Age Safe America Declares Grab Bars Are The New Seat Belts

Age Safe America believes it is critical that families install grab bars as an essential means to making homes safer for everyone.

Baby Boomers are a generation that remembers cars without seat belts or clicking them closed and sitting on top of them. In the late 60’s there were many misconceptions around seat belts such as saying that seat belts would prevent passengers from escaping their cars if submerged in water or in the case of a fire. Some even felt it was actually safer to be thrown from a car in an accident. Today literally everyone agrees that seat belts are an effective injury-reducing device that saves lives; and so do grab bars. By taking the simple action of installing grab bars, Americans can significantly reduce trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults, and the skyrocketing cost of fall-related injuries.

The story of seat belts seems to mirror grab bar usage in that of convincing America’s aging demographic to use them. With grab bars, an often heard misconception is, “they look institutional”. In recent years that old argument has been glamorously overcome with a myriad of tasteful and decorative designs and colors, including various finishes such as brushed nickel and polished chrome. Today even basic bathroom accessories such toilet paper dispensers and towel racks have been redesigned with ADA compliant weight capabilities. Grab bars prevent falls and potential injuries by allowing a person to “grab” them during an emergency or in case of dizziness or loss of balance. Getting up and down from the toilet seat or in and out of the shower can be a real challenge when age, balance, strength or a disability are an issue.

Age Safe America, a national membership, training and advocacy organization dedicated to fall…

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