Grab rails also known as grab bars, toilet safety rails and support arms that fall under the category of toilet aids and bath aids.
As toilet aids, grab rails can be fixed near the toilet and will assist the user to rise and sit on a toilet seat without the need for assistance.
Alternatively, a grab rail can be used next to the bathtub or in the showering area and can assist the user to come in and out of a bathtub and also help them remain stable by providing extra support while they are showering.
Grab rails are one of the most essential bath aids and toilet aids for seniors and elderly as they can reduce the risk of slips and falls in the bathroom.
When should grab rails be used?
- When the user experiences breathing problems.
- When the user does not feel confident on their feet due to limited muscle strength.
- When the user has undergone a knee replacement or hip replacement.
- If the user experiences dizziness regularly.
- If the user has recently had a stroke.
What are the different types of grab rails?
- Horizontal or Vertical Grab Rails or Grab Bars
- Angled Grab Rails
- Collapsible Grab Rails
What to look for when buying grab rails?
- Measurement of the Grab Rail: Grab rails come in different lengths starting from 300mm to 900mm. Before you go out to buy a grab rail, it is important that you measure the wall where the grab rail will be placed. If you are looking for an angled grab rail then it is important that you look at the width and the height of the wall as well.
- Grip of the Grab Rail: Two things need to be considered here, the diameter of the grab rail and the texture of the grab rail. The most acceptable diameter of a grab rail is 32 mm but you can find grab rails with diameters ranging between 28mm to 40 mm. It is important that a user is able to hold the grab rail properly with their fist closed.
The other thing to consider is the finish. You can find grab rails with a smooth finish or textured finish. Textured finish will provide you a better non-slip grip but at the same time it should not feel uncomfortable to the user and cause an injury.
- Weight Capacity of the Grab Rail: The most important consideration as each grab rail can take up to a certain amount of weight. You certainly don’t want the grab rail or grab bar to snap when a user is holding on to it.
- The Build or Construction Material of the Grab Rail: Grab rails are constructed using different materials including, plastic, aluminium and stainless steel. Each of these has a different weight-bearing capacity.
- Additional Features or Functionality of the Grab Rail: Grab rails as a bath aid or toilet aids have evolved over the years and can provide added functionality to the user and can come complete with other features or functions such as an LED night light, towel holder, corner shelf for bathing to keep shampoo and soap bottles and toilet roll holder.