Each year, bathroom falls injure large numbers of adults, often leading to fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and other impairments. Not surprisingly, entering and exiting the bathtub and shower pose some of the highest fall risks. Stepping over a tub wall is challenging for those with limited mobility. This is true even when the floor is dry, and wet and soapy services make the task even more challenging.
Using grab bars in bathrooms can significantly decrease fall risk when entering or exiting the shower and tub. They provide handholds and extra stability, both when entering and exiting tubs and showers, when moving within tubs and showers, as well as when sitting on or rising from a shower chair.
Shower Grab Bars
Shower Grab Bars may be attached to the shower wall and/or to the wall next to the shower entrance. Grab bars attached to the wall may use screws or suction cups. Those with screws will generally bear the most weight and do not have the risk of losing suction. It is important the the screws are placed into studs. Those with suction cups must be secured to a clean, flat surface.
Tub Grab Bars
Tub Grab Bars come in two forms:
- Portable grab bars
- Wall-attached grab bars
Portable Grab Bars
Portable tub grab bars are placed over and clamped to a side wall of the tub, with the grab bar extending upwards from the clamp. Wall-attached grab bars are affixed to the wall may use screws or suction cups. Again, those with screws will generally bear the most weight and do not have the risk of losing suction, and it is important the the screws are placed into studs.
Toilet Grab Bars
Likewise, grab bars can be useful when sitting down on or rising from a toilet. Older or disabled persons may have limited leg strength or have balance issues, and toilet grab bars can provide leverage, guidance, and support. Toilet Grab Bars also come in two forms. They can either be attached to the wall next to the toilet, or can be a wrap around style, affixed to the back rim of the toilet, with the grab bars curving up on each side of the bowl, than extending forward across the length of each side of the bowl, and then extending down to the floor to provide the support for the front end of the grab bars.
Other Useful Grab Bars
Other useful grab bars for use in the bathroom are floor-to-ceiling models, as well as other styles of wall mounted grab bars. These other grab bars can help with traversing from sink to toilet, tub, or shower, and entering and exiting the room.
Representative Grab Bars in Bathroom Products
Below is a sampling of bathroom grab bar products that are designed to help you age in place for a longer period of time. Click on the links to find out more information, see other products selections, and if you like, to make a purchase from one of our providers.