How to Safety-Proof Your Bathroom: Safety Bars
While the hidden dangers associated with your tub and shower are great, preventing tub-related accidents is mostly easy to do and can be done in an afternoon. This is the first in a series of posts about how you can safety-proof your bathroom.
But you don’t have to do it alone. We can help make sure your aging loved one never has to worry when he or she steps into the tub again, which means you never have to worry. Our walk-in tubs are designed to make sure the elderly, and men and women with mobility handicaps, can safely enter and exit the bathtub. Call us at 800-373-4322 any time or fill out this form and we can get back to you when it’s convenient for you.
Regardless of the age of the person using the tub, you should install a safety (grab) bar. When you choose your grab bar, keep in mind:
- How much wall space there is around the tub
- What material your wall is made of (probably tile)
- Where the plumbing fixtures are behind the wall
- The mobility of the person using the tub
You should pick an institutional-grade (stainless steel probably) grab bar, which may be pricy. You should install grab bars according to directions provided by the manufacturer, and never using a towel rod as a grab bar. Towel rods will not support someone who is losing their balance.
If you’re outfitting your tub for an elderly adult, you will need to install two grab bars probably: A grab bar to use when the person is getting in and out of the tub, and a grab bar to use when the person is sitting down and getting up when already inside the tub (we’ll discuss seats in the tub in a separate post).
For use getting in and out of the tub, consider a vertical bar, which you can attach to the side of the wall at the foot of the tub (where the water faucets and drain are). This type of bar will help the person safely get in and out of the tub. You should pick a bar that is at least 32 inches (and probably not much longer than that). You should install the grab bar at the outer edge of the tub. We do not recommend diagonal grab bars, because some using a diagonal grab bar when getting in and out of the tub may not be able to firmly grasp the bar, which, when coupled with uneasy footing, could lead to a fall.
For inside the tub, install a horizontal support bar, which is best to use when sitting down or getting up from a seated position. Place this bar on the back edge of the tub, which is also where you would place a seat. If you are not placing a seat in this area, then install the horizontal support bar in a place that is near enough to be used when sitting down or getting up from a seated position.
With about 5.1 million people injured in the home each year due to slipping and falling, you can help prevent such an accident from happening in your bathroom by putting in place effective safety measures.