Grab Bars For The Disabled

Grab bars are an essential part of any home safety plan. Especially when it comes to the elderly or disabled. So what are they and how do they help? A grab bar is similar to the handrail on a set of stairs but are used in places that someone may slip and fall. Bathrooms, near beds, and hallway’s are typical points of installation. Really, anywhere someone may need a helping hand to stand or walk is a good place to install.

Styles Available

There is quite a selection of handicap grab bars available on the market today in just about every shape size and color to help fit your home decor. The old style bars were all stainless steel and had a very clinical look to them. These day’s you can get them in a number of colors and shapes. There are swing up / out bars as well as some that are pre-bent to specific dimensions for use near toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. You can also get different sized tubing. A smaller tubing may help someone elderly with smaller hands. You want to make sure the person using the bar can grasp and hold firmly. If the bar is too big then it may defeat the purpose.

How to install Grab Bars For The Disabled

Grab bars can be installed in any direction, horizontal, vertical, or diagonally depending on it’s location and use. Installations near toilets are typically diagonal as they are used as a hand hold for sitting and standing. Bathtubs will either be mounted horizontal or vertical. A diagonally installed grab bar isn’t recommended due to the fact that they can get wet and possibly covered with soap. This makes for a slippery slope that could cause a fall.

When installing anything that will take a persons weight then your going to want to make sure you are screwing into the wood studs in the wall and not just the drywall. Drywall is not strong enough by itself. When placing the bar’s template on the wall you may not be able to get all the mounting holes lined up with the studs. In this case make sure you use toggle bolts and not drywall anchors for the mounting that falls outside of the stud. If you have access to the back of the wall you can screw / nail some 2×4 lumber to the existing framing to mount to. This is called blocking and is much stronger than a toggle bolt.

Where to Buy

Any Hardware store will have a selection of Safety Grab Bars but your best selection will be online. There are a number of stores that offer ADA-compliant accessories and are reputable. Remember to always follow good guidelines for making purchases online. If your not comfortable then call the stores 1-800 number and order on the phone.

I hope this article on Grab Bars For The Disabled helps and stay tuned for more articles from Motorized Wheelchair Guide.

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