When designing a bathroom to suit your mobility needs, the position of your walk-in shower or walk-in bath is usually a very simple decision. The position of support fittings – such as where to put grab rails in relation to a bath or shower seat – often requires a little more thought. Suitable positioning of these fixtures is important to ensure that they provide adequate support to perform specific tasks. Learning about grab rails for walk in baths or showers could lead to you having a better bathing experience in the long-run by choosing the one that’s right for you, so it’s worth understanding.
Taking a bit of time to get this right could save you a great deal of discomfort and avoid unnecessary strains or injuries. As a starting point, it is useful to contemplate your daily bathing routine and what specific tasks you need your bathing aids to perform within that routine.
Different types of grab rail
Installing grab rails are hugely beneficial for additional safety and stability in a mobility bathroom. They release the pressure from your joints allowing you to move around more freely from your shower or bath.
At Mobility Plus we offer four types of grab rail that can be installed alongside your walk-in bath or walk-in shower, so you can find the best support solution for your individual needs.
#1 Horizontal grab rails
Horizontal rails act as support in both walk-in baths and walk-in showers, as they are very useful when pushing up from a sitting position and provide support when lowering, without the worry of potentially slipping because they are at an angle. Horizontal grab rails are often positioned near to seats in your bathroom.
#2 Vertical grab rails
Vertical grab rails can provide assistance when pulling up into a standing position. They are also useful in a walk-in shower as they act as standing support while you bathe. View our walk-in shower range to see how our products are specifically designed for the elderly or individuals with mobility issues.
#3 Inclined grab rails
Inclined grab rails, fixed at a slight angle to the horizontal, are often suitable if you have weak or painful arms or wrists – the angle can support your forearm on the rail whilst pushing up and in doing this your body weight is spread over a larger area. With an inclined grab rail, you can have important support when entering or exiting your bath or shower.
#4 Angled grab rails
Angled rails – placed at an angle of 45° rising away from the user – are ideal if you need steadying support, perhaps in the process of standing up or lowering down slightly. It means that you can keep your wrist in a neutral position and not have to lean too far forward to grip the nearest end of the rail due to its lower position. Once you’ve achieved a standing position, your hand can travel up the rail to maintain the support. View our range of walk-in baths to see how angled grab rails complement our bathroom designs. Having angled grab rails can often be the best of both worlds, offering the dual inclines that are sometimes needed in one movement.
Rail positions for walk-in baths
Before you install a grab rail for your walk-in bath, there are specific rail positions to be aware of so you can get the maximum support from this bathroom aid.
A horizontal grab rail, fixed on the wall approximately 10cm above the bath rim, can provide valuable assistance when standing up in the bath. You can hold the rail with one hand and use the other to push against the outer rim of the walk-in bath. In many cases the ideal starting point for the rail is approximately 20cm from the tap end of the bath.
Alternatively, the rail can be fixed at an angle (rising upwards towards the head end of the bath) to provide inclined support. If you often stand in a bath to take a shower it could be useful to fix a vertical rail on the wall, around 60cm from the tap end of the bath. The lower end of the rail should be fixed approximately 20cm above the bath rim.
If the head end of the bath rests against a wall and there are no obstructions (e.g. a sink) on this wall then a vertical rail could be installed at a comfortable height to support you when stepping in and out of the bath.
Rail positions for walk-in showers
Installing a grab rail in your walk-in shower can add crucial support to your daily bathing experience. They can significantly reduce the chances of an accident and increase your safety and confidence when bathing independently.
A vertical grab rail at the entrance to the shower enclosure can be useful for support when stepping in and out of the cubicle. It should be positioned at a height that you can comfortably reach, whether you’re stood inside or outside of the enclosure.
Horizontal grab rails fixed either side of a shower seat can help to prevent you sliding off a seat. In many cases a rail is ideally fixed to the wall at the side of the shower seat, approximately 20cm above the seat’s height to assist standing. If you’re a wheelchair user, holding onto this rail can give you secure support when transferring to the shower seat.
