features such as heated seats and an aromatherapy spa mode so that bathers can ease discomforts and enjoy some pampering.

Regular soaking in a warm, bubbling bath could ease symptoms, relax the bather and rejuvenate them. It also offers the following benefits.

Warm baths improve range of movement.

A study of people with osteoarthritis found that those who had mineral baths not only reduced their pain but also increased their range of movement and functionality. They needed fewer pain meds when using water for pain relief, and there were also fewer hospital admissions.

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Warm baths produce endorphins.

A warm bath also stimulates the body to produce endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. Endorphins are powerful pain relievers. One study estimated that they were 30 times stronger than morphine. They also produce a sense of wellbeing and contentment — the perfect antidote for anxiety and depression.

Anxiety is common in later years. Declining health, retirement and the death of friends in their peer group can take the shine out of life. Incorporating a relaxing soak into the daily routine could provide a needed boost.

Warm baths can count as a workout.

Reduced mobility could contribute to obesity and heart disease, but relaxing in the tub for an hour burns as many calories as a 30-minute walk — great for seniors who find exercising difficult.

Seniors with pain or mobility restrictions should try warm bathing in a walk-in tub and feel how it benefits them.