Rethinking the bathtub for universal design
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Body cleansing is an integral part of people's everyday life. Between five and seven percent of people over the age of 65 experience problems when using the bathroom. Some investigators have postulated that disability in older persons can further occur when there is a gap, mismatch, or poor fit between personal capabilities and environmental demands. Current bathing fixtures do not support people with limited ability, and so the current bathing environment perpetuates bathing disability. Furthermore, because assistive bathing technology is meant for one particular user, it can impede other users when they need to bathe. A consequence of this is that the assistive bathing technology could be abandoned. The purpose of this study is to design and evaluate a bathtub for body cleansing regardless of an individual's physical ability and allow for all stakeholders to use the tub within the same space.