Adding safety measures to the bathroom is highly recommended for family members and guests of all ages.
A standing shower handle is a great safety feature that can prevent accidental falls and will also encourage stability and confidence for seniors getting in and out of the shower. The handle can be a useful tool in building confidence for seniors who may be unsure or frightened during the process of using the bathroom because they don’t feel secure or stable.
As humans age, it’s common that the body begins to wear down. As mobility and stability decline, it becomes more likely for a limb to give out than stand sturdy as it once did. This also makes it more difficult to adjust to quick movements, like slipping, to correct ourselves in order to prevent a fall or collision with an object. Investing in a sturdy shower handle can drastically improve the process of using the bathroom for older adults by offering necessary support, safety, and stability. Keep reading for options for the best shower standing handle for seniors.
Why Buying a Standing Shower Handle Is Essential for Seniors
In 2011, the Center for Disease Control established that falls in the bathroom are more frequent among older adults than in younger adults or children. The same study found that over 80% of falls in the bathroom involved older adults; 37% of these happened during the act of bathing, showering, or when trying to get in and out of the shower or bathtub.
Although there are a few different ways to improve safety in the bathroom for an elderly person — one of these being a non-slip bath mat — the most essential improvement is a standing shower handle. Such handles are definitive tools used for additional stability to prevent the possibility of an accidental fall.
What To Look For in a Standing Shower Handle
They Should Be Able To Support up to 250 Pounds
Standing shower handles –sometimes called “grab handles” or “grab bars” — must be able to support up to 250 lbs. Such a device must give a person confidence that they can put their full weight on the handle without it giving out on them.
There are other designs specifically made for individuals exceeding this weight limit that should be researched and thoroughly looked into before buying any brand of shower standing handle or pair of grab bars out there.
It Shouldn’t Move When Weight Is Placed Upon It
There are two different types of standing shower handles and bathroom grab bars: removable rails and permanent rails. The issue with removable grab rails is that they are more likely to move when pressure is placed upon them. The unreliability in this product is unsafe as a shift in weight, or the possibility of the removable rail simply giving out, can be a major safety hazard and cause an injury.
The purpose of a shower standing handle requires stability: It’s more or less a safety “crutch” when getting into and out of the shower. If a person cannot place their whole body weight on the handle or bar, then it defeats the purpose of the product. This is why permanent shower standing handles are more desirable than removable ones, as a more reliable precaution to prevent potential injury.
It Needs To Come in a Certain Size Range
Sizes in shower standing handles vary, but the recommended size varies from roughly 24″ long to a bare minimum of 12″.
The 24″ handle provides an opportunity for more accessible movement when bathing, or when entering and exiting the shower or bathtub.
It Should Comply With ADA Standards
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was set in place in 1990 and requires certain standards to be met in the prohibition of discrimination against any person with disabilities.
When investing in a grab bar of standing shower handle, it should comply with ADA standards. This includes the product being made up of heavy-duty 18-gauge brushed stainless steel, with a round, snap-on cover, and the ability to support 250 lbs of weight. The bar should have a diameter of 1.25″ to 1.5″ in width. The space between the bar and the wall should be 1.5″. The flanges of the bar should allow for only the best durability and maximum strength.
How To Position a Standing Shower Handle
Horizontal Standing Shower Handle
When considering the positioning of standing shower handles, the horizontal placement is most necessary. Now, for horizontally setting up the shower handles, the handles should be aligned height-wise to the naval area of the person who will be using it. It should then be installed at the shower wall point, and made to fit the person in question. The handle user should feel comfortable holding the handle to get into and to exit the showering area.
Vertical Standing Shower Handle
To set up a standing shower handle in a vertical position, the installation should use the height equivalent to the elbow point of the person that will be using the handle. This particular position will aid in the movement of getting up after being seated in the bathtub.