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Grab rails guide

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Before you buy a grab rail consider the points listed below:

  • If you are at risk of falls please contact your GP or contact Care Direct 0345 155 1007 and ask for an assessment at home
  • Radiators, basins, door handles, and furniture are not strong enough to take the weight if used for support when moving around the home. Some well-positioned grab rails will be a safer option
  • Standard grab rails are 12”, 18”, or 24” long. Short rails are easier to fit into the home environment but longer rails give you more room for manoeuvre
  • Consider the ideal position for the rail. Vertical rails assist in pulling up to standing.  Horizontal rails are useful for pushing up and support. Angled rails may be positioned for pushing, for support, and for pulling up from sit to stand. Some are designed for a specific use such as ‘newel post’ rails. Dropdown rails that can fold out-of-the-way may be useful when space is required for transfers
  • Consider your arm strength and handgrip for pulling or pushing on a grab rail
  • Check that the wall where you intend fixing a rail is solid with no risk of damage to or from electric wiring, water, or gas pipes
  • Plastic rails or rails with plastic end fixings are recommended for bathroom and toilet use. Rails with textured or shaped surface may give a better grip, particularly in damp conditions
  • Coloured rails are available and may be easier to see, a dark rail may be better by a front door so it does not stand out to people passing by
  • A grab rail is only as strong as its fixing so must always be fitted by an experienced fitter
  • DIY shops and mobility shops will sell a range of grab rails