In certain shower cubicles, you may be able to get additional support by fixing a horizontal rail on the wall opposite the shower seat, positioned at an approximate height of 1m above the floor (providing it can be easily reached from the seat). If you would prefer a vertical rail here, the lowest end should be fixed at around 80cm above the floor. Bear in mind that, in order to provide adequate support, the distance between the rail and the front of your shower seat should be less than 55cm.
Always consider your personal needs
The above descriptions are meant to provide basic guidelines for your bathroom design. They are based on building regulations and generic recommendations when the user is unknown, but it is worth remembering that everyone is unique and you should consider your personal needs, and individual factors like your height, when deciding the precise position of your support fittings.
Ultimately, it’s about what works for your specific measurements, your routine and your home environment. The friendly team at Mobility Plus can give you advice on support fitting positions as part of our no-obligation consultation. Our care advisors will take time talking through your personal requirements so you can make an informed choice on the best solution for you.
Our service includes a free design plan of how your bathroom could look, including the potential position of grab rails and shower seats.
Request your free brochure to view all of our bathing aids, and see how we can transform your bathroom so you can regain the confidence to bathe confidently and safely again. If you have any other questions, contact Mobility Plus today and we’ll get to grips with your grab rail needs!
If you are disabled or have limited mobility, you may find that bathing can be difficult to manage sometimes. But there are options you can consider to make showering and bathing easier to manage.
Level access wet rooms and showers are the safest and most practical showering solution for people with mobility restrictions, whether for severe or minor disabilities.
How will a level access wet room or walk-in shower help me?
A level access shower or wet room is exactly how it sounds. Instead of having a shower tray that the water flows into, the entire floor becomes waterproofed and given adequate drainage.
This means that there is no longer a lip or edge of a shower tray to navigate, which can be especially difficult for those who have limited mobility, or need to use a wheelchair.
The ease of access, wide opening entry, and option for assisted bathing makes it the perfect solution in settings such as care homes, hospitals and they can even be built in your own home. With a built-in slip-resistant shower floor, you are able to get in and out with your wheelchair, zimmer frame, or walk straight in with confidence and peace of mind. Wet rooms will usually have other features making them safer, like grab rails, fold-down seats and easy-to-use temperature controls.
Can I change some aspects of the wet room?
There are also many shower screen options available to suit all of your showering needs whether you need disabled shower access for assisted showering, whereby a half height panel screen would be the most suitable for the ease and benefit of a carer, plus the water stays within the shower area at all times.
Alternatively, if you are able to shower independently, then a full height open panel screen might be your preferred option so that you can get in and out with your mobility equipment easily.
What if I need extra mobility during showering or bathing?
As already mentioned, there are also options for extra mobility assistance with shower accessories such as grab rails, shower seats, different size doors and screen options to suit all mobility requirements. All these features improve the overall experience for disabled persons or those with limited mobility, making wet rooms an especially useful bathing area.
The Mobility-Plus walk-in showers, walk-in baths and easy access wet rooms not only offer a completely practical mobility solution for disabled bathing but they are also the most stylish and modern bathrooms currently in the mobility market. Level access showers are the way to go if you have a disability both for practicality and safety.
If you want a modern style as well then our Mobility Plus level access wet room showers are the perfect solution for you.
Wondering if a walk-in shower or level access wet room is for you? Why not order a free brochure or talk to one of our lovely contact team to ensure that a walk-in shower is right for you and your lifestyle.
The Habinteg housing association have estimated that there are 1.8 million disabled people in need of wheelchair-accessible homes. But, with so many things to consider when travelling, and then having to think how accessible the location is for you isn’t a 5-minute task. At Mobility Plus, we completely understand how frustrating this must be, especially if you like to get out and about.
It’s disappointing to note that research has shown more than half of London’s train stations are not viable for disabled passengers, because there is no step-free access assessible.
Steps are a huge hinderance for people who have physical ailments, and research by Leonard Cheshire have discovered that 35% of working age disabled people had experienced problems using trains in the past year as a result of their disability.
