Grab bars de­liver el­e­gance, safety to bath­rooms

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Pa­trick Langston

Grab bars are an es­sen­tial bath­room ac­ces­sory for any­one with dementia. In fact, they’re a smart idea even if you’re in the peak of health: a slip­pery shower floor or bath­tub can mean a fast trip to the emer­gency room.

Prob­lem is, most grab bars are a lot more func­tional than el­e­gant. They also carry a stigma as­so­ci­ated with phys­i­cal frailty and ag­ing.

Ot­tawa-based HealthCraft Prod­ucts, which de­signs and man­u­fac­tures bed­room, bath­room and other prod­ucts to sup­port in­de­pen­dent liv­ing for the el­derly and phys­i­cally chal­lenged, is chang­ing that. Its In­visia Col­lec­tion is a line of stylish towel bars, shower shelves and other bath­room ac­ces­sories that dou­ble as handrails. The col­lec­tion’s motto: “grab bars do not have to look like grab bars.”

“The is­sue is that peo­ple buy grab bars af­ter they’ve fallen two or three times,” says In­visia’s sales man­ager Ja­son St-Amant. “These ones are more pre­ven­tive be­cause they’re less vis­i­ble as grab bars, so peo­ple are will­ing to put them in.”

Rang­ing from $229 to $289, the In­visia Col­lec­tion in­cludes an ac­cent ring that sur­rounds shower con­trols, pro­vid­ing a solid hand­hold whether you’re in a free-stand­ing or a bath­tub-style shower. There’s also a corner shelf and a soap dish with in­te­grated bars and a gleam­ing con­toured towel bar that, like the other prod­ucts, will sup­port up to 150 kilo­grams. As too many tum­bling house­hold­ers have dis­cov­ered, that’s a lot more weight than a regu- lar towel bar holds.

In­visia also of­fers a wall-mounted toi­let roll holder for grip­ping when you sit down or stand up. As a bonus, it holds two ex­tra rolls of toi­let paper. You can view the prod­ucts at www.healthcraft­prod­ucts.com.

Al­though the stain­less steel prod­ucts are avail­able in a white pow­der coat, the chrome fin­ish is more pop­u­lar, says St-Amant.

HealthCraft has re­cently added a sixth prod­uct to the In­visia Col­lec­tion. The Ser­e­naSeat is a wall­mounted shower seat that sup­ports up to 205 kilo­grams and folds up when not in use. Run­ning $350 to $400 re­tail, the back and seat are made of ipe, a very durable wood also known as Brazil­ian wal­nut.

— Postmedia News

El­e­gantly de­signed grab bars are a

smart ac­ces­sory for all.

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