Bathroom Safety - Grab Bars
Slips and falls in the bathroom are one of the most common causes of injury for elderly with mobility related challenges. Installing safety rails is one of the most important features of a safe bathroom. Grab bars- placed on the walls and tub bars placed on the tub itself allow for the user to steady themselves moving in and out of the shower and general movement around the bathroom. It also provides additional support for caregivers who may be assisting with bathing.
There are a variety of styles, sizes and finishes as well as options for installation. To make sure that you are choosing the right amount and options, it is a good idea to move around your bathroom while clothed and determine where you need the most assistance. Some places to consider:
- Getting up and down from the toilet
- Climbing in and out of the tub
- Getting in and out of the shower
- Moving from one area to another
Some other ideas to consider:
- Longer sized bars can be installed horizontally, vertically or at an angle.
- Always make sure to check the weight capacity of the item.
- Confirm how the item is supposed to be installed and whether your area will allow for such an installation. For example a shower or bath with a fiberglass surround will not allow for a grab bar to be screwed into the wall. Installations should always be done by an experienced person.
- All grab bars not installed into wall studs or with the appropriate fasteners are only meant to steady you but never to hold your full weight if you start to fall.