Grab Bars:
Providing Support When You Need It

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Installing grab bars and railings inside and outside your home is a relatively easy way to dramatically reduce the risk of slips and falls.  In fact, studies show that regardless of a person's health or demographics, installing grab bars, particularly a minimum of two in the bathroom, are highly recommended for people over 65 years old as well as people of any age who have mobility issues.

Grab Bar
(noun) : a bar that you grasp to assist and maintain your balance

As we get older, it's not uncommon for mobility issues to develop. Balance problems develop with age, as the loss of musculoskeletal function negatively impacts the way our bodies process information and issue motor commands. Diseases that are common in older populations, such as Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis, further worsen balance.

Things that were once simple to do become more challenging, to the point that they may even be dangerous.

Grab bars make life easier and safer. They are some of the most basic safety devices in the aging in place home, yet also some of the most useful.

Grab bars are specifically designed to do the following:

  • They help you maintain your balance whatever position you may be in.
  • They make it easier to stand up or sit down.
  • They give you something to lean against to decrease fatigue.
  • They provide support as you transfer your weight.

What Kind of Grab Bars Are There?

There are actually 11 different types of grab bars that come in a variety of materials, colours and styles (depending on the manufacturer)!

1. Straight Grab Bar
When you think of a grab bar, you may think that they only come as one type: the straight grab bar. This is basically a straight bar made of a sturdy material, like metal, hard plastic or wood, that can run vertically or horizontally along the wall.

2. Wavy Grab Bar
This is basically a variation of the straight style, but with a wavy shape. In some cases, it may be more convenient to grab.

3. Angled Grab Bar
An angled grab bar is a straight grab bar that has another bar attached to it, angled upward.

4. Ring Grab Bar
In the shape of a ring, this type of grab bar provides a handle that you can easily grasp without the risk of your hand sliding away (as can be the case with a straight or wavy bar).

5. Toilet Paper Holder or Towel Rack Grab Bar
This combines the dispensing function of a toilet paper holder or towel rack with the support of a grab bar—a space saver!

6. Shelf Grab Bar
If you dislike the appearance of traditional grab bars, consider one that serves as a shelf as well.

7. Bathtub Grab Bar

bath tub grab bar torontoThe bathtub is a place where falls occur with a higher frequency. A grab bar that attaches directly to the tub provides much needed support while stepping in and out of the tub. While this type can be permanently installed, you can also opt for one that attaches with clamps.

8. Flip Grab Bars
Flip grab bars can be flipped up only when needed.

9. Swing Out Grab Bars
Also known as pivoting grab bars and hinged grab bars, swing out grab bars can swing out at various angles and locked in place.

10. Safety Pole Grab Bar
This type of grab bar is a pole that is attached to the floor and ceiling. Also known as a super pole or security pole,  it can be installed anywhere support is needed away from the walls.  j

11. Wall to Floor Grab Bars
This is an L-shaped grab bar that attaches to the wall and floor at 90 degrees. It's often used to assist the user when standing up or sitting down (like at the toilet).

It's a good idea to install grab bars in your home before you need them. That way, you won't have to rush around, finding the right kind and contractor to install them when you actually do need them.

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