We may think about grab bars as a last resort or when someone gets in a situation when it’s a necessity.
But there’s no reason to wait until that day arrives. Prevent that added stress by planning ahead. Prepare for the unexpected, your future or the great resale of your home by simply adding blocking in the walls of at least one bathroom on the main level.
And let’s face it…grab bars are not just for those who are older or have a disability. AND, they do not have to be placed at a certain height or location because the ADA (American Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines) say so (which are minimum guidelines). Grab bars are even placed around tubs to help people get in and out of them and placed outside showers especially with a step to assist with balance. To be honest, grab bars would have been super beneficial for me during pregnancy getting in / out of my tub. We have a free-standing tub, so not an ideal tub for ease of access nor is it a very safe option for soaking as we maneuver our legs over the tub when getting in and out of slippery surfaces. Women who are pregnant are presented with many temporary challenges and loss of balance is one of them.
When it comes to your personal space, such as a residential bathroom, grab bars can be placed anywhere. Typically, you’d place a grab bar in locations that will be the most effective based on how you plan to use them and how they make you feel the safest. I would recommend having an occupational therapist help you plan the location of your grab bars or work with a designer that is at least a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS). Occupational therapists factor in you as a person (including medical history), your function, your environment, how you use your space. They also apply evidence-based practice as a guide. For instance, we take into consideration the evidence pointing that alarming number of slips and falls occur in the bathrooms.
Types of grab bars
Today, we have many styles and finishes to choose from making it look like a part of our bathroom design. Or perhaps, making it look like jewels for our bathroom. They also provide many functions for different parts of the bathroom. How many times have you grabbed the towel bar to balance yourself while drying off or have used the toilet paper roll holder to steady yourself as you sit down on the toilet seat? Check out the following grab bars (or support bars) and notice how they are hidden or simply blend in with the designs of the bathroom:
Where can we find them: