When it comes to enjoying a nice warm bath, personal safety should always be a priority – especially for seniors or anyone with mobility issues. Bathtub railings are designed to help maintain that safety, providing stability and balance as you enter and exit a bathtub, walk-in bath or even a walk-in shower, so you can relax knowing that you have the support you need.
Bathtub railings, also known as grab bars, are bars that mount to the side of a bathtub and allow for easy access. Usually made from stainless steel or plastic, these bathroom safety rails can be installed on walls or floors and provide excellent stability for anyone getting in or out of the bathtub. These railings make a great addition to a bathroom to increase safety.
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Bathrooms traditionally have tiled or hard flooring. Due to the nature of the room, surfaces can sometimes become slippery when wet, making them a particularly dangerous place to fall. The hard flooring could cause injury, which is why we believe that prevention should always be prioritised regarding personal safety. Studies (source) have found that 60% of the patients presenting in the emergency department are people who are aged 65 and over. It has also been shown that 80% of falls in the home occur in the bathroom, so it is essential that these areas are made as safe as possible.
The good news is that many home amendments can be made to make your bathroom a safe space everyone can enjoy. Adding a bathmat close to baths or showers can help keep your feet dry to prevent slipping. Additionally, adding anti-slip stickers or mats to your bath or shower can provide an extra grip that will help reduce the risk of slips or falls. However, when it comes to bathing, adding railings to the areas surrounding your bath will give you the best support to make manoeuvring yourself in and out of your bath as smooth and steady as possible.
- What types of bath railing are available?
- How your bath railings will look in your bathroom
- Things to consider when you’re choosing a bath handrail
- Do bathtub hand railings improve safety?
What types of bath railing are available?
When it comes to bath railings, there is a wide range on the market.
Wall-mounted rails are an excellent option for people looking to make some safety modifications to their homes. These rails offer excellent stability and are usually secured directly into your bathroom walls with screws or adhesive.
When it comes to wall-mounted rails, how they are installed can change how they can be used;
- You can use a horizontal rail to push upwards.
- You can use a vertical rail to pull upwards.
- A diagonal rail can be used for both pushing and pulling.
Wall-mounted rails come in a variety of styles. These rails can be made straight, or some types have a bend, a curve, or angled styles, which can provide different grab points for different ways of manoeuvring yourself while you’re in the bath.
Floor fixed rails
Floor-mounted rails are a great alternative to wall-mounted rails, especially for areas where a wall is not close enough to provide the support you need. These are similar to wall-mounted rails in that they are fixed into your floor to give you the needed stability.
Rails that attach to your bath
Rails that attach to your bath are a great option where wall-mounted or floor-fixed rails aren’t suitable. Perhaps you’re moving house and don’t want to modify your bathroom permanently, or you’re away for a few weeks and want an option that can come with you. Railings that can attach to your bath can help provide the flexibility you need on the go or in your home.
How your bath railings will look in your bathroom
While personal safety is your top priority, that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t consider how your bathtub railing will look. Due to the extensive range of bath railings available, you will be able to find a bath railing that meets
all of your mobility needs while looking aesthetically pleasing and fitting in with the rest of your bathroom decor. Your bathroom should feel like a safe space that you have curated and tailored to meet your needs, and with a range of styles and finishes, you’ll be able to find a bath railing that ticks all the necessary boxes and then more!
Bathtub handrail finishes that you can choose from
- High contrast – This option is excellent for accommodating visual impairments.
Things to consider when you’re choosing a bath handrail
As much as it’s nice to have something that looks nice in your bathroom when it comes to safe bathing, practicality must be a priority. Here are some of the practical things you will need to consider when choosing a handrail:
- How strong is the handrail? Consider what weight your handrail will need to bear, and make sure you check the product description to make sure your rail can meet your needs.
- Grip – Is the handrail material suitable for the bathroom, and does it provide the necessary grip required when wet?
- Is the handrail style the right choice to give you the comfort you need? Consider the placement of your handrail before you commit to a purchase. Make sure you have a clear idea of where you will need it to be positioned to give you the helping hand you need.
Baths with grab rails aren’t just fantastic for seniors; they also provide massive benefits to people who have disabilities that need a little support when it comes to bathing. Handrails are a perfect bathroom modification for anyone who has or is caring for someone with a disability, particularly if the disability affects mobility or vision.
Accessories for bath railings
The range of bath railings available means that you’ll find one that suits you easily. However, you can also get accessories for your bath handrail to make it an even better fit for you and your bathroom. There are styles of handrails that are entirely non-slip; however, you can also buy non-slip covers that can be attached to a particular part of your rail. Having this as a removable option can be beneficial if your bath has multiple users, as while a non-slip surface can give extra grip, it can sometimes be harsh on sensitive skin.
Do bathtub hand railings improve safety?
Senior Health 365 describes handrails as being ‘necessary, not optional, and we agree. Installing a bath handrail can make bathing safer for older people by providing an extra point of stability that can help balance when getting in and out of the bath. It also offers increased safety while in the bath, giving them something to grab onto if they become unstable. Installing rails in your bathroom is a simple modification that can yield such great benefits. Not only for preventing serious accidents but even for making day-to-day mobility that bit easier.
So, yes, bathtub hand railings do improve safety and are recommended by the NHS for those who have mobility issues or a disability.
The team at Mobility Plus are here to help and answer any questions you may have about whether you need a bathtub handrail with your walk-in bath. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can work with you to make your bathroom an enjoyable space safe for all to use.