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Which Grab Bar Design Grabs You?

Posted on: January 24th, 2016 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

grab bars

It’s not the garage, with all its chemicals and heavy machines. Despite the flames and sharp objects, it’s not the kitchen, either. The most dangerous place in your house is – brace yourself – the bathroom.

The emergency room receives over 235,000 visitors each year who have succumbed to bathroom-related injuries, thanks to prime slipping conditions created by showers, sinks, and leaky toilets. Older populations and those with mobility difficulties are most susceptible to these types of injuries, but shower safety can be attained with the help of a simple grab bar. When installed properly, a grab bar provides balance, leverage, and peace of mind for both user and loved ones alike. But what angle should it take? Below, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment offers major pro and cons for horizontal, vertical, and diagonal options:

Horizontal Grab Bar Installation

The Pros

  • Enables users to safely rotate between facing and standing against the shower jet
  • Sturdy leverage when pulling self into standing position from the floor
  • Makes transferring into or out of a wheelchair a stable move when installed just above shower tub’s rim
  • Assists shower bench users who need to stand when installed at waist level

The Cons

  • Limited to a fixed height; not as a conducive to multi-member users of different heights
  • Contorts wrists into uncomfortable angles, especially for arthritic users
  • Not as easy as other angled options to pull self from sitting to standing

Vertical Grab Bar Installation

The Pros

  • Gentle on arthritic hands & allows easier grip
  • Securely assists standing transfers that require stepping over the side of a tub or high lip
  • Caters to limited balance and helps rather than support the weight of a user

The Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as much leverage to push up as it does to pull up
  • Provides less horizontal wall coverage, limiting the safety distance when traveling from one end of the shower to the other

Diagonal Grab Bar Installation

The Pros

  • If multiple members of a family benefit from the use of a grab bar, a diagonal option can accommodate a range of heights
  • Hands and wrists can grab the bar in a more natural and functional body positions, reducing the stress on muscles and joints
  • Great for chair or bench users, as it allows a smooth transition between sitting and standing

The Cons

  • Works best when facing only one direction (angle makes it difficult to stand and rotate between front and back)
  • Risk of hand slipping when trying to raise self from seated to standing position

Which bar suits you best?  Bellin Health Home Care Equipment can help you decide with our Grab Bar Installation Service.  Give us a call today to make your bathroom safer in 2016!

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