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15 Reasons Why Elderly People Need Grab Bars

Grab Bars for Outside Steps

Elderly People Need Grab Bars as safety devices designed to enable a person to maintain balance, lessen fatigue while standing, hold some of their weight while maneuvering, or have something to grab onto in case of a slip or fall. A caregiver may use a grab bag to assist with transferring a patient from one place to another. Today we are going to look at grab bars for outside steps which is mainly to assist the elderly people. Having grab bars for outside steps is one of the greatest ways to make a home safe for older folks, I mean who wouldn’t want their grandparents to feel safe and comfortable at your place. Being able to move up and down a staircase is some we take for granted when we are young. But as we grow older the ability to see, grip and support oneself with a handrail becomes more important. A lot of people add handrails to stairs just to maintain code compliance but it should stick in our heads that the main reason we put handrails is for our safety. No all safety handrails are created equal. A high quality handrail can take much less time and effort to install and be easier to use.

Grab Bars

Grab bars are typically simple piece of equipment that get installed into a wall and help a senior support themselves while they move through activities of daily living .Whether they are installed in a shower, staircase or hallway wall, grab bars offer seniors a safe way to move around while also fostering independence. Essentially these bars allow seniors to grab hold of something to steady themselves as they stand, walk or transition between standing and walking. Especially in  slippery or precarious situations, such as stairs or bathrooms ,grab bars offer peace of mind to caregivers who can assist seniors or allow them to perform activities of daily living alone but safely.

Why Elderly People Need Grab Bars

Grab bars provide multiple health benefits such as:

  • Elderly people are prone to falls around the home, particularly in the bathroom which is usually wet and slippery .The fear of falling could deter a lot of elderly people from using the bathroom as often as they would like to, especially when they do not have human support around them. Installing grab bars in the bathroom and toilet can give them the confidence they need to use the bathroom freely and even go take a stroll in their surroundings
  • More importantly, most cases of falls in the elderly are accompanied by multiple health complications such as fractures, bed sores, depression and many others. Preventing falls by using grab bars is indirectly preventing all these complications.

Elderly Users Need Safety Handrails for Outdoor Steps

When you are installing a handrail for an elderly person it is not about aesthetics or code of compliance. It is about making life easier and more convenient for them therefore you need to look at everything from the view of a person with limited mobility. Specifically you need to think about:

Rail width-Most people do not think twice about the width of the handrail when they go to add one to a railing. However if you had hands that were weakened from arthritis, gripping a slippery rail or one that is thin would be difficult. Use a thick rail made of a material that is not too shiny like powder-coated aluminum or iron. This makes the railing easier to grip

Pitch-very steep stair treads lead to very steep rails. The maximum rise should be about eight inches and your tread should be about at least ten. If you are pushing the limits of the code, your railing is going to be pretty steep for old users. And if your stairs are too steep, just adding a strong railing is not going to help. In this case, you will have to redo the stairs or set up a mobility lift chair. This is not an issue you can fix with a railing. Keeping this in mind also helps keep stair railings and stairs safe in winter, when most falls happens for older folks.

Hardware Stability-A young, healthy person will probably either not use the railing at all, or will only put their hand on it as a guide. But someone walking with a cane or with limited mobility is going to need to support their body weight on the rail .Use strong anchor based railings to ensure that the railing does not go wobbly because of this

Add grab bars near exterior doorsElderly People Need Grab Bars

Grab bars aren’t just helpful in the bathroom; they’re also useful near exterior doors both inside and out. For people who are unsteady on their feet, the simple act of opening a door can prove to be very difficult. A grab bars gives them something to hang onto near house and garage entrances and steps. The prima outdoor grab bar shown is made of weatherproof plastic with an aluminum core and special soft grip moldings that reduce the risk of a user’s hands slipping even when it’s wet. It can mounted horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Install Handrails in Hallways

Long hallways can be tough on people with limited mobility, which is the reason so many senior care centers have continuous handrail systems. Consider adding the same safety feature at home. You can install a simple wooden railing or consider the Promen Aid handrail system, a problem-solving product that has a unique bracket that slides along an open channel in the bottom of the handrail. This lets you locate the handrail anywhere and slide the brackets to wherever studs are located without adding extra blocking. The brackets also pivot so you can install the handrail vertically or at an angle. These elegant handrails have Snap-On end caps and returns, and the articulating joints allow them to go around corners or along stairs .You can buy complete kits or individual components.

