As people grow older, the youthful vigor that they have heavily depended on over the years starts to wane. And their ability to get around with bursting energy significantly diminishes. At this point, they need to start taking extra measures to support their aging bones and protect themselves from all forms of injuries.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that every year, about 3 million seniors are taken to the emergency room after sustaining injuries from falls. The records also reveal that more than 95 percent of all hip injuries in the United States are caused by a fall.
The combination of wet slippery surfaces in bathrooms and old age can be very dangerous, and it is imperative that measures are put into place to prevent falls in the bathroom. One of such measures is to install a grab bar in bathrooms used by elderly people.
What is a grab bar?
A grab bar is a safety device that enables a person to maintain balance and reduce fatigue while standing. Simply holding on to it can help to prevent slips and falls in the bathroom.
Grab bars are made of metal, fiberglass, or tough plastic, and they are most commonly installed next to a toilet seat or bathtub.
Why do elderly people need grab bars?
Grab bars provide multiple health benefits
Elderly people are prone to falls around the home, particularly in the bathroom which is usually wet and slippery. The fear of falling could deter a lot of elderly people from using the bathroom as often as they would like to, especially when they do not have human support around them. Installing grab bars in the bathroom and toilet can give them the confidence they need to use the bathroom freely without fear of falling.
Similarly, sitting and standing from the toilet seat can become a struggle with old age. Elderly people sometimes take a tumble while trying to sit or find it difficult to raise themselves from the toilet seat. Grab bars installed close to the toilet seat will provide the support they need to safely seat and stand while using the toilet.
More importantly, most cases of falls in the elderly are accompanied by multiple health complications such as fractures, bed sores, depression, and many others. Preventing falls by using grab bars is indirectly prevents all these complications.
Grab bars allow seniors to live independently
Most elderly people have to rely on other people for help with certain things that may cause them discomfort. It is difficult to feel like you are losing your quality of life by always having to ask for help from friends and family members. Installing grab bars can make for independence and significantly increase the quality of life.
Buying Grab bars for the elderly: Things to consider
Where would it be installed?
Before purchasing a grab bar, consider where the grab bar will be installed. This will help you determine the right shape and size of the suitable grab bar for the spot.
Also, you have to know the kind of surface that the grab bar will be attached to because not all surfaces support grab bar installation. Similarly, not all grab bars are made to fit on every type of surface.
How much weight would it support?
The user’s weight is an important consideration while choosing a grab bar. Most grab bars have a weight limit ranging from 300 lbs to 500 lbs. So, before hitting the market for a grab bar, be sure to check the current weight of the elderly person who would be using it.
Best grab bars for the elderly: Our top 7 picks
The market abounds with grab bars of different types and by different brands. And making the right choice from the pack can be a huge challenge. And that’s why we decided to make things easier for you.
We’ve scoured the market and compared the various grab bars available based on factors such as durability, price, brand reputation, real buyer opinions, and other important factors. And here are our top seven picks.
The Stander Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar is a two-in-one standing pole with a pivoting grab bar that locks into place every 45 degrees. With adjustable heights of up to 7-10 feet, the security pole and curve grab bar makes it easy to rise from a bed, couch or toilet.
The Security Pole & Curve Grab Bar from Stander provides a multi-use handle for the bathroom, living room, or bedroom. The tension-mounted design allows it to be moved around the home without leaving marks or holes, which affords the user with the flexibility of placement in the home. It can be placed centrally and used from multiple positions by pulling the knob which rotates 360 degrees and locks every 45 degrees.
The product is durable, functional, practical and easy to use with an ergonomic handgrip that allows user to pull themselves up in a hand over hand motion. The product is easy to install and easy to move around for use on trips. The tension at the brace of the bar is evenly distributed to ensure that it does not damage ceilings and floors it is attached to.
However, the Stander security pole and curve grab bar cannot be used with slanted or oval ceilings.
Measuring 24 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter, the Moen LR8724DIGCH Home Care 24-Inch Grab Bar accommodates hands of all sizes and supports up to 500 pounds. Constructed from durable stainless steel, this bar features a corrosion-resistant finish to ensure lasting performance.
The bar is fitted with grip pads for a secure and comfortable hold without diminishing the sleek design of the stainless steel grip pad which coordinates perfectly with any decorating style.
The product is available in multiple sizes and finishes and comes with a limited lifetime warranty against leaks, drips and finish defects. The bar which is screwed to the wall can be mounted at any angle. The multi-purpose bar doubles as a shelf for lightweight shower items which can save space in small bathrooms, and can also be used to hang towels and swimsuits when mounted in the bathroom.
However, the product requires installation tools to mount in place and does not come with secure mount anchors that allow for secure installation at any angle and help ensure proper alignment, which is important in the installation process. Also, the grab bar has a weight limit capped at 500 lbs, and may be damaged if weight limit is exceeded.
