How Do You Install Safety Bars to Ensure They Do What You Expect?

How Do You Install Safety Bars to Ensure They Do What You Expect?

 April 8, 2022

A person is pushing the handle on a door.

You get the call that you’re mom fell while stepping out of the shower.

She’ll be okay once her bones heal, but her doctor recommends heightening bathroom safety. Bathroom grab bars help keep her safe, but they can only help if they’re installed correctly. Here are the things you and your home care services provider need to know about installing grab bars.

Follow ADA Guidelines

The American Disability Association (ADA) sets guidelines regarding accessible designs that are also useful for home installations. Use these tips to better understand how to install grab bars at your mom’s house.

Start with the grab bars near the toilet. The grab bar on the wall behind the toilet should be 36 inches or longer. If the area isn’t wide enough for a bar on this side, aim for one that’s 24 inches instead. It should extend at least a foot beyond the center of the toilet’s tank. Install a second bar vertically so that if your mom falls, she can reach a bar from the floor.

Does your mom have a shower stall or shower/bath combination? If she has a shower stall, she wants to have grab bars positioned horizontally on the back and side wall opposite the entry door or area. A grab bar on the front wall is also beneficial.

If she has a shower/tub combination, She should have the grab bars on both the front and back wall and one on the sidewall. The one on the side should be at least 24 inches long.

Add another grab bar on the wall outside the tub or shower. She can hold it as she goes to step in and out of the shower.

Follow the Installation Instructions

The most important step to installation is to make sure the grab bars are affixed to studs. Use a stud finder to find the studs in the wall. If you’re unsure, hire a professional contractor to ensure the grab bars are installed correctly.

With all grab bars, make sure you can reach the bars on the front and back walls from the area where you step into the tub or shower. If they’re set too far back that you have to bend far to reach them, they need to be installed closer.

In addition to the grab bars, make sure your mom has a shower seat. That helps her avoid a fall if her balance is off. Another device to consider is a handrail that clamps to the side of the bathtub. It can be taken off and put back on as needed.

Have you looked into home care services? Schedule caregiver visits that coincide with your mom’s morning routines, like showering and using the toilet. A home care provider can be there to ensure your senior’s safety as she moves around the house, including in the bathroom, getting into and out of bed, navigating the stairs, and more.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call412-421-5202