Extend Stair Rails

The handrails for exterior stairs typically end at the bottom step. But stepping off the bottom or preparing to step on them is actually when someone is the most off balance and likely to fall down. Simple rail handrail kits from simplified Building make it easy for DIY’s to build an extended handrail that fits any stairway. The kits use Kee Klamp pipe fittings and come with all the components needed. A  Kee Klamp is a structural pipe fitting commonly used in the construction of handrails and barriers .Fabricated installations comprise the fittings and separate tubing components, which can be sized on site.

Replace Doorknobs with Levers

Gripping and twisting a doorknob can be hard for people with arthritis or a loss of dexterity in their hands. Lever handles solve that problem. You simply press done on the lever to release the door latch without gripping anything, In fact, an elbow or forearm will work too, which is nice when you’re carrying things. Many lever handles are reversible which means they will fit both a right handed or left handed door.

Door Frame Grab Rails

Doors are often fitted with doorsteps creating a difference in height. Extra support may be required for a user to cross such a doorstep but the question is often where such support can be securely installed and still within easy reach. Handicare’s door frame grab rail has been specially designed to be installed on a door frame, the extremely narrow flange is only 30 mm wide.

Vertical Grab Rails for Door Panels

Vertical grab for door panels are aesthetic and provide greater comfort when opening and closing doors .The position of the grab bar can be adjusted either to specific needs or an owner’s wishes. The door grab can be used on the front doors of houses, residential units, office, multipurpose building and at other places. Vertical grab rails are worth it because vertical handles eliminate the diagonal stress on the anchor points to make the handle firmer and thus more resistant to shakiness and also there is more space for hands near the lock to make unlocking the door more convenient.

A Shower Grab Bar is a Big Help

For people with limited mobility or who prefer to shower while seated, a handheld shower head is a terrific help. And even better is a handheld shower head on a sliding rail that allows for individual adjustment. But because those rails are often flimsy, grabbing one could be a disaster.

Widen Doorways with Offset Hinges

Navigating narrow doorways is tough for someone using a wheelchair or walker. Doorways can be widened but it is a complex and costly job. An easier solution is to replace the existing hinges with expandable offset door hinges .These special hinges are designed to swing the door clear of the opening and add 2” inches of clearance.

Replace Toggle Switches with Rocker Switches

It is easier for stiff or arthritic hands to press flat, rocker-style switches than to manipulate toggles. Rocker switches feature a big on and off plate that you can operate with a finger, a knuckle or even an elbow. Some rocker switches are illuminated to make them easy to find day or night. These great little inventions use a tiny bit of electricity from the circuit they err no on to light a small LED or neon bulb and they install as easily as regular switches.

Replace Cabinet Knobs with Handles

Arthritis and stiff joints make grabbing small round knobs on cabinet drawers and door difficult too. Replace these small knobs with C or D shaped pulls which let you tuck your fingers around them, making it easier to open the door or drawer. Consider this for your own kitchen too. Adding new pulls and handles is a quick, inexpensive way to update a kitchen while making it more comfortable and convenient to use over the long term.

Install Invisible Grab Bars

Sometimes people are reluctant to add grab bars because they think it will make their home look institutional. But you can find stylish and sturdy grab bars in many shapes and sizes and finishes and some like those elegant invisia collection.

Add a Rolling Cart to Your Kitchen

A rolling cart is helpful in any kitchen but it is especially helpful for older cooks. It is a convenient prep center and models with drawers or shelves allow someone to store frequently used items and roll it around so their tools are always close at hand. And it can be extremely useful for someone with diminished strength or dexterity to ferry items to and from the table without the risk of dropping things or injuring themselves.

Install Low-Pile Carpet

Thick carpet pile over a thick pad is the worst for anyone who is unstable walking because it increases the likelihood of tripping and falling. It also makes it more difficult to push and maneuver wheelchairs and walkers. To make getting around easier, consider installing a low profile commercial grade carpet with a pile height.

Get LED light bulbs

The average home has 40 light bulbs. Changing a burnt out bulb often involves climbing a ladder or step tool and risking a nasty fall. If you replace those light bulbs with CFLs or even better LEDs there is a good chance they will never have to be changed again in that homeowner’s lifetime. A vertical post light is installed directly on a railing post and uses a small light casing and simple installation. Universal lights can be used different locations and configurations on the other hand a surface light is sunk down flush with the surface of a stair tread or riser. It allows for easier navigation as it fully lights the stair surface, keeping elderly individuals from missing their footing.

In conclusion, when constructing buildings and staircases one should have in mind that there exists the elderly who do not have complete mobility as the younger people. They should always have grab bars around the house and outside the house to facilitate the movement of the older folks so that they may feel free to move around.

 

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