‘Hip hip’ hooray for safer baths

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: BathInterior

When Tony Yusi’s mother fell and fractured her hip last year, surgery saved her life, but left her unable to stand on her own.

Yusi could move her into and out of bed by carefully lifting her onto her wheelchair, but the bathtub in their Manoa home posed a real challenge. The tub’s outer wall, though less than knee-high, was literally a hurdle.

Yusi’s contractor friend and a home safety inspector recommended that he contact Island Bath Works for a walk-through bathtub conversion. “It worked out perfectly,” said Yusi, a Honolulu attorney. “We’re very satisfied.”

The Island Bath Works crew cut away a section of the bathtub wall, then seamlessly shaped the edges and refinished the works, leaving an opening low and wide enough to get her into the tub far more easily and safely. The Island Bath Works crew, headed by owner and CEO Eric Thompson, also installed a sturdy folding bench seat at the rear of the tub.

The conversion allows Yusi’s 92-year-old mother to be wheeled up to the opening, then lifted and moved the short distance onto the bench seat. Yusi said the nurse’s aide, who comes twice a week, can now bathe his mother, which would be impossible without the tub conversion. “They were done in only one day,” Yusi said of Thompson and his helper, adding that they were very careful to minimize dust and disruption to the household.

Island Bath Works can also install grab rails and non-skid surfaces. Yusi noted that the Island Bath Works tub conversion removed the tub’s sliding glass doors, resulting in additional safety. Before his mother’s injury, Yusi had been contemplating refurbishing his entire house. The bathtub became his first priority. He was unaware of Island Bath Works until his friends recommended it and he had the work done.

Yusi had prepared himself for the hassles that usually come from having contractors in your home. “Usually, there’s some kind of glitch, but there was none,” he said. And he was pleased with the low cost, saying that the conversion cost far less than replacing the bathtub. He said his friends and relatives have been impressed by the work.

“This can be done in a condo or apartment unit, not just houses,” he added. “And it’s not just for the elderly. It works for young people, too. Everyone who has trouble walking would be a lot safer with this.”

Island Bath Works is a Better Business Bureau-accredited company, and has been selected as a finalist for the upcoming Pacific Edge Magazine’s 2014 Business Achievement Award in the best new business category. Island Bath Works provides a 10-year structural warranty covering labor and materials and a five-year warranty on refinishing. The firm can convert bathtubs not only on Oahu, but also on the Neighbor Islands.

For more information, call Island Bath Works at 927-9228 or visit www.IslandBathWorks.com.

ISLAND BATH WORKS
contact // 927-9228
web // www.islandbathworks.com

Photos: Lawrence Tabudlo