Grab Rails: Improving The Usability of Your Washroom
Today, the elderly and people with disabilities are more mobile than ever before and are increasingly becoming more empowered with access to everyday locations some may take for granted. Visiting the toilet is arguably a fundamental area one expects to be user-friendly to all, but many commercial washrooms lack the integral functionality of properly placed grab rails.
Grab rails provide help in four basic ways. They give the user something to push or pull against when standing up and lend steadying support when sitting down. They also provide a firm grip when manoeuvring from one position into another and give balance when standing, walking or dressing.
Wall mounted horizontal grab rails should be placed at about 22cm above the height of the toilet seat, as should the drop-down grab rails, which are usually located to the side of the toilet pan. Horizontal rails are largely used to push down on to provide support when lowering. Some drop-down grab rails actually have the functionality to double as a loo-roll holder. This drastically improves the usability of your washroom, but also saves you wondering where to fit a loo-roll holder whilst still being in reach of the toilet.
Vertical, wall mounted grab rails are not only essential near to the toilet for manoeuvrability, but also to either side of the mirror above the sink. This provides support and enables users to pull themselves up to wash and generally manoeuvre about the wash space. Vertical rails are most commonly used for pulling oneself to standing and are helpful in all areas where this may be useful.
Grab rails can also be fitted at a 45-degree angle, this position is useful for those with painful wrists and distributes weight very well both when rising up and forward and when gently lowering down. Angled away from the user, this allows the user to work their way up the rail slowly and a little more easily than with a vertical grab rail. There are even corner and multi-angled grab rails available that offer a variety of uses and support. These rails work particularly well in showers or in confined spaces confined spaces.
Showers are another area where grab rails are essential. In this wet, slippery environment, a combination of vertical and horizontal grab rails is required as is a wall mounted, drop down shower seat. Drop down grab rails are also advisable as once seated for showering, they can be pulled down into position to provide steadying support and help prevent falls.
However, grab rails, whether in disabled or multi use washrooms, don’t have to be unsightly. Most sets come in a variety of colours and some even come in polished stainless steel which can be integrated into the design and overall look of your washroom delivering a stylish and seamless finish.
Stability is key when it comes to the bathroom environment and making sure your visitors are able to do so is of paramount importance. With correctly installed and located grab rails, you can provide this stability without having to compromise on the overall look of your washroom.
As always, our team are at the end of the telephone for all your queries and questions and have a wealth of knowledge they’re happy to share with you. So if you need some guidance, or would like to talk over your options, you can give them a call on 01202 650900.