An essential disability aid for the the elderly and mobility impaired users.
This website will provide you more information on grab bars.
For vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, disabled, and mobility restricted, extra support throughout their day to day activities can be essential to ensure that they can continue living their life happily, independently, and safely. In the bathroom, many things can pose a risk for slips, falls, or general injury – slippery surfaces and floors, and constantly moving between seated and standing positions can both issue for people who struggle with vulnerability.
Fortunately, there are many safety and support aids that are available to purchase to ensure that these users can continue living independently. One of these aids is a grab bar.
Below are some frequently asked questions about grab bars and their functionality to help you decide if the aid is right for you or your user.
What is a grab bar?
Grab bars are a helpful support aid. A long metal rod that attaches to the wall using screws in most cases, allowing users to hold onto them for extra support when moving around a space, most often the bathroom.
What can I use a grab bar for? Grab bars can be utilized in a range of different situations, even within the bathroom. They can aid users with moving around the bathroom where the floors are slippery, in the shower where they may need extra grip, or even next to the toilet to aid them in moving between seated and standing positions.
Grab bars can be placed almost anywhere with many custom configuration options available.
What kinds of grab bars are available to purchase?
There is a very large variety of grab bars available to purchase, each serving a different purpose. Most standard grab bars feature a concealed mount and can be purchased in multiple lengths, diameters, and finishes.
The customization level of grab bars is very high. Grab bars with added functionality are also available – one of the most common grab bars is the LED bar. LED grab bars are motion censored, light up grab bars that provide high visibility for the safety aid, even in low lighting situations. Grab bars that have shelving, towel racks, and toilet paper holders attached to them are also available, making the aids extremely functional, even for non-vulnerable users.
Should I talk to an occupational therapist or independent living consultant before purchasing a grab bar?
If you are aware of the in-depth needs of your client, then no – seeing an occupational therapist or independent living consultant is not necessary. However, they can provide you with some advice about what kinds of aids would be best suited to the user, and their existing bathroom space – specifically for grab bars, they may be able to suggest a certain configuration or finish for your user.
What is the weight capacity of a grab bar?
Wall mounted, permanent grab bars are generally designed to be able to support the weight of an adult. However, some grab bars are simply added to the wall via suction, these bars are best used as a grip, but not body-weight support.
For grab bars with added functionality such as a toilet paper holder or shelving, they may not be able to support the full body weight of a user either. It is always recommended that before purchasing, you get in touch with the manufacturer to discuss any weight restrictions of the aid that you are specifically buying.
What do I need to consider before purchasing a grab bar?
Many things need to be considered before making a grab bar purchase. First of all, the needs of your user need to be understood to ensure that you are meeting them correctly. This can be done by meeting with an independent living consultant, or simply observing the user and discovering what areas of the bathroom they struggle to maneuver on their own. Another thing to consider is the type of grab bar you’d like, and it’s installation process. Most grab bars need to be wall-mounted, and it is always best to get a professional to install something that is designed to hold body weight.
What dimensions do I need to consider?
Grab bars need to be ADA compliant – meaning that they adhere to the standard of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even in private spaces, ensuring that the grab bars comply with this act will ensure that the aid will maintain it’s safety integrity throughout use. The ADA dictates some important measurements for installation – which is why it is always suggested that a licensed professional installs this kind of aid.
How are grab bars installed?
Grab bars generally are a wall-mounted aid. Most grab bars come with the option to mount using screws or suction cups.
This means that it is highly recommended that this particular aid is installed by a licensed professional with an understanding of ADA standards.
How are grab bars cleaned?
Most grab bars can be cleaned with a simple disinfectant wipe. The bars are commonly made out of steel, or ABS plastic, both materials can be cleaned with regular household cleaning products to maintain hygiene and cleanliness.
What aids can I use in conjunction with grab bars?
Grab bars are an excellent place to start when adding support to your bathroom. The aids that are best suited to enhance the use of grab bars heavily depends on the needs of the user that will be requiring the support. Generally speaking, bath transfer seats are an excellent addition to the bathroom for bathing, and bidet toilet seats can help maintain cleanliness when users are using the toilet.