Pros and Cons of the Direction of Your Grab Bar

Posted on: January 10th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

grab bar direction

Did you know that the average emergency room sees over 235,000 patients every single year that sustained injuries related to a bathroom slip or fall?  Statistically, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in your home, but the team at CarePro Health Services wants to help you make this room safer in 2016.

The most common and most effective product used to increase bathroom safety is the grab bar because of its simple design and versatility.  But it’s the versatility that have many of our customers stumped.  How do you know which angle to install your grab bar at?

Here are the pros and cons to each direction:

Vertical Grab Bar Installation

  • PRO – Gentle on arthritic hands & allows easier grip
  • PRO – Securely assists standing transfers that require stepping over the side of a tub or high lip
  • PRO – Caters to limited balance and helps rather than support the weight of a user
  • CON – Doesn’t offer as much leverage to push up as it does to pull up
  • CON- Provides less horizontal wall coverage, limiting the safety distance when traveling from one end of the shower to the other

Horizontal Grab Bar Installation

  • PRO – Enables users to safely rotate between facing and standing against the shower jet
  • PRO – Sturdy leverage when pulling self into standing position from the floor
  • PRO – Makes transferring into or out of a wheelchair a stable move when installed just above shower tub’s rim
  • PRO – Assists shower bench users who need to stand when installed at waist level
  • CON – Limited to a fixed height; not as a conducive to multi-member users of different heights
  • CON – Contorts wrists into uncomfortable angles, especially for arthritic users
  • CON – Not as easy as other angled options to pull self from sitting to standing

Diagonal Grab Bar Installation

  • PRO – If multiple members of a family benefit from the use of a grab bar, a diagonal option can accommodate a range of heights
  • PRO – Hands and wrists can grab the bar in a more natural and functional body positions, reducing the stress on muscles and joints
  • PRO – Great for chair or bench users, as it allows a smooth transition between sitting and standing
  • CON – Works best when facing only one direction (angle makes it difficult to stand and rotate between front and back)
  • CON – Risk of hand slipping when trying to raise self from seated to standing position

In summary, the direction of your grab bar depends greatly on your unique needs and specific uses.  The experts at CarePro Health Services would be happy to discuss with you which direction suits your needs, so give us a call today!

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.