Positive Aging SourceBook
Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 02/28/2022

Grab Bars: Live & Interactive Discussion


More than 230,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Join us for a discussion led by Ali Soltani MBA CEAC and Melissa Bressler, OTR/L, CBIS, CAPS of HandyPro on this important element of a safe and accessible home. 

Questions Answered

  • I  have given some thought to installing grab bars, but my shower is so small that I picture myself bumping into them and wearing bruisess on my fragile, aging skin.
  • Not about grab bars, but I hope you can help with a shower equipment question. My brother is a new dialysis patient who was told not to shower again (ever!) in order not to get water (and bacteria) his catheter port (located in his right upper chest area).  Is there some way he can cover up/waterproof that port area opening and safely use a hand-held shower head to shower safely?  I understand there are commercially available shower shields.
  • Our clients have stylish and nicely decorated houses which they take great pride in. They don't want to add grab bars to their homes. What are your conversation starters?
  • You mentioned the grab bar should withstand a 250 lb person.  How about someone who weighs say, 300lbs. (bariatric).
  • speaking of falls and home alerts for those who might need help, does anyone know about concerns for 3g to 5g shutdown and the home alert safety and alarm systems and even car systems that supposedly will not work if carriers do the shutdown in February or too soon?
  •  Are suction grab bars OK in a shower?

Chat Transcript

12:09:01     From  Thomas Batcho : Hello this is Tom Batcho from Life Force Elder Care.  tbatcho@lifeforceeldercare.com is my email.  Thanks

12:09:20     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From kurt Schneid to All Panelists 12:02 PM

Good Afternoon! Kurt Schneid, video producer working with DwellAssured.com. I am here to learn and connect with other amazing companies in the positive aging space. Thanks for having me here.

12:10:31     From  Lynda Shrager : Hi Everyone! I'm Lynda Shrager, Author of At Home for Life-A Guide to Modifying, Organizing and Decluttering Mom and Dad's Home. Working on updated edition and can't wait to hear all about the latest grab bars! More at otherwisehealthy.com

12:10:33     From  Joe Sperling : It's all about protection!Wishing you all a fabulous day!  

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12:11:03     From  Veena Alfred : Hello everyone, my name is Veena Alfred from AlfredHouse Eldercare. I have been in care providing industry for the past 30 years, would like to know what is new in the market

12:11:29     From  Erin Byrne   to   Hosts and panelists : Hello everyone. Erin from TechMoxie here today. erin@tech-moxie.com - Let me know if you need any tech support! www.tech-moxie.com

12:11:50     From  Louis Tenenbaum   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks for this Ali and Steve.  Steve is a member  of the HomesRenewed Coalition. We are close to having a federal bill introduced that will incentivize all of us to update our homes. https://www.homesrenewedcoalition.com/. Please join our movement!  The site also has links to our economics white paper that explains how grab bars and other home mods can improve lives and save everyone and Medicare $!

12:12:26     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Louis Tenenbaum to All Panelists 12:11 PM

Thanks for this Ali and Steve.  Steve is a member  of the HomesRenewed Coalition. We are close to having a federal bill introduced that will incentivize all of us to update our homes. https://www.homesrenewedcoalition.com/. Please join our movement!  The site also has links to our economics white paper that explains how grab bars and other home mods can improve lives and save everyone and Medicare $!

12:17:45     From  Jennifer Brown : Jennifer Brown - Seabury Care Management - 202-364-0020 - jmbrown@seaburyresources.org -

12:21:25     From  Sulena Long : Hello Everyone! I'm Sulena Long of SO UNIQUE Concierge LLC. We are a personal assistant service that empower older adults and their families to age-in-place and live independently for as long as possible. www.souconcierge.com or info@souconcierge.com

12:22:08     From  Becky Wright   to   Hosts and panelists : Those color grab bars are from Ponte Giulio - the company I work for!

12:22:42     From  Sulena Long : Thanks greatly Steve, Ali and Melissa for having this presentation.

12:22:59     From  ken silverstein : Hi Everyone, Ken Silverstein, Friends Club a social gathering for men with early to moderate Alzheimer's/Dememtia.  Now serving for over 30 years.  Contact me at ken@friendsclubbethesda.org or 301-469-0070.  Referrals greatly appreciated.

12:23:50     From  Kathleen Hulme : Great to be here! Thank you Steve, Ali and Melissa. My name is Kathleen Hulme, COTA, Certified LIP Home Safety Specialist in Morrison, CO.  I provide solutions to create environments for older adults that promote safety and independence, provide a deep sense of thriving and have a positive lifelong impact on their quality of life.                    www.homesafetyaccessibility.com, 303-906-7151

12:26:33     From  Joe Sperling : Are suction grab bars OK in a shower?

