As the population of individuals over the age of 65 increases, so too does the need for universal designs that provide maximum accessibility for those aging adults who want to live at home for as long as possible. Grab bars are quickly becoming the most affordable and versatile option for easy home safety modifications. Not only that, more and more homes are being built with grab bars already installed as this can increase the value of the home depending on where it is located. While the use of grab bars is increasing, there are multiple misconceptions existing that unfortunately deter some people from even attempting to incorporate these important safety measures into their own homes.
Whether you’re thinking about upgrading your loved ones bathroom safety, or you’re a handyman looking to add “installing grab bars” to your list of special skills, you first want to consider these important facts about grab bars:
There are no “one size fits all” grab bars; every space is different. Every individual is different and has different safety needs within their space, which is something to consider before purchasing a grab bar. These safety solutions work best if they are placed strategically depending on ADA guidelines (if they apply to your home), a person’s height, and the size and shape of the room. Grab bars now come in multiple styles to accommodate just about any room. There are grab bars that wrap around corners, folding grab bars for small spaces, even circular grab bars for placing around a shower handle. If you aren’t sure which grab bar is right for your project, consult with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or certified aging in place specialist before deciding where to put grab bars and what sizes you’ll need.
The American with Disabilities Act Guidelines or US Accessibility Standards and other codes may not apply to your situation. Most homeowners don’t know which safety codes apply to their homes. Many of the guidelines outlined in these codes and standards are meant for commercial buildings and multi-family homes. This means that if you don’t fall under those two categories, you may be able to place grab bars wherever you’d like. If these codes do apply to your home, you’ll have to make sure you place grab bars in specific locations, but can always add more if you’d like.
You don’t need studs to install grab bars. There is a common misconception that in order to secure grab bars in a shower or bathroom, you need studs. New technology like blind fasteners can be used to place grab bars precisely where they need to be if there are no studs available.
Grab bars don’t have to look institutional. Most people assume that adding grab bars to your bathroom or space instantly creates a cold, “institutional” type of look. While that may have been the case years ago, now a days there are endless combinations of grab bar styles, finishes, shapes, decorative flanges, and colors to choose from. Now homeowners and business owners alike have the option to add a grab bar to their bathroom without it sticking out like a sore thumb!
Grab bars are not only for people who are aging or persons with disabilities. Grab bars are for everyone! Fall prevention is important for people of all ages, especially in the shower and bathroom as most falls occur in those areas. Falling isn’t exclusive to one type of person, so adding grab bars to the bathroom- room where most falls occur, can be an important safety upgrade for all individuals and families.
So, there you have it. Grab bars are now more accessible and stylish than ever. Adding these simple solutions to your home or business benefits everyone and shows that you care about your loved ones. For more information on grab bar bars, check out our installation blogs or contact us for any questions! Your safety is our priority.
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