How To Choose The Best Grab Bars
Grab bars are aids of safety designed to do a couple of things. They can enable a person to maintain their balance, lessen tiredness by offering support while the person is standing, or help hold some of the person’s weight while they are moving about or transferring into their wheelchair.
They can also help a person avoid injury, as you can hold onto them when falling or slipping. According to a report by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are over 230,000 bathroom injuries for people 15 years and older, treated at emergency rooms each year.
These injuries mostly happen in or around a bathroom, in a bathtub or shower. The injuries increase with age especially with accidents that happen when a person slips or falls near a toilet.
The report concludes by saying that injuries can be reduced through environmental modifications, like putting non-slip strips in the shower or tub, and by adding grab bars inside or outside the tub or shower. Grab bars can also be installed next to the toilet for added support.
Who Are Grab Bars For?
Although grab bars are mostly associated with elderly people and with persons with disabilities, they can be used by and be useful for anyone. For instance, a caregiver may make use of a grab bar in order to hold on to as they transfer an elderly person from one place to another or from the wheelchair to the bath.
Grab bars can also be hold on to as stairs are climbed. So, they are not just a tool for the elderly or for those who are physically weak. Therefore, they are a very useful piece of safety equipment, especially in toilets and bathrooms for people who are disabled and for the elderly.
What Type Of Grab Bars Do I Buy?
While grab bars can be categorized by their shape and their position – for example there are vertical, horizontal, angled, U-shaped and L-shaped grab bars – one way that they can also be categorized is through the way they are mounted on the wall or on any surface. They can be either suction cups or fixed.
Suction cups gives a quicker and easier installation, thus eliminating the need for a professional. Since they are portable, they can travel with you and since they can be repositioned it can be very convenient if you are not sure where the best place is to position them.
On the other hand, although suction cups come with features like safety indicators to inform if attachments are safe enough, they have limitations. They can be fitted only on flat non-porous surfaces. They can also not hold more than a certain amount of weight, and they can loosen over time.
In cases where weight is of a bigger concern, fixed grab bars would be most appropriate. However, fixed grab bars will not hold if they are installed at the wrong place, like on a dry wall.
Thus, grab bars are a very affordable and simple aid, able to raise your quality of life in more ways than one.