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Thread: Grab bars and...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Default Grab bars and...

    We are getting closer to final house design.

    Re toilet grab bars. Designer has them on the wall to the left of toilet. For a righthanded person, does side matter? Public toilets have them in the right side of toilet in wall.

    Also, if I end up in wc 24/7, what's the toileting drill? Does one pull up next to toilet and somehow slide over to it?!? In that case, there would need to be extra space beside the toilet, and not a wall? ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBS1951 View Post
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    We are getting closer to final house design.

    Re toilet grab bars. Designer has them on the wall to the left of toilet. For a righthanded person, does side matter? Public toilets have them in the right side of toilet in wall.

    Also, if I end up in wc 24/7, what's the toileting drill? Does one pull up next to toilet and somehow slide over to it?!? In that case, there would need to be extra space beside the toilet, and not a wall? ?
    Which side of the toilet the grab bars are on depends on the configuration of the toilet. If there is a wall on one side, then the grab bars are there. (presumably'your contractor knows to install them into STUDS and not just the drywall or tile! Put them in with mollies -- the things that spread out and really GRAB the studs (the vertical 2 x 6's or 2x 8s that are the wall).

    In my opinion it's best to not have walls on both sides: Yes, you'd wheel up to the toilet, hopefully along the side of it, then -- using that grab bar, slide onto the toilet. If you don't have a wall there obviously you can do this yourself, perhaps. Also, not having a wall on one side gives you room in case you have to have someone help you get on to the toilet. It also makes it convenient later, should you (like me) use a catheter -- gives you room to get close enough to the toilet to lift the catheter over the bowl for easy emptying.

    I think the more room you can manage in the bathroom, the better -- again, if you need assistance bathing or toileting, you want room in there, near the toilet, near the shower area, for someone to be in there to help you, and for you to maneuver your wheelchair even if you're in there alone.

    I'm hoping you're getting the high-rise toilets? And lower sink (or perhaps a pedestal sink, so you can wheel up to it to use it)? Don't forget to think about the height of the medicine cabinet, if you're having one. You want to be able to reach at least the lower shelves from the chair.
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Thank you Cat.

    So, it doesn't matter whether the grab bar /wall is on the left or on the right side of toilet?

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    Grab bars are useful for several things: 1) to pull yourself up off the toilet, or to push on to help lift yourself up off the toilet. So if that's all you're going to use it for, then you want it installed on your strongest side. If you're right handed, your right side as you sit on the toilet. Or left.

    2) grab bars are useful if you need something to help you transfer on to the toilet. To transfer, you're sitting in your chair, you position your strong leg in front of the toilet, grab the bar, lift and pull yourself out of your chair and on to the toilet. So you want the bar positioned so that you're grabbing/pulling with your strongest arm .

    There is no rule about where to install the bars -- except that if you're installing them at all, you need to make sure to bolt them to the studs. Often in public bathrooms the bar is installed on the side where the wall is...so they can be either left or right, depending on how the toilet is set. But think about your upper body strength, and which way you might be wanting to pull yourself up or down.

    There are grab bars that can attach to the wall in back of the toilet, and then the bar drops down when you need it, lifts up when you don't (or when someone else is using the toilet). Or grab bars that attach to the floor. I don't like the floor mount ones, because they take up a lot of room and I have a very small bathroom. They also get in the way when you have to transfer from chair to toilet seat (those floor mounts are good if you are always on crutches, or a cane).
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time to post this. It's very useful information.

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    Distinguished Community Member Pegakafarmgirl's Avatar
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    grab bars,, by the toilet, on the wall I also have a toilet riser with arms, to pull me up,,and a walk in bath tub with jets, which is spendy but well worth the monies invested in it,, and a lift chair which I can not do without
    " Don't outsmart your common sense"

    Peg

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  13. #7
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Peg, what is a lift chair?

    Was in a stall this week. It had the usual horizontal grab bar, and also a vertical bar above it! New to me. What's the advantage of the vertical over horizontal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBS1951 View Post
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    Peg, what is a lift chair?

    Was in a stall this week. It had the usual horizontal grab bar, and also a vertical bar above it! New to me. What's the advantage of the vertical over horizontal?
    You push yourself up with the horizontal bar, pull yourself up with the vertical bar. The vertical bar also is useful for steadying yourself if you're trying to stand.

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  17. #9
    Distinguished Community Member Pegakafarmgirl's Avatar
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    BBS there are kinds to look at on the internet,, a lift chair "lifts " you up off the chair it practically stands up,, it also goes all the way back,, I bought mine at a garage sale,, almost brand new,,it saves my legs and balance
    " Don't outsmart your common sense"

    Peg

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Would it be like one of these? I didn't know what they were called but I know someone who's been thinking of getting one of these. In the photos they look as if they could pitch you forward onto the floor but I guess not?

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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