Who installs shower grab bars and shower seats

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An elderly friend is in the hospital and has asked me to find someone (she prefers a business over a handyman) who can come to her condo and give her an estimate for installing a shower grab bar and a fold-down shower seat.
I'm not sure where to start ... for example, what kind of business does this kind of work?
Location: Large city in San Diego County
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Any elder care organization in your area will most likely be able to refer someone who specializes, but any competent carpenter with a modicum of tile experience should be able to do it without problem. Look in the yellow pages under Carpenters and/or Home Improvement.
You may want to look into the plastic and aluminum chairs that sit in the tub/shower. You're probably already aware that the transfer into and out of the chair is the dangerous part, and the seat should be designed and installed to make the transition as easy as possible. You're right to want competent installation.
R
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By all means contact "elder care" organization(s) in your community. A friend of mine had grab bars installed in tub and shower w/o charge by such an organization in our city. ILook in your city (San Diego?) w/key words like "elder care install grab bars without charge San Diego".
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By all means contact "elder care" organization(s) in your community. A friend of mine had grab bars installed in tub and shower w/o charge by such an organization in our city. ILook in your city (San Diego?) w/key words like "elder care install grab bars without charge San Diego".
___________
Thanks for the suggestion.
This looks promising. http://www.seniorsafetyhomecare.com /
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The big box stores generally offer installation services. A small job like this is likely to be sub-contracted out to the same handyman she is trying to avoid. You might also call a reputable bath remodeling company or supply store that might be able to give you a reference.
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Correct installation of grab bars and shower seats requires that they be anchored to the wall studs, unless the wall behind the tiles was reinforced during construction to accomodate future addition of grab bars.
It is important to have the work done by someone who understands this and takes no shortcuts. Toggles and other devices that secure a grab bar to sheetrock behind tile are *unsafe*, because full weight on the grab bar can cause the sheetrock to fail and the person to fall.
    Una
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That would be my suggestion. I have found that these specialty stores generally use real craftsmen because they want their stuff done right, and don't want any bad publicity. They are generally surprisably reasonably priced for quality work. They're in, they're out, they're gone, and they stand behind their work. We had a glass shower door installed. The guy on the original measurement got it wrong. It took them about four trips from their office 20 miles away before it was right, but it ended up perfect, and not a dime more. The guy wouldn't even take any gas money. Good advice, NG.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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Ummm, try the Yellow Pages, under Bathrooms ;-)
The places that sell these things with either have their own installers or be able to refer you to one.
Alternatively, a bathroom remodeler who is service oriented and handles repairs can do the job.
If you/she happens to know a good plumber, they can probably handle it well too.
My Dad had one installed by a local plumber.
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Yup! or as my former boss would say..... "sounds like the initial conditions for a disaster"
or my best buddy "where's the up side?"
cheers Bob
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If you want it installed correctly so it can take real weight, meaning it is not simply installed with wall anchors, that usually involves cutting into the wall to add structure to attach the grab bars to at the desired height...
It is not a "screw it up to the wall and be done with it" type project...
~~ Evan
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On Fri, 23 Jul 2010 00:12:25 -0700 (PDT), Evan

It's true that wall anchors are no good, but if the screws are in a stud, that's enough. Someone should make sure that they are.
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Don't scare the guy. I have them installed "screwed into the [tile] wall" professionally done, rock-solid.
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wrote:

Recommendations from the rehab department of the hospital she is in? Or any rehab department, especially one that has some old patients?
Possibly a recommendation from a medical supply store that sells such things.
A carpenter can certainly do the shower grab bar. (I made the holes too small for the screws for my mother's, and after she died, I had a heck of time getting the screws out before I returned the apartment. FWIW that grab bar was just outside of the tub, in an non-tiled area. I think she insisted on that because she didn't want me ruining the tile. And no, while I suggested putting it in the tub and said it could still be repaired, or even maybe left as an improvement, wrt herself, my mother told me what to do, not the other way around.)
I'm not really acquainted with fold-down shower seats. A lot of showers are big enough for a moveable, unattached shower seat. Is there some chance that will slip and move while she's trying to sit down?
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It appears there are both fold-down and fold-up models.
Here's an example of one that has a 558 pound capacity. My friend is over 200 pounds who has had to postpone knee surgery because of diabetes issues.
Wide Padded Fold-Up Shower Seat (Capacity 558 lbs..) http://www.1800wheelchair.com/asp/view-product.asp?product_id%25
I found four more shower seats at Home Depot online. http://tinyurl.com/23ozvoc
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wrote:

Thank you. Yeah, this is meant for someone heavy, who would break the little chair my mother used with no problem.

This one too. weighs 20 pounds. My mother's was aluminum and plastic weighed maybe 3 poounds. My mother probably only weighed 120 by then or less, down from 140 at most when she was 50. She was 88 when she died, and in pretty good health until 85 or more, and never any mental weakness like Altz. etc.
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BTW, there are removable grab bars that are held on by suction cups. I was _very_ skeptical about how well they would hold until I actually got my hands on one.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) They're a nice addition to a permanent grab bar, but not a replacement. They're great for adding some more piece of mind and another place to hold on to help keep your balance. The tile should be perfectly clean and the suction cups entirely on one tile and not lapping over onto grout lines.
R
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As my mom's caregiver, I'm faced with similar problems. Although I haven't decided it's necessary, yet, I've researched the issues. Having already dealt with some problems of the aged, I've learned to trust my local "medical equipment and supply" store. They will know who is licensed and/or can properly install the equipment (grab bars and hand rails) they routinely sell. The quote above is how they are listed in my phone book.
If you, or she, has good insurance and a good doctor, many of these expenses can be "prescribed" and covered.
nb
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Excellent point. My wife had frequent pain in her hip area from a cyst / calcium bone spur (?) growing on her hip.
After surgery she needed long term use of a spa, daily.
The doctor wrote a script for the spa, with a detailed letter. We bought a spa and it qualified for a tax write off.
OP "should" have his friend discuss this with the doctor.
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As usual Googling "Handicap access shower seats" will bring up enough information to bogle the mind. The skills required to mount a grab bar or seat do not require a degree in rocket science. Unless the ADA device has the drill pattern is spaced so that it coincides with the wall stud spacing some additional blocking may be required. At the very least the installer will need to be able to drill through tile and use corrosion resistant hardware. Angling the grab bar will compensate for stud spacing. Earlier posters have provided enough information to solve your original problem.
Joe G
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No, not rocket science, more like auto mechanics. Would you give your car to just anybody to work on? There are many ways for someone to mess up a grab bar or shower seat installation, and they all suck for the homeowner. In these instances it's better to have someone who's over-qualified even if it costs a little more.
R
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