Getting old comes with a few benefits and a few challenges. One benefit is that you get to live in awesome 55+ communities, like the ones we build. The challenges are usually related to your aching joints.
Let’s face it, even the simple tasks tend to get a little more difficult, even dangerous as we age. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a little help standing.
So the question is, do the homes in our Utah senior communities have grab bars installed in the bathrooms?
What if I need a grab bar?
Being ADA adaptable:
Most all of the homes that we build are ADA adaptable. This means that with a little work, they can be ADA compliant. Most of the people who choose to live in one of our retirement communities are active adults and can get around just fine. However, we recognize that sometime down the road, our bodies may not want to work as well as we’d like.
For this reason, we build our homes with both stages of life in mind. To start out with, your home will look and feel absolutely normal. If however, you start needing a little extra help maneuvering around a toilet or shower, then never fear, handicap blocking is near.
Handicap blocking is extra wood that we put inside the walls, running horizontally. It is usually around 36 inches from the floor, give and/or take a couple inches. It’s best to use a stud-finder to be sure of the locations.
This blocking is placed around the toilets, showers, and tubs. Since we do not have grab bars installed as a standard feature, you would need to locate these blocks to attach your own grab bars onto.
Need help attaching a grab bar?
I often get asked if we can attach these grab bars. Generally we do not. This is something that we encourage homeowners to do after they move into the home. This is because, in many cases, the grab bars have to attach to cultured marble showers.
Since it is not at all uncommon for a homeowner to change their mind about which home they want to move into, we dare not install anything that would have to be removed later on. As you can imagine, holes in cultured marble are very difficult to fix.
But never fear, installing one after you buy your home can easily be done. If you don’t want to do it yourself, then we can either recommend our cultured marble installers, who, have a good selection of various grab bars and ought to be familiar with working on cultured marble. Also, if they crack the marble from the mounting, who better than them to repair the damage?
We also know a couple of handyman companies that might be happy to install those for you. Just ask our sales or construction staff for more details.
Do not use your towel bar as a grab bar! I can’t emphasize this enough.
If you find yourself needing a grab bar, please get one ordered immediately. Your home is designed for safely securing them in the proper places. What your home is not designed for is safely using the towel bar as your safety catch.
Towel bars are generally hung higher than the handicap blocking and are often held into the wall with little more than sheetrock anchors. Even if they do have a screw that found a stud, they are much flimsier and they WILL NOT hold your weight.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen somebody who has ripped their towel bar out of their wall because they were trying to use it as a grab bar. This is dangerous, and entirely avoidable. Please be safe, and if you find yourself a little less sure of your joints, invest in some real grab bars.