Home Safety: Handrails

Handrails are not just for stairs! They are also useful in hallways, living spaces, and outdoors.

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Helpful Highlights

  • Handrails are not just for stairs anymore! Use them in living spaces and outdoors.
  • Handrails can be configured to any space and coordinated so as not to be unsightly.
  • Unlike most stair rails that are "pinch" shaped (decorative), handrails should be round. Round rails offer the best possible grip for safety.

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Handrails are valuable in more places than stairways!  If you think about places where canes and walkers are difficult to use, but your loved one still needs support, handrails can be an excellent option.  Long carpeted areas, in particular, such as hallways and large living rooms should be considered.  Handrails can also be customized to bend around corners and change from horizontal to vertical orientation.

SAFETY: While handrails may come with instructions for installation, unless you are skilled in this area, it is best to contact a professional to ensure proper, safe, and solid installation.

Handrails are also very effective outdoors, in open yards and gardens, where loved ones benefit from walking and spending time.  They can be installed as freestanding, independent structures anywhere in the yard, or existing outdoor fencing can be retrofitted or replaced to incorporate hand-safe top rails (smooth, grippable bars).  Either can assist loved ones to move about in outdoor spaces they enjoy.

SAFETY: When installing outdoors, handrails should be properly secured in the ground, in the same manner as fence posts.  Think of what you see in parks and playgrounds.

There are many specialists in the home modification industry who can help you plan, select (or custom order, if needed), and install handrails.  

Our loved one falling is usually our #1 fear - and theirs, too - especially if a fall has already occurred.  Handrails help with mobility challenges, as well as low vision, which contribute greatly to fall risk.

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