Ottawa Home Improvements Community News

Think Safety Grab Bars Are Just For Assisted Living? Think Again!

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You will normally find grab bars in the assisted living section of a home renovation shop, for good reasons – they are an invaluable home feature for people who face obstacles to their mobility.  Typically used in bathtubs and shower stalls, they can also be found in bedrooms to help people who have trouble getting into and out of bed, as well as assisting caregivers with transfers.  But as this article by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists points out, grab bars are for people of all ages and ability.

If you think about it, we all use a very basic form of grab bar everyday, when going up or down stairs.  While a handrail is not quite the same thing, and is built to different specifications, the basic principle is the same:  some activities can be hazardous and it doesn’t hurt to have a stabilizing device at hand in case of a slip, trip, or fall.

Not convinced?  Well then consider this: the Public Health Agency of Canada states that falls are the second leading cause of hospitalization for people of all ages – that’s 29% of injury admissions.  What’s more?  Seniors only accounted for 40% of these.  The same report also serves up this: that even a 20% reduction in falls would mean 7,500 fewer hospitalizations and overall national savings of $138 million a year.

So to recap – 60% of admissions to hospitals for injury are the result of falls from non-seniors.  While the case for installing grab bars is clear for people age 65+, there’s a strong case to be made for adding them to any home.  As anyone who has almost taken a dive down the stairs will tell you, a little extra support, anywhere you might need it, is a good thing.