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The bathroom in the home can be a dangerous place. It is easy to slip on the bathroom floor when it is wet. There is the ever-present chance of slipping on an overlooked bar of wet soap. Apart from the floor, there are plenty of hard things on which to fall, including the toilet, the bath and many fittings such as taps. This means that bathroom safety is very important.
Grab Rails Reduce the Chance of Falling in the Bathroom
To reduce the chance of slipping when getting out of the tub, using the shower or just stepping on the wet bathroom floor, grab rails should be installed in the tub and shower area. The grab rails should be positioned where they are easy to use. Also, the grab rails should be strong enough to safely support a heavy adult.
Don’t Use Towel Rails or Shower Doors As Grab Rails
Towel rails should not be used as grab rails – they may not be strong enough and also they will not be in the best place to provide support. The grab rail should be firm and not rotate when grasped. A towel rail may be designed to rotate. This is another reason not to use a towel rail as a grab rail.
The door of the shower should not be used to lend support when entering or exiting the shower. The door is not designed to take the weight. Grabbing the side or top of the shower can loosen the door and break waterproof sealing. At worst, the glass door may break exposing dangerous sharp edges.
Tub Showers Need Grab Rails
Some showers are installed above the tub. This means taking a high step over the side of the bath when getting into or out of the shower. A well-positioned grab rail is very important when this type of shower is used. Possibly a senior citizen should not even use a shower over the tub. A standard shower with a small step is safer – even this design should include a grab rail.
Use Good Quality Bath Mats and Soap Dishes
Improved bathroom safety results from a number of factors, not just sturdy grab rails. Slipping is always a possibility. The chances of slipping on the wet floor can be reduced by using good quality bath mats that grip the surface well. The mats should be kept clean and their adhesive qualities checked regularly.
It is easy to slip on an overlooked bar of wet soap. Every shower and tub area should have a good quality soap dish that is easily accessible (with the eyes shut) and designed to make sure the wet bar of soap does not easily slide off the dish and onto the floor.
Specifications for Grab Rails are Available
The ADA offers Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, including specifications for grab rails and where they should be positioned. It may be worthwhile consulting such a site before buying a grab rail or requesting a contractor to install one. A professional will understand the technical requirements.
The installation of a good quality grab rail will enhance the safety of any bathroom and shower. It is particularly important to have grab rails if the shower is over the bath. The installation of grab rails will make a great present for a senior loved one and add to their quality of life.