When most people think of grab bars, they may often think of the old standard, permanent, wall mounted grab bars. Look a little further and you will find a sea of various devices to keep you from becoming a statistic and landing in the hospital from a fall.  The following are three types of grab bars that we have in our center that we feel are safe and sturdy.

Carex White Bathtub Rail
Carex White Bathtub Rail

Carex White Bathtub Rail

This rail is portable, works on standard bathtubs and requires no tools.  Turn the white knob to tighten and secure the rail, turn it in the opposite direction to release.  Pieces of foam on the wide metal pieces protect the sides of the tub and help lock the rail in place.

We found this rail to be very sturdy and quick/easy to install.  The people we work with have really loved this rail, and some have told us that they even bring it on trips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carex Dual Level Bathtub Rail with Chrome Finish
Carex Dual Level Bathtub Rail

Carex Dual Level Bathtub Rail with Chrome Finish

This rail is equally as sturdy and provides security at two levels with its dual handles.  Although it does not actually screw into the bathtub, it does require a ratchet to tighten the bolts and secure the rail to the tub.  This makes this device not as portable, but equally as sturdy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantage Rail

Claw-foot tubs, studs in the wrong places, and tight spaces are some of the many reasons you may want to try this grab bar system.  This is a permanent rail, which bolts into the floor.  It pivots in 8 different positions by lifting up slightly on the pole and moving it to the desired position and can be used in several applications.

For example, when installed in small bathrooms where the toilet and tub are right next to each other, it can be used to give support in bathing and toileting with just a lift upwards and pivot of the handle.

This video on the Active Forever website gives you an idea of how it works and the pictures on the manufacturer’s website show you how it is installed and how it pivots.

 

bathtub3nosm

Before we end our discussion, I would like to “grab” your attention and caution you. We do not recommend using suction-cup grab bars as they can lose their suction without notice, and they are not intended to be used in a fall or to support full body weight.  Check out this article from Consumer Reports and this one Article from Consumer Affairs.

 

If you must use one, make sure that you:

  • Follow the directions for installation
  • Use one with a safety suction indicator such as this Ultra Grip Grab Bar, which turns from red to green when it is secure
  • Always give it a tug to make sure it is attached before using it
  • Do not exceed the weight limit

To try one of these in our Home First Showroom in Fargo, please call 1-800-895-4728 to schedule an appointment.

 

About Author

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Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.