The Drive Medical Adjustable Height Bathtub Grab Bar Safety Rail is easy to use and adjustable with a design that fits any bathtub. The attractive white powder coated steel frame is durable and pleasing to look at. The grip bar which can be adjustable from 14 to 17 inch allows you to find the perfect height for your needs. The tool-free installation makes it easily attachable to the bathtub and very user-friendly.
The angle of the grab bar is parallel to the shower wall. The adjustable width clamp attaches by turning the locking mechanism which tightens the rubber pads on all bath tub contact points. The rubber pads prevent scratching of the tub’s surface and ensure a secure fit.
The product is very sturdy and simple to remove and replace while cleaning the bathtub but has to be tightened occasionally as it gets loose because of the weight placed on it in the same direction.
Also, this safety rail cannot help while bathing because it is attached to the edge of the tub behind the shower curtain. The safety rail has a weight limit and excess weight could cause it to snap. It cannot be used on slant bathtubs and glass fibers.
The Vive Suction Grab Bar is easy to install and remove from the shower walls with locking latches to secure bar in place. It comes with color indications to ensure that the bar has been securely installed and is safe to use. A green light after installation indicates that the grab bar is safe to use while a red light indicates that the bar has not been properly installed and is unsafe for use.
The product has a textured and contoured rubber that ensures a comfortable nonslip grip and molded finger grip on the underside of the bar for additional safety. It has ample space of 3.25 inches between the grip and the wall after installation to ensure user grasps handle securely. The firm grip ensures steadiness during births and is suitable for the elderly and toddlers.
The product can be easily adjusted on tubs and showers with lift tabs that enable the user to reposition the grab bar easily. The grab bar can be easily removed and can be taken on travels for safe baths and showers anywhere.
The Vive Grab Bar is sturdy and secure with strong suction cups that work on any non-porous flat surface including tiles, glass, acrylic, and metal.
The Moen 30 Inch Flip-Up Grab Bar provides a safe, steady handhold while occupying less space. It flips up and out of the way to help keep smaller bathrooms safer and space efficient. The product comes in two attractive finishes: a glacier finish which brings a bright clean look to your bathroom and a stainless finish which has a sleek, classy look. With the durable stainless steel construction, this bath grip ensures lasting performance.
The product is durable, reliable and stylish, measuring 30 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter. It accommodates hands of all sizes and supports up to 300 lbs. It has space efficient design ideal for smaller bathrooms. The flip-up saves space by resting against the wall when not in use and can be easily flipped over for a reliable grip in the bath or toilet.
The product has a corrosion-resistant finish that ensures it keeps its sparkling look in either of its finishes and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
However, the product cannot support more than 300 pounds and may snap if more weight is hauled on it. Also, the product when flipped up might not be easily noticeable by visitors who might also need a grab bar for support.
The Moen 16-inch Grab Bar with ShelfMoen 16-inch Grab Bar with Shelf is a sleek 16-Inch grab bar that comes with a shelf. It assists in balance during bathing or showering. The grab bar has a curved streamlined design with a built-in rack and white inset shelf for soap and other bathroom items. It comes with a secure mount design for easy and secure installation at any angle. It has a highly reflective chrome finish that complements any bathroom decor.
The curved shower grab bar with shelf measures 16 Inches in length and 1 Inch in diameter, accommodating hands of all sizes and supports up to 250 pounds. Constructed from durable stainless steel, it features a corrosion-resistant finish to ensure product longevity.
This grab bar is available in three finishes: a warm brushed nickel finish, a mirror-like chrome finish, and a rich oil-rubbed bronze finish that brings polish to your bathroom. The built-in rack provides a convenient storage option to keep soap, shampoo, and other bathing products close at hand. The included white tray which adds a bright, clean accent is removable for easy cleaning.
However, the product cannot support more than 250 pounds and can come loose when extra weight is put on it.
The AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Grab Bar provides a safe, steady handhold while adding beauty to the bathroom. With the durable stainless steel construction, this bath grip ensures lasting performance.
The product is durable, reliable and stylish, measuring 48 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter. It accommodates hands of all sizes and supports up to 500 lbs. It has a space-efficient design ideal for bathrooms. The product has a corrosion-resistant finish that ensures it keeps its sparkling look and comes with an installation guide and mounting screws.
The stainless steel product comes with 8 mounting holes on each covered flange that facilitates various mounting angles from horizontal to vertical. It has a straight, easy-grip finish that guarantees user satisfaction.
However, the product cannot support more than 500 pounds and may snap if more weight is hauled on it. Also, it is hard to get access to some of the screw holes which are too small for long screws.
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API