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Best Grab Bars For Seniors – Suitable for Bathrooms and Showers

Having a disease is one of the most critical factors among the elderly, leading to disability and limited functionality. Among older citizens, arthritis is one particular condition that often leads to a reduction in physical abilities.

You start to notice the symptoms slowly. At first, pain may be experienced, but later on, limited joint function causes a higher risk of accidents like falling in the shower.

This is exactly where the best grab bars for seniors can be of exceptional help.

A grab bar gives you something to hold onto when showering or taking a bath. This helps to reduce the risk of slipping and falling while also making the process much more convenient.

What to consider when buying grab bars for seniors?

Most of us know that becoming old comes with lots of other problems that sometimes make life very difficult. We can’t move around like we used to, we take extra care on wet and slippery surfaces. Falls and slips that we used to shrug off, are now life-changing incidents.

Remember that buying grab bars for seniors is all about giving them back their independence and quality of life. They no longer have to ask family or a carer to help with washing or using the toilet. So let’s see which things you need to consider when buying grab bars.

  • Non-slip features: The most critical part is to ensure you buy a grab bar with a non-slip surface. Consider opting for a product that comes with a non-slip ribbed surface. This helps to ensure you can grab onto the bar and have no risk of your hand slipping from it.
  • Weight support: Also, consider the maximum weight that the grab bar is able to support. If the person that will be using the bar has a heavier weight, then make sure the bar is strong and durable.
  • Installation: The installation method also tells you how durable and stable the product is. When better support is needed, consider an option that is screwed into the wall. This adds to the stability of the product.

Types of grab bars:

Grab bars are versatile and can fulfill a multitude of different uses. They are simple in design yet are a perfect way to stay safe in the bathroom and toilet.

There are three kinds and each one has a specific purpose.:

  • Horizontal. These are easy to grip and help you rotate your body. You can pull yourself to a standing position to help get out of a wheelchair or bathtub. Unfortunately, they’re limited to one height, so install them to suit your particular height and stature. And, if you suffer from arthritis you might have problems because of the way you have to twist your wrists.
  • Vertical. Vertical grab bars are easier to grip for those of us with arthritis. And, they’re good for balance assistance. However, they are less useful when walking because they cover less horizontal distance.
  • Diagonal. These are a combination of vertical and horizontal grab bars and they have a combination of benefits too. You can accommodate several heights. They are more natural when held by arthritis sufferers and they give a smooth transition between sitting and standing. But, if you put your entire weight onto a diagonal bar you might find that your hand slips. You can help get around this by buying one with a textured surface grip.

Shower grab bars

We said earlier that you need a horizontal and vertical bar in a shower stall. You also need one next to the shower controls.  A combination vertical and showerhead bar provides support for the showerhead as well as providing balance aid. These are good if you need to sit down in the shower as it provides good support while standing and sitting and it holds the showerhead too.

Bathtub grab bars

You need a horizontal bar to help you climb in and out together with a vertical bar to help your balance. You can also buy small ‘clamp-on’ bars that you can fix on the open side of the bathtub. These latter ones will probably not support your entire weight if you fall, but they are useful for keeping balanced.

Toilet grab bars

These help the user to sit down and stand up when using a toilet. A horizontal fold-down armrest is probably one of the most useful. It’s hinged on the wall and has a support leg that folds out automatically. These are especially useful if the toilet seat isn’t near a supporting wall or if you use a wheelchair.

Floor to Ceiling Pole

Install a floor to ceiling pole to secure places on the ceiling and the floor. This bar’s main advantage is that it is independent of height. That is, you can hold onto it at any point.

Corner grab bars

You can buy a corner grab bar already bent at many different angles depending on the purpose. A straightforward 90-degree bend allows the rail to combine the best points of a horizontal and vertical grab bar if space is limited. You might also buy one that combines horizontal, diagonal and vertical in one.

Portable grab bars

Suction pads usually hold these onto tiled surfaces, although some might use clamps.  The main advantages are if your disability is temporary or if you are visiting an able-bodied relative. You must remember, however, that a suction pad will probably not be strong enough to support your weight, so use them to help keep balance only. Do not use them to pull or push into sitting and standing positions.

What are the best Grab bars for Seniors?

I consider the best options in this post and share a quick buying guide to help you understand what to look for in the best grab bars for seniors.

AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar

The AmazonBasics Bathroom Handicap Safety Grab Bar is available in nine different length options, providing you with better flexibility in terms of how much space is available. You can also choose two different diameters.

The product is installed to the wall with screws, making it more supportive. The maximum weight support is 500lbs, and the bar complies with the ADA standard. The only problem that some seem to have is that the cost is a little higher than some competitors.

This is also not the most ideal option for people looking to add a temporary safety grab bar in the bathroom.

