Total Home Access Solutions: Grab Bars - Top 5 things to know

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.

 Grab bars are one of the most versatile, frequently used, and easily available home modifications on the market today. They’re sold not only in specialty stores, but also are available from both major and local hardware stores. More houses are even starting to be built with grab bars ready for use. Despite becoming more common, there are still many misconceptions about grab bars.  Mistakes are still being made that effect a person’s safety and quality of life. 

Here  are five things everyone should know about grab bars before they recommend one or buy one.

  1. Grab bars are not magic, nor are they one size fits all. Grab bars, like any other home modification, work best if they are placed where they are needed. Location will be determined by the difficulty a person has (if any) with balance or strength, how far they can safely reach, and the environment. If you aren't simply planning for the future, you can consult with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or a certified aging in place specialist before deciding exactly where to put a grab bar.
  2. Grab bars don’t just have to go into studs. Grab bars can be secured with reliable new technology.  Blind fasteners rated for grab bars can be used to place grab bars exactly where they need to be if a stud or blocking is not available. 
  3. Grab bars don’t have to be permanent to be secure. Many people worry about the resale value of their house if they get a grab bar, or are afraid that they will have to move and won’t be able to take their grab bars with them. Traditional wall mounted grab bars can be beautiful, but they are not the only choice for balance support. Floor to Ceiling poles like the Superpole from Healthcraft, bars that attach or clamp to fixtures like the tub and toilet, and even high quality suction bars may be used on the right surfaces.    
  4. US Accessibility Standards or the American with Disabilities Act Guidelines and other codes may not apply to your home. Many people are not sure what codes apply to them. Many guidelines cover placement of grab bars in commercial or multi-family homes. If you don’t live in a home like this, you can put grab bars exactly where you need them. If you live in a place where codes define where grab bars are located, you can usually still exceed the guidelines and put in more grab bars in additional locations. This is a good thing, as the codes are designed to appeal to as wide a base as possible, but individual people benefit from individual customization with home modifications like grab bars.
  5. Grab bars are not just for people who are aging or have a disability. Grab bars can help anyone in the bathroom. People of all ages can fall. Nearly a quarter of a million people are injured each year in the bathroom, and 80% of those are from slipping and falling. A grab bar will reduce the risk a fall will occur. Having a grab bar or bars installed can not only make the home more safer and more accessible, it may actually increase value to certain markets.

So, share the news and share the video. Here are 5 very important things people should know about grab bars. You may be surprised how many people will be amazed that there is anything to know about grab bars at all!

This is an interesting and informative blog post by an expert in the home mods industry, BevVan Phillips.  More of her blogs can be found at:


Denise Stewart said...

Great information on the issues that may prevent people from considering grab rails.
There needs to be a rail- JUST IN CASE! in those areas of the home where you just may slip up.

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Ultra Light Wheelchair

Keep Posting:)