It’s been recently announced that the government’s inclusive transport strategy will install changing rooms alongside toilet facilities in England’s motorway services in their £2M budget. These facilities will include adult-sized changing beds, hoists for wheelchair users with extra space. Many disability campaigners have been raising this issue for a while, and it’s a positive result to hear that their voices are being heard.
The Science Museum in London, offers disabled visitors written material in large printed fonts. Additionally, it’s significant to note that the museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users, making it inclusive for all. Disabled visitors also receive exclusive deals for the Imax 3D cinema, and support workers gain full access free of charge.
Cadbury World located in Birmingham offer similar deals like the Science Museum. Their guide prints in large font to help facilitate an easier touring experience for disabled visitors. Concessions are available for those with disabilities. If you ever happen to ride on the “Cadabra” they have an adapted mobile car, which can seat one wheelchair user and a companion.
Shopping and Eating
The hustle and bustle of the shops isn’t easy for any of us and specifically for those have disabilities. The department for work and pensions found that shopping and eating is one of the trickiest experiences for those who have a disability. Thankfully, there has been more awareness to focus on being able to provide a more comfortable shopping experience for those with disabilities.
This summer the UK government launched its first accessible shopping day. On 13th November, the government scheme has been approved by UK brands such as Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Barclays. Collectively, they will create additional disabled access features to make it easier to shop.
It’s important to note the progress that has been made to adapt all the changes that have been made to accommodate wheelchair users around the country. However, with the cuts in services and the social budget these changes have taken a slower turn. Despite it all, equal rights for disabled people should be remain at the forefront of making the UK more wheelchair friendly.
There are so many things to consider when travelling, and for those with mobility restrictions the considerations aren’t just about money and things to do, they’re about the help you might need getting around, and the problems you might face with your daily routine. We’ve outlined the things you’ll need to consider when travelling with mobility restrictions.
1. Inform your hotel/accommodation.
It is important to let your hotel or accomodation know that you have a disability or mobility requirments. If you have informed them in good time, they will be able to make sure that you enjoy your stay in a larger room that also comprises of a mobility bathroom for your safety and comfort. If you have a wheelchair there may even be the possibility of a wet room for complete ease of access.
2. Inform your airline or coach.
Most vehicles and airlines will need to be informed prior to travelling that you need space for mobility equipment and disabled access. You may also get priority seating with extra space.
3. Make sure your mobility equipment is up to scratch.
There’s nothing worse than being away from home and realising that your equipment is damaged or not performing correctly, so make sure that your wheelchair has been checked by a carer, friend or relative. Also check the sturdyness and resilience of your walking sticks and zimmer frames.
4. Pack suitable footwear and clothing. Flat, comfortable and cushioned footwear are highly recommended. Avoid packing any heels, they’re a waste of space and baggage allowance, and there’s around 1% chance you’ll actually where them. It’s best just to leave them behind.
5. Ask a reliable friend or family member to come along.
For complete peace of mind, ask a friend or relative to come along, not only to help if you need i,t but also to enjoy your time away with good company.
Last but not least, have a great time away in the sun and don’t forget a good high factor sun cream or sun block!
Recently a number of people have contacted us to ask whether there is any funding available for disabled facilities in the home such as our mobility walk in showers and baths. The answer is yes there is funding available to help with the cost of some of the essential home improvements required for people living with disabilities or the elderly with limited mobility.
Various bodies offer grants to help those wanting to keep living independence at home and also to make your home safer. We did some research for you and here’s the best three that we found.
1. Government Disabled Facilities Grant – Up to £30k available (not available in Scotland). This grant is particularly beneficial for bigger home improvements like having ramps fitted, stair lifts or easy access mobility bathrooms that are suitable for disabled access.
2. Home equipment help – depending on your local council there are different options available, but this scheme can also offers similar funding to that of above, with funding for large improvement work as well as smaller pieces of helpful equipment.
3. Mobility scooters and wheelchairs – Get from A-B and around your home with ease and independence with a motorised wheelchair. There is help available to cover costs of equipment that are essential to your daily life.