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Best Practices in the Design of Toileting and Bathing Facilities for Assisted Transfers

4.20.4 Grab Bars.

ADAAG specifications for grab bars vary slightly for bathtubs with in-tub and head of tub seats (the latter having longer bars on the sidewall and no bar on the head wall). Nonetheless, in both conditions, grab bars are located to help individuals get into the tub and then to lower and raise themselves to and from a seated position. Because these positional changes were deemed safety risks for older adults, grab bars that would permit older adults to raise and lower themselves were not included in most bathtub designs (see Alternative Designs below). Rather, in most designs, grab bars were provided adjacent to the tub for temporary support to enable an individual to steady him/herself while a care provider assisted with removal and replacement of clothing. In fact, in instances where local building authorities required bathing fixtures with ADAAG compliant grab bar configurations, roll-in showers were installed instead due to safety concerns, even though the former were readily available from a number of manufacturers.


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