OXO Good Grips Stronghold Suction Grip Bar

The OXO Good Grips Stronghold Suction Grip Bar is another high-quality option. The price of the product is higher than many alternatives, but it offers a more durable construction. The product is available in a Brushed Nickel option or standard white color.

The textured surface helps to provide a better grip and reduce the chances of slipping. This product attaches to the wall through a suction system, which means installation is easier, but not as sturdy compared to a grab bar that is installed through screws.

Moen LR2354DBN 9-Inch Curved Bathroom Grab Bar

The Moen LR2354DBN 9-Inch Curved Bathroom Grab Bar features a convenient shape that can help to give you a better grip. The product also integrates with a corner shelf, which helps to provide more functionality for the space used.

Brushed Nickel is used in the manufacturing of this grab bar for better durability. An alternative bronze option is also available. The price of this product is the only downside worth mentioning.

Moen R8960FD 30-Inch Flip-Up Screw-In Bathroom Grab Bar

Those who need a larger surface to grab onto while taking a shower or bathing should consider the Moen R8960FD 30-Inch Flip-Up Screw-In Bathroom Grab Bar. While the price is very high compared to other options, the material used provides for a durable product.

The bar is also much larger than most competitors. It is made from stainless steel, ensuring it can withstand the constant exposure to water. This is a screw-in option that adds more stability to the bar.

Stander The Curve Grab Bar

The Stander, The Curve Grab Bar, is a unique entry. The curved shape of the bar helps to make it a more functional product for an older person who needs something to hold onto when getting in and out of the bath, or while taking a shower.

The product also comes with a ladder assist handle and can be used next to the toilet too. When not in use, the bar can be rotated to go flat against the wall.

Vaunn Safety Rail Shower Grab Bar Handle

The Vaunn Safety Rail Shower Grab Bar Handle is a quality product that focuses on giving you a durable bar to grab on to. The product comes in two colors, including white and off-white.

Assembly of the bar does not require the use of any tools. The clamp included easily fits onto the wall. This is also a lightweight option that can still provide adequate support, due to the use of heavy-duty steel material in the construction of the rail.

Able Life Universal Floor to Ceiling Grab Bar

The Able Life Universal Floor to Ceiling Grab Bar is another unique entry that does cost more than several competitors but gives more support for the elderly. The product fits from the ground level up to the ceiling. Apart from a pole design, there is a grab bar attached as a convenient height.

This product uses screws to fit into the right spot in the bathroom securely.

It is also a versatile product not only ideal for bathrooms but also great for other locations where an older person may have difficulties getting up or facing a risk of falling.

The adjustable height system also makes this convenient for any person.

Frequently asked questions:

Where to buy grab bars?

You can buy grab bars from many different places. Online retail stores, home improvement stores and companies specializing in disabled and mobility devices.

The choice is down to which you prefer but you should ensure the grab bars are suitable for the intended job and comply with the appropriate regulations in your country. Maybe, more importantly, the walls in your home must be strong enough to support your weight.

How much weight can a grab bar hold?

The amount of weight the bars can hold will depend on the type of wall that’s supporting it. However, certain regulations govern the strength of grab bars, and these will depend on the country where you live.

In the USA for example, a grab bar must be able to support the weight of someone weighing 250 pounds. In the UK, bars and walls used for grab bar installation must comply with the Building Regulations and withstand a load of 1.5kN/m2.

Where to place grab bars by the toilet?

Install one bar on the toilet wall, parallel to the floor and about 6 inches above the toilet seat. Make sure this bar is at least 32 inches long and extends past the front of the seat by about 12 inches.

Install a second bar perpendicular to the end of the first bar (at the farthest end from the toilet). This bar must extend about 16 inches above the first bar.

You must fix both bars securely according to the relevant regulations into solid brick or masonry walls or into studs within the plasterboard drywall.

Grab bar and toilet paper holder

With all the grab bars installed to the walls around the toilet, you might find that there isn’t room for the important things like a toilet paper holder. You’d be wrong. Many models of grab bars incorporate toilet paper holders so they’re exactly where you need them.

Where to install grab bars in the shower?

A shower stall needs at least two grab bars. A vertical one just inside the stall where the door closes to help you climb in the stall from the bathroom floor.

You must install the other one horizontally, and slightly above waist height along the sidewall. For an average adult, this is about 36 inches above floor level. You should install this bar so it’s easily reached with one hand while holding onto the one by the entrance.

Install one more vertically next to the controls to help with balance when getting used to the water flow. Often the first vertical bar will fulfill both purposes so in this case, you won’t need to install the third one.

Grab bars with handheld showerhead

If you have shower controls and a grab bar all quite close to each other, you need to remove the clutter around the showerhead. Install a grab bar that that doubles as a handheld showerhead slider bar.

The shower arm is completely adjustable so you can change the height and angle of spray to the most comfortable for you while providing strong and stable body support if you need it.

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