Bath tub grab bars are extremely helpful in preventing falls in the bath tub. Senior.com sells a variety of bars to fit your bathroom. Please watch this quick video instructing you on the use and installation of a bath tub grab bar:
Bathroom safety is paramount for elderly parents, as most accidents and falls happen in the bathroom. Here are six tips for grab bar placement and safety for you or your elderly parent’s home.
There is no standard height requirement for residential installation of grab bars, and everyone’s needs are different. But as a rule of thumb, in ADA-compliant bathrooms, grab bars are installed 33-inches to 36-inches off the finished floor.
Grab bars should cover as much of the shower wall as possible. If you have a large shower, have a bar for each wall to ensure safety.
Your grab bars will be rock-solid if you anchor them to studs. Find the studs near your proposed grab bar location using a stud sensor.
You’re not done until you yank-test. Give the bars a good solid yank to test their holding power. With a helper standing by in case the bar comes loose, pull with all your strength. Now’s the time to make sure the bar will hold up when it’s really needed.
Even a solidly anchored grab bar is useless if it’s in the wrong place. What location is best depends on the situation. If you’re installing the bars for a person with a disability or injury, have this person help you decide which location will be most helpful. A physical therapist or an occupational therapist also can help with this decision.
Here are some locations where grab bars are helpful:
Outside of the Shower or Tub. Having a small grab bar placed vertically outside of the shower or tub entry is great for assistance stepping to and from a wet surface.
Tub Deck. Soaking tubs are all the rage in bathroom design. However, trouble can come quickly if someone is unable to exit the tub. Install a grab bar on the wall behind the tub and/or a small grab bar on the tub deck. Be sure the grab bar is in a place where a foot cannot trip on it while entering or exiting a tub.
Towel Bars with Strength. Let’s face it, when you are about to fall you’ll grab on to anything close by – including a towel bar. Why not make towel bars safer by replacing them with grab bars?
Toilet Paper Holder. For those who have a hard time getting up from a seated position, there are some grab bars that can also be used as a toilet paper holder, while still maintaining its strength of supporting 250 pounds of force.
As a co-owner of Senior.com, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles