For those who suffer from having limited mobility, everyday tasks can be difficult or even dangerous. Showering can pose an especially large number of hurdles for those who are immobile. Installing a shower rail can be the key to preventing injuring slips and falls. After car accidents, falling accidents are the top cause of death, and a great number of falls at home happen in the bathroom.
There are a few things to think about when installing your shower rail, the most important of which are likely materials and placement. Shower rails are commonly found in some type of metal, but you can also get wooden rails or those that are made of PVC pipe. Each of these has negative and positive attributes. For instance, metal is very rugged, but can easily get slippery when it is wet. Wood gives a good grip, but can succumb to rot and mold and then become unstable.
The placement of the rail is very important. The shower rail must be placed where they can be reached should the person fall down. Many people choose to place them between the shower’s controls and the showerhead. If it’s too high, it won’t help in a fall situation.
The fittings are also important, and should regularly be examined to make sure the rail is tightly in place. When you are installing the rail, use longer screws to hold the rail in place and keep it stable. Fittings can sometimes become loose over time, so it is important to monitor them periodically.
If it is possible, the person who will be using the rail should have input on the materials and the placement of it. Only the individual knows their exact limitations and mobility issues. Not only will this tailor the installation for them, but they will feel more confident when they use the shower, the rail having been installed with them in mind.
Don’t use a shower arm in the place of a true shower rail or grab bar. Shower arms were not designed to hold the average person’s full body weight, and will most likely give way in an emergency, and could injure the person. Each day, elderly people die because of preventable slip and fall injuries.
A good quality shower rail can help keep you from having an accident that could result in hospitalization or death. Consider carefully the materials and placement, and also keep an eye on the fittings.