Living in a Wheelchair: Grab Bars

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Are grab bars safe?

Living in a Wheelchair: Grab Bars

Grab bars for bathrooms can be purchased at any medical supply company and at most big-box home improvement stores. The grab bars should be mounted where they are easily reached by a person in a wheelchair. They should also be placed at a height that the person can use them easily for support in maneuvering from the wheelchair into the shower or from the wheelchair to the toilet. Grab bars can be placed on both sides of the toilet, if needed, and on all three walls of the shower, if needed.

When purchasing grab bars, do not get flimsy plastic or stick-on grab bars—be sure to get grab bars that can be screwed into the wall, as they offer the most weight-bearing support. Purchase the proper length for the area the grab bars are going to be used. Do not buy a short one for the long side of the shower or tub—buy a longer grab bar instead of buying two shorter grab bars. If you do not have a shower chair, you should also purchase a shower chair so that you do not have to lower yourself into a tub. The grab bars combined with a shower chair can give some wheelchair users much more independence.



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