Table of Contents
By Leslie Farin
Aging in Place Bathrooms
Many people treat their bathroom as a sanctuary. And why not? This room frequently serves as a spa-like retreat in which to enjoy time alone on a daily basis. Beautiful bathrooms are easily achieved with the wide range of products available these days, but can be costly. For that reason, we recommend you design your new bathroom to use for the long-term no matter what your current age or physical ability.
My ideal bathroom is serene, stylish, and of course, safe. It should feel more like a resort instead of a rehab facility. Think a safe bathroom can’t be beautiful? Yes it can, thanks to new safety products on the market.
A twist on towel bars for aging in place bathrooms
Towel bars are generally located in convenient locations outside the bath or shower. While understandable, bathers tend to instinctively grab onto them to ease in and out when finished. As towel bars are not designed to support the weight of a person, this common act creates a serious fall risk. It makes sense to use a grab bar in place of a grab bar to both hold towels and serve as an assist when needed.
Today, grab bars are found in decorative finishes and designs to seamlessly integrate with the style of your bathroom. These bars, previously thought of as utilitarian, now easily add both beauty and functionality which allows you to age in place in your home. Today’s grab bars are not your grandma’s grab bars!
Why doesn’t everyone add grab bars to their bathroom?
The answer is fear. People don’t like to believe they will get old, which leads to unpleasant thoughts of our own mortality. But we all do… right? If we’re lucky that is. As they say, consider the alternative. Why not plan ahead? It just makes good sense.
There is another really good reason to make your bathroom easily accessible for all- and that is for guests. You may have a friend who’s son broke his ankle and is temporarily on crutches. Or perhaps a family member developed multiple sclerosis recently. Life is hard enough for those with a disability without them having to worry if they will be able to use the restroom comfortably when they go out.
Since decorative grab bars that double as towel bars are readily available for purchase, you can outfit your bathroom for safety without sacrificing your decor. Grab bars do not need to look utilitarian. It’s true that grab bars are more expensive than towel bars, but saves money in the long run if you install them when doing a renovation or building new instead of dealing with it later.
Where to buy decorative towel/grab bars
One of my favorite places to buy designer grab bars is at Great Grabz, where they describe their grab bars as “Jewelry for Your Home”. Check out Grab Bar Specialists too for some unique grab bars for your aging in place bathroom. Finally, we like the selection at Amazon when we need a decorative grab bar sent quickly.
Considerations when putting towels on grab bars
In most cases you can put towels on your grab bars. However, for those grab bars that are specifically necessary for safety and used frequently, towels on a grab bar can cause a slip and fall. In those cases, you want to make sure you don’t load up every grab bar with towels. Perhaps add towels sparingly leaving plenty of the bar free. Safety should always be the priority.
Do you have a favorite place to buy decorative grab bars that double as towel bars? Drop your suggestions in the comment section below.
originally posted November 8, 2020
updated December 24, 2022
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