Q. My parents are in their seventies and I would like to make it easier and safer for them to use their shower and bath. I am concerned that my mom seems to be having a difficult time getting in and out of her bath and I would like to add safety bars for her to hold on to. Where would these be available and how can I fasten them to the wall to support the weight.
A. Safety bars are available in many sizes and styles at home building centres as well as medical supply stores ie; Regency Medical Supplies. Whether it’s tile, fibreglass or acrylic you are fastening to, you will require a structurally stable surface. Before you go out to purchase your bars locate the center of the stud by using a stud finder. The Studs are usually 16 inches apart. Make sure all screws are mounted firmly into a wood stud. Ensure that you carefully follow the manufactures installation instructions when mounting the bars.
If you are doing a total bathroom renovation, lining between the studs with 3/4″ plywood will form a solid surface for attaching the bars.
Other options for added safety to consider would be applying an anti slip treatment if the tub surface is slippery. Also, safety door kits are available that can be added to an existing bathtub to allow for easier entry without having to climb over.