Grab Rails / July 19, 2018 / Albertina Davide
Without a doubt within the last 10 years there has been an explosion of services that can now be provided in the home which can help us remain there longer. Second is the structure itself. A single story floor plan with a minimum number of stairs is ideal. But its possible to live on just one floor of a multi-level home if there is enough appropriate living space including bathroom and kitchen access. A few of the most prominent features that should be considered when buying a home or retro-fitted an existing one are:* Appropriate floor lighting especially at night* Replacing faucet and door knobs with lever-type handles* Non-slip floor surfaces contrasting floor colors and a minimum number of floor height transitions* Appliance "garages" to keep them accessible on the surface instead of in cabinets* Increased task lighting (such as in the kitchen or next to a favorite chair)* Roll out or pull down shelves* Visual indicators for smoke/carbon monoxide alarms doorbells and telephones Along with this is the importance of eliminating extra furniture and clutter that can clog up hallways and create access barriers to bedrooms or living rooms.
The older I get the more comfortable I am around grab bars and hand rails. Everyone young and old can agree the grab bars or hand railings are a definite advantage in the shower stall when washing your feet. But a long hallway or a large stair landing always stays safer with well mounted hand rails too. Grab Bar Installation Any grab bar or hand rail is only as safe as the backing it is anchored into. Backing is wood blocking or concrete installed behind the drywall plaster or finished shower walls such as fiberglass marble or cultured marble. The grab bar backing must be 2" by 6" blocks minim 6" long or two (2) layers of ¾" plywood minim 6"by 6" stacked glued and screw through the face of the drywall.
Who really wants their shower or bathroom to look like a hospital room or somebodys grandmother lives there? There in lies the challenge with choosing a grab bar for a shower or bathroom project in a residential home. The first places these types of safety handrails were used were in institutional settings (hospitals schools etc.) where function and security were all that mattered. These original bars did not need to win any style points. This situation no longer exists. Fortunately people are living longer and they want to stay and enjoy their homes - but unfortunately most existing shower and bath spaces dont function well if a persons mobility is not what it used to be.