Shower grab bars enhance bathroom safety. For the elderly and those suffering with mobility issues, a shower grab bar makes bathing a safer experience.
Shower grab bars are installed on the shower’s entry wall and on the immediate side wall. You can also add a horizontal grab bar to the back wall of the shower to help you stay balanced.
Bath and shower grab bars come in different shapes and sizes, functionality, and installation.
What Is A Shower Grab Bar?
When taking a shower, many people need additional support. A shower grab bar safeguards against bathroom fall downs by providing support.
Between tile flooring, water, and soap, falling in a bathroom is easy and happens often. For the elderly, such conditions represent a hazard.
Shower Grab Bars Style
- Suction Grab Bars: The suction grab bars attach to the wall with suction cups. The problem is they’re not strong and lose their connection with the wall after heavy use.
- Wall-mounted bars are fixed to a wall vertically, horizontally, or at an angle. They are very sturdy to provide stability when taking a shower.
- Angled Grab Bars are L and U-shaped and are also made with a wave design. L-shaped, U-shaped, and wave designs. They provide multi-level support when standing or sitting.
- Floor-to-Wall Grab Bars are long and vertical. One end of the handrail is mounted to the floor, and the other attaches to an adjacent wall. You can install it next to a bathtub to assist an older person when stepping out.
- Two-Wall Corner Grab Bar is continuous and mounted on two walls. wall. They are suitable as support. People with limited mobility use these when using a shower chair or bathtub.
- Free-standing: In case of limited wall space, you can install a floor-to-ceiling pole. It’s a slim vertical pole with a non-slip grip cover. Users can hold on to it when sitting and getting up from a walker or a bathtub transfer bench.
- Grab Bar Clamps: These are bathtub grab bars. Grab bar clamps attach to the rim of a bathtub to give bathers stability. An ideal clamp does not need screws or drilling; hence, you won’t damage the tub.
- Flip Up/ Flip Down grab bars mount horizontally to a wall using a drill. They are ideal for limited bathroom space since they flip out of the way if not in use. Flip Up grab bars are suitable for an older adult to hold on to when getting up from a walk-in shower or toilet.
Shower Grab Bar Benefits
Every year, about 36 million falls are reported among older adults, some of which are fatal. Bathroom falls are not only common among older generations.
Bathroom injuries caused by falls are also a concern for young children less than 15 years old. You can prevent accidents by installing grab bars in showers and bathtubs.
Prevent Slippage And Falling
Grab bars provide additional support for the elderly. Those on medication experience dizziness and poor vision, which cause imbalance issues. Bathtub grab bars reduce the risk of falls when exiting a bathtub, which could result from unexpected loss of balance.
Improve Stability And Comfort
Older adults are more willing to take a shower if there is no risk of injury in the bathroom. Holding on to a grab bar gives them comfort and eliminates fear when bathing. Taking baths helps with pain management and arthritis and lowers the risk of skin infections.
Independent Senior Living
Bathtub grab bars are standard in walk-in tubs and showers for the elderly. Notable manufacturers like Kohler and American Standard sell walk-in tubs with built-in grab bars. When installed, an older adult can get in and walk out of the shower/tub alone. It provides a sense of independence since they can take baths without asking for assistance.
Shower Grab Bars: What to Look for in a Grab Bar
You can fix a grab bar horizontally, vertically, or at an angle. Horizontal grab bars offer excellent stability for an older adult with limited mobility. Vertical shower bars cover little distance, so they can only provide support when standing or sitting.
Nevertheless, vertical bars are great for small bathrooms. Placing them at an angle would be practical if you’d like to have multiple grab bars.
The best grab bars for seniors are textured to assist with grip. For an older person with arthritic hands, vertical grab bars are ideal.
Stainless steel shower grab bars are durable compared to plastic ones. Steel is very sturdy and does not rust over time. If you want permanent safety handles, grill the handlebars to withstand heavy use.
Suction grab bars are easier to fix compared to drilling. If you live in a rental house, you should consider heavy-duty suction grab bars. Their large suction cups offer added support and are safer than standard suction grab bars. You can install them on a bathroom surface without any tools.
When shopping for grab bars for a disabled person, check for ADA compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approves suction grabbers as a temporary solution for imbalance. It’s not advisable to install these as permanent grab bars for bathrooms.
Best Shower Grab Bars
Here are the top five bathroom grab bars for the elderly:
Ameriluck suction grab bars offer temporary support when showering. It’s easy to fix this grab bar at any angle in your bathroom. You don’t need additional tools to install a suction grab bar. You simply press the cups against your walls. The package has an instruction manual for installation and a safety indicator to show you if the cups are holding well.
- Ideal for rental living spaces
- Portable for traveling
- Limited lifetime warranty
- You have to check its stability often
Moen shower grab bar is a heavy-duty grab bar. Its sturdy steel structure supports up to 500 lbs. Moen provides SecureMount anchors for firm installation on a tile wall. It’s also possible to fix this grab bar on stud walls using the multiple holes on the mounting ring.
- ADA compliant
- Slip-resistant peened surface
- The mounting hardware is concealed
- Its mounts are sold separately
The grab bar is fixed to the wall before each use. You attach it to the wall by pressing levers. You can use it as a horizontal, vertical, or angled grab bar. An older person can use these suction cup grab bars while entering or exiting a shower. You can also install them on a bathtub to assist a bather around the tub.
- Its textured middle offers a good grip
- Easy to install
- It has a decent length (17 inches)
- Cannot support full body weight
This chrome grab bar is functional and offers a modern finish. It’s a sturdy grab bar meant for tile bathroom walls. The package comes with all hardware for installation. Since it only has three screws to attach, you can do the installation without help. These grab bars support full body weight and are accessible to people with disabilities.
- ADA compliant
- Concealed mounting hardware
- Decorative finish
- Limited lifetime warranty
- It might not offer a good grip
Get it from Amazon or Way fair.
PCP bathtub safety rail supports seniors and those with limited mobility when accessing bathtubs. The simple design is easy to clean and rust-resistant. Users of average height can comfortably use the safety bars. Its width is adjustable to fit most tub sizes. The non-marring rubber pads protect your tub wall from damage when fixing the rail.
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Non-corrosive white finish
- Textured rubber grip
- Easy to install
- Not suitable for vast tubs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What is the ideal thickness of a grab bar?
1½-inch or 1¼-inch diameter grab bars are suitable for adults. 1¼ inch is the ideal thickness of a grab bar for an older person. Circular ADA-compliant grab bars should have a diameter of 1¼ inch minimum or 2 inches maximum.
Does Medicare cover grab bars?
Medicare will cover grab bars if they are “medically necessary.” You will need a doctor’s prescription to prove they’re required for treatment. If you’re under Medicare Advantage Plans, they may facilitate partial payment for the grab bars.
What makes a shower grab bar ADA-compliant?
ADA-compliant wall-mounted grab bars should be at least 42 inches long. They are installed 33 to 36 inches above the bathroom floor. Circular grab bars should have a maximum diameter of 2 inches. Non-circular shower grab bars measure 2 inches across and 4 inches around the perimeter.
Are suction cup grab bars safe?
Suction cup grab bars are safe for temporary use. They are not meant to support full body weight, so they’re not ADA compliant. Before an older adult uses a suction grab bar, it’s essential to tug it to confirm it’s secure.
Shower grab bars provide balance and support to prevent an older person from falling. Consider the size and style of your bathroom when choosing a grab bar. Proper bathroom placement is also essential so that the safety bars are accessible to the user. It only takes some minutes to install a grab bar, ensuring your bathroom’s safety for years to come.
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