All You Need to Know About Grab Bars
Important considerations for purchasing grab bars
In this blog post, we cover some important points that you need to consider grab bars which are one of the most widely used bath and toilet aids in the world.
Grab bars an essential bath and toilet aid for elderly and disabled users. Not only do they help in allowing elderly users to remain safe while undertaking toilet and bath-related activities but also help them boost their self-confidence by allowing them to maintain their independence.
So, if this is something you consider purchasing here is a list of things you need to consider before you can narrow down on a model that will meet your needs.
Points to consider prior to purchasing a Grab Bars
Compliance: Every country or legislation has put forward certain standards that need to be followed by manufacturers in order for their grab bars to be considered safe. In the US, there is something known as the ADA or American Disability Association, which prescribes these standards.
So, when you are shopping for grab bars, ensure that they are are in fact ADA compliant.
Type of Grab Bar: Grab bars have come a long way as independent living aids that can be used to increase the safety and independence of users. Constant research and development undertaken by the manufacturers has meant that the user now has plenty of options to choose from based on their individual needs and the area of installation.
Choices include; straight grab bars, L-shaped grab bars, modular grab bars, LED-grab bars, collapsable grab bars, suction grab bars, corner grab bars and many more.
Each of these options has been designed for a purpose or a specific user-need. So you need to ensure what the user really needs and the area where the grab bar needs to be installed.
User Requirements: The most important consideration when buying a grab bar is the user’s needs. To start with ascertaining the weight of the user would be a good idea as each grab bar comes with a different level of weight-bearing capacity.
The second consideration would be the diameter and length of the grab bar. Again plenty of lengths and diameters available in the market so you will need to ascertain you are buying the option given a user’s needs.
The bottom line is that the user should be easily able to access the grab bar with ease to change positions and feel comfortable while gripping the grab bar.
If the user can do a test run in an independent living centre or the shop where you plan to purchase the grab bar then it will help the user make up their mind in terms of the best option for them.
Installation: For a starter make sure that a professional undertake the installation of the grab bar as this will ensure that the installation has been carried out properly. Come to think of it, you are purchasing a grab bar to enhance the safety of the user and the last thing you want is that the grab bar snaps when the user is putting all their weight on the grab bar.
Also, if you are using a metal grab bar, ensure that earthing is done so that there is no risk of electrocution.
Concrete is the best option to mount a grab bar but if you have a gyprock wall then ensure that the screws are placed on the studs for a stronger hold.
Other Bath and Toilet Aids to Consider with Grab Bars
Some other bath and toilet aids that can further enhance the safety of a disabled or elderly user when used in conjunction with grab bars include:
Bath Chairs and Bath Stools: These are independent living aids or bathing aids that have been specifically designed to allow disabled and elderly users to have a bath whilst in a seated position.
This significantly reduces the risk of slip and fall.
Shower Chairs and Shower Stools: Much like bath chair and bath stools shower chairs and shower stools have been designed to be used in the showering area.
You can find plenty of options when it comes to shower chairs and stools including height-adjustable options, with and without a backrest and ones that have other accessories of functionalities built into them including a soap and shower head holder.
Raised Toilet Seats: One of the most widely used toilet aids after a grab rail. Also, known as a toilet seat riser, this independent living aid has been designed to reduce the amount of distance that a user has to travel in order to sit and rise from a standard toilet seat.
Expect to see different levels of elevations and material in the marketplace to choose from. These also come with covers or lids and arms on the side.
More about Grab Bars - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grab_bar