Grab Bars & Railings

This sub-section includes a few short bullet notes about grab bars and railings/stairway safety.  A future Issue will offer more detail on these two areas.

Grab Bars

  • Grab bars are needed for bathtub/shower and near toilet.
  • Grab bars are needed for other places in the home where there is a change in elevation such as between garage and home.
  • For bathrooms that have a tub, consider having a transfer chair for those who cannot safely step into a tub. This device involves sitting down and shifting weight along the seat of the chair before lifting your legs into the tub.
  • Shower chairs are great when endurance is a concern.
  • Non-skid flooring for the tub can include small rubberized decals in various decorative styles that are easy to install. Avoid mats with suction cups.
  • For the bathroom floor, there is non-skid paint that can go over wood floors or tile. Alternatively, there are non-skid strips in various widths and colors.
  • By the way, when you make a hotel reservation, request a room that has grab bars, aka “handicap accessible”, in the bathroom. Also, especially if you are alone, ask if they have an alert button that turns on an outside light or rings for help?

Stairs and Railings

  • Stairs ought to have two railings – one on each side. You need it coming and going. You need it whether you are left- or right-handed.
  • Railings can be selected for cost, style, and specifications relative to your needs.
  • Consider using brightly-colored, non-skid tape for the edges of stairs, or at the last step before a landing.
  • Keep a large or expandable bag with a shoulder strap available to carry items up and down stairs and still have both hands free.
  • Have a small table or wall hooks at the landing(s) where you can leave some items. Make two trips. Or use the next trip to pick up what is remaining.

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