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Shower Grab Bar Tips From A Physical Therapist


shower grab barA customer's father was coming home after a lengthy stay in the hospital and he needed some shower grab bars installed to help him maintain his footing as he showered. He wanted some advice on where to install them.

My brother is a licensed Physical Therapist and works exclusively with home bound patients. He runs into this all the time and so I questioned him on his opinions. He said that each situation should be individually evaluated. However, here are the main points:

1. Vertical Bar At Entrance To Shower Or Tub

A 12" bar seems to be a good length, and it is typically located near shoulder-height.

2. Diagonal Bar Along The Back Wall.

This would be a longer bar, typically 36-48 inches, and installed at around arm pit height at its highest point and sloping downward from there.

3. The Length Is Up To The Individual As Is The Finish Of The Bar And The Thickness.

These details would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For example, if the patient has smaller hands, then a smaller diameter grab bar would be in order.

4. Don't Forget The Toilet

A vertical bar at the toilet on the wall approx 6 inches in front of knee when sitting and located slightly above the shoulder when sitting, so the patient can pull upwards and go from a sitting to standing position.

If you would like information on how to install grab bars, read my article on Shower Grab Bar Installation.


This is great advice we do these type of installations all the time!
Posted @ Friday, February 11, 2011 2:34 PM by Andrew
Grab bars next to the toilet are an excellent idea not only for assistance in getting up from the toilet but also to control downward motion when sitting down on a low toilet especially when strength or balance is limited. A typical grab bar installation should at least include the three grab bars mentioned above.
Posted @ Monday, January 02, 2012 3:16 PM by Howard Cohen P.T.
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