What is a Bath Rail?
Bath rails take a variety of forms but they all serve a similar function, which is essentially to provide a secure source of stability and support when someone is using the bath. Some are designed to help users to step safely over the side of the bath, whilst others are intended for use with bath seats and will enable the user to sit and stand more easily.
Removable Side Rails
For anyone who suffers from balancing problems or unsteady joints, getting into or out of the bath can pose a risk of slips and other accidents. To assist with this, designers have produced detachable safety rails that fit over the side of the bath and attach firmly, usually by means of some kind of clamp. These are especially useful if the user shares the bathroom with other family members because the rail can easily be removed when it is not required.
The top of a typical bath rail protrudes some distance above the side of the bath and takes the form of a sturdy handle. If the user suffers from poor grip, look for a textured or ergonomically shaped handle that will be easy to grasp even when wet. If the user has limited leg movement, look for a bath rail that incorporates a low step, as this makes negotiating a high bath-side much easier.
Fixed Safety Rails
A more permanent solution to bath time safety is a fixed safety rail that is mounted on the wall, although these are only suitable if the wall itself is sufficiently strong. These grab rails are often much taller than detachable rails and provide good support whether the user is sitting or standing. This makes them well suited for use in bathrooms with an over-bath shower, since they can be used with either appliance. For maximum effectiveness, ensure that the rail has an easy-grip surface and that it is mounted at an appropriate height for the intended user(s).
Full Height Safety Poles
Another development in this field is the floor-to-ceiling security pole, which is fitted just outside the bath. Because it extends the full height of the room, it can be used by individuals whether they are sitting or standing. Â Moreover, it incorporates a curved grab bar that can be reached in most circumstances and which is especially useful when moving between sitting and standing positions, because the curves of the handle can be used in much the same way as the rungs of a ladder.
Important Features for a Bath Rail
- Strength - its maximum user weight should be appropriate to the user and it should be compatible with the physical constraints and structure of the room in which it is to be used.
- Grip - water, condensation, soap and shampoo can all make smooth surfaces slippery, so choose a rail that is easy to grip in typical bathroom conditions.
- Convenience - will the rail need to be relocated at any time? If so, can it easily be removed, packed away and transported if the user intends to travel?