12:28:29     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Janet Gritz 12:15 PM 

Not about grab bars, but I hope you can help with a shower equipment question. My brother is a new dialysis patient who was told not to shower again (ever!) in order not to get water (and bacteria) his catheter port (located in his right upper chest area).  Is there some way he can cover up/waterproof that port area opening and safely use a hand-held shower head to shower safely?  I understand there are commercially available shower shields.

12:28:46     From  Tara Shevock-Elwood : Are there grants for very low/limited income clients with limited or no family support,  to make their home safe and resources for installing grab bars for them? My name is Tara Shevock-Elwood, BSN, RN, CCM, a care manager with John Hopkins Community Physicians office in Wash. Co MD,  more rural area with limited resources  with the local aging dept to help with this anymore. Lack of volunteers/ funding etc.

12:29:57     From  Louis Tenenbaum : A towel rack can be a grab bar one time. The time you pull it off the wall!

12:30:51     From  Meryl Schaffer : My father ripped out the wall a towel bar that happened to be very close to the shower.

12:31:23     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Do you provide free estimates? Which areas do you serve?

12:33:47     From  Kathleen Hulme : Jan, I would ask about using Tegaderm to cover the port while showering...

12:35:41     From  Tara Shevock-Elwood : Here's my email if anyone knows of funding resources for funding/grants paying for and/or installing grab bars. tshevoc1@jhmi.edu.

12:38:13     From  Becky Wright   to   Hosts and panelists : Suction cup bars give a false sense of security! Not safe.

12:38:30     From  Brad Martin : Brad Martin. Benjamin Gaither Center in Gaithersburg, Md

12:38:41     From  Susan Cohen   to   Hosts and panelists : Do you guys also do installation?

12:40:17     From  Brad Martin : When remodeling a bathroom it is wise to put 3/4" plywood completely around the toilet and shower area. That way no matter where you drill you will hit wood.

12:41:59     From  Becky Wright   to   Hosts and panelists : Adding plywood or even 2 x 12 in walls for future installation is a GREAT idea,  Will save homeowner lots of money in the long run.  Remember to take photos so you know where the blocking is located.

12:53:36     From  JoAnn Lynn : Still wondering about the suction grab bars

12:54:02     From  Janet Gritz : Great job, Melissa (as always!). Very helpful and important information. Thanks!

12:54:40     From  Marie Woodard   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank You - great presentation Ali and Melissa!

12:55:05     From  Kathleen Hulme : @Janet Gritz ask to see if you could use Tegaderm to cover the port...

12:56:47     From  Robert Thurston : how does one involve this type of service in regular home Renovation projects to consider future needs?

12:57:13     From  Joe Sperling : Are there grab bars that are more decorative looking, like front door handles?

13:00:41     From  Louis Tenenbaum : Like Ali, many designers and contractors have   interest, knowledge  and/or certification in these areas.  If the folks you are dealing with is not interested or amenable, find someone else.

13:01:01     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Anonymous Attendee 12:59 PM 

speaking of falls and home alerts for those who might need help, does anyone know about concerns for 3g to 5g shutdown and the home alert safety and alarm systems and even car systems that supposedly will not work if carriers do the shutdown in February or too soon?

13:01:50     From  Kathleen Hulme : WingIts are a great option if there is not a stud or backing

13:01:55     From  Louis Tenenbaum : And that is the point of the HomesRenewed Coalition incentives.  It will make it less expensive to remodel with these factors than not to do it.

13:02:56     From  Louis Tenenbaum : HandyPro is one of the national franchises that has this specialty, HandyPro national is also a member of the HomesRenewed Coalition.

13:03:09     From  Bren Lizzio   to   Hosts and panelists : A grab bar I like for traditional bathrooms:  Lefroy Brooks

13:03:35     From  Louis Tenenbaum : https://www.homesrenewedcoalition.com/

13:04:38     From  Janet Gritz : My brother in Jupiter / Palm Beach Gardens, Florida has balance issues and needs to connect to with professionals like you to help with grab bars, etc.  Can you refer me to someone in his area?

13:07:37     From  Louis Tenenbaum : GREAT presentation!

13:07:48     From  Cynthia Hajjar   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you!

13:08:09     From  Kathleen Hulme : Thank you all...Great presentation and excited to learn about HandyPro

13:08:20     From  kurt Schneid   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks Guys!!!

13:08:24     From  Betty Bahadori : thank you!

13:08:57     From  Louis Tenenbaum : Homemods.org has lots of funding into.

13:09:03     From  Jennifer Late   to   Hosts and panelists : Can you do a discussion on handrails? Oftentimes the handrail doesn't extend to the bottom step.

13:09:23     From  Erin Byrne   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks for the great presentation!


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