If you experience limited mobility, getting in and out of the shower can present a higher risk of falling. A shower standing handle, or shower grab bar, is a simple yet effective way to reduce these risks and make the experience safer.
While they’re an essential bathroom feature for the elderly or those that simply need extra support, a handrail for showers can be used by anyone. In this article, we share insight into what a shower standing handle is, how it can be used, and the available types.
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- What is a shower standing handle?
- Do you need a shower standing handle?
- Shower standing handle: the benefits
- How are shower standing handles used?
- What are the different types of shower standing handles?
- What size of shower standing handle do you need?
- Installing your shower standing handles
- What is the right height for a shower handle?
- The importance of shower standing handles
What is a shower standing handle?
Shower hand grips are helpful assistive bathroom accessories fixed to a shower’s wall. Depending on your needs, they come in various sizes, strengths and mounting options for showers, wet rooms and walk-in showers. The installation position on your shower wall will directly impact how valuable and effective the shower standing handle is.
Do you need a shower standing handle?
The number question – do you need a shower handle? The simple answer is that anyone and everyone can use a shower handle. However, shower grab bars are handy for those who have a higher risk of falling, such as the elderly or those with limited mobility.
According to the government Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, falls are the number one reason older people are taken to the emergency department at the hospital. Additionally, unaddressed fall hazards in the home are estimated to cost the NHS £435 million. Bathrooms and showers can be hazardous places where falls regularly occur. It’s recommended that people who are at risk of falling or with reduced balance should install standing handles in the shower.
However, it’s important to note that shower standing handles can be used by everyone and will help to improve overall shower room safety no matter who is using them.
Shower standing handle: the benefits
Shower handles are a vital tool for making your bathroom that little bit safer. But there are many other benefits to be aware of too:
- They are easy to use and give peace of mind while showering
- They can be installed at a height that suits the user’s specific needs
- If you struggle with your balance or are unstable, this accessory provides extra security
- Increases independence in the bathroom
- It reduces the chances of slipping or falling in the shower
- Provides support for those losing physical strength
How are shower standing handles used?
Shower standing handles can improve the safety of the shower by supporting a person entering or exiting the shower and moving about in the space. A handle can increase stability allowing a person to push or pull their weight and provide extra support, which can lower the chances of slipping and falling.
An individual will find correctly installed shower grab bars useful when they are:
- Getting in and out of the shower
- While showering to manoeuvre around the space
What are the different types of shower standing handles?
Shower grab bars can be used to move from standing to seated in a bathtub or used to support the individual when moving around the shower. There are multiple types of shower handles to choose from, but the two main categories are:
Fixed shower grab bars
These are permanently fixed to the shower wall. Fixed handrails are more secure and, therefore, safer. However, they take more effort to install, and once they are in position, it is harder to move them to a different location if you find they don’t suit where they’ve been placed.
Removable shower grab bars
In some circumstances, you may prefer to use a detachable shower handle. For example, you might have a relative who visits occasionally and would benefit from this bathroom tool. However, when the tool isn’t in use, you’d prefer to remove it, which is when a removable handle comes in useful.
A detachable handle is usually fixed with suction grips and can be moved around the shower. However, we wouldn’t recommend removable grab bars if you need them to support your full body weight. As they rely on suction to grip the wall, they may not be as secure and, therefore unable to support the full weight. On the other hand, the advantage is that they can be easily relocated to different areas of the shower and can also be used when travelling.
What size of shower standing handle do you need?
There is a variety of shower handles available that vary in size that will fit various showers or walk-in showers. They can be as small as nine inches or as long as 42 inches in length. The size you require depends on your individual needs and how much support you need. A longer shower handle provides more security and practicality, plus it’s easier to grab if you do slip.
Alternatively, you could place more than one grab bar in the shower and use different lengths for different areas.
Installing your shower standing handles
Once you’ve chosen your shower handle, it’s time to install it. Where the shower standing handle is installed will impact how it’s used.
Removable types are installed by rinsing the suction cup handles under water and shaking off the excess water. They are then firmly pressed onto the surface, ensuring no air bubbles. It’s important to always remember that suction cups don’t hold as much weight as wall-mounted standing bars.
To install wall-mounted shower handles, you must drill holes into the wall or shower surface where you intend to place the product. The handles can then be securely screwed onto the wall and act as a permanent fixture to bear your full weight. If your shower is tiled, it may be worthwhile seeking the support of an expert to fit your shower handle for you.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install the accessory otherwise, you will risk injury.
What is the right height for a shower handle?
The answer to how high you need to place your shower standing handle depends on who the accessory is being installed for. As a generic guide, it’s a good idea to have the shower handle at the same height as the taps. However, it can always be reduced if this is too high for you. Alternatively, you could install the shower handle on a diagonal, giving you more flexibility as it covers a wider range of heights.
Remember, the handle needs to be within easy reach for the user, so test it and see what works best.
The importance of shower standing handles
As you’ll have discovered from this article, shower grab bars are an important feature of every bathroom. This bathroom accessory can ensure peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. A simple yet highly effective tool, it can prevent slips and falls, making the overall showering experience a safer one.
Most important of all, when using a grab bar, it’s necessary to install the bar correctly to ensure the maximum level of support and prevent injury from occurring.
Discover how we at Bathing Solutions can make your bathing experience safer with our full installation walk-in showers and baths.