Although primarily used in and around baths and toilets, grab bars, also known as grab rails, are suitable for use anywhere in and around your home. They make your home both safe and accessible, and are especially helpful for elderly, disabled’s and small children’s.

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There are many different types of grab bars available for purchase, including:

Straight Bars- These are wall-fixed bars that run in one direction. You can fix them in a horizontal or vertical position, or at an angle.

Angled bars- These are wall-fixed bars set at an angle. The top portion is usually fixed in a vertical position. The lower, angled part acts as a forearm support, enabling you to distribute your body weight through your forearm, which may be helpful if you have weak hands and/or wrists.

Floor to ceiling bars- These are vertical bars that run from floor to ceiling. You can position them on the outer edge of your bath to provide support when you are turning yourself round or stepping in or out of the bath.

System bars- You can put these bars together to provide customised support over a large area. They attach to your walls, and can be ordered or cut to your desired length.

The Finish

The finish of the grab bar is important both from an aesthetic point of view and for the grip surface it provides. Many different types of finishes are available, including:

Polished/chrome finish: This finish is attractive, but can be slippery to hold, especially when your hands are wet.

Paint/epoxy/plastic finish: This finish provides a warmer feel than a polished finish, making it less susceptible to condensation. This type of finish is available in a range of colours, so if you have low vision, you will be able to choose a grab bar in a colour that contrasts with that of your walls.

Slip resistant/knurled/ribbed finish: This finish provides extra grip, even when your hands are wet. However, it may feel uncomfortable if you have sensitive hands.

Where to get help and advice:

Before buying grab bars for your home, you should contact your local social services department, who may be willing to visit you at home to carry out an assessment of your needs. The types of grab bars on offer are endless, so you may need their help when choosing grab bars that will suit your unique needs and preferences.