Installing grab bars is a great way to improve senior home safety. It’s not enough to just place these bars in the shower or tub surround and assume that everything is going to be fine. You need to understand the way in which these grab bars work best to ensure that they are ideal for the elderly patient who will rely on them while taking a shower.
Here are 5 key safety tips when it comes to grab bars that you can use when you’re ready to install them for your elderly loved one.
Grab bar height.
You don’t have to worry about any particular standard when it comes to height placement for these safety additions to any bathroom. They should be ideally placed at a height that is comfortable for the patient to lean on for support, or to grab onto in the event that they slip. The Americans for Disabilities Act states that bathrooms with grab bars should place those bars at a height of 33 to 36 inches from the floor.
Length of the bars.
In order to ensure proper safety for the senior while they are in the shower, the bars should be as long as possible This could include the entire length of the shower stall or tub surround. For larger showers, consider installing a grab bar on each wall.
Affix the bars to wall studs.
The reason why these safety measures work is because they support the weight of the individual who grabs onto them. If you don’t attach them to the wall studs, they can rip free of the wallboard or tile and that can lead to even more serious injuries. If you don’t know how to find the wall studs, or aren’t sure if you’re going to hit the right spot, contact a professional home contractor. The investment will be worth it.
Make sure these grab bars are in the ideal location.
It won’t serve the elderly individual any good if you install bars in the wrong place. Make sure they will be located where they’re needed most.
Test the bars.
Finally, when you’re finished with the installation process, be sure to test the grab bars thoroughly. They should be anchored in the wall studs, which means they should hold a lot of weight.
If you have any questions about grab bars or any other aspects of senior home safety, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to learn more. When it comes to safety of our elderly loved ones, having the right information and installing bars properly are crucial.