If an elderly family member lives in a two story home, you need to pay close attention to the stairwell handrails. These handrails can help prevent your loved one from falling as they walk up and down. They can support their weight or give them something stable and firm to grasp onto. If they currently don't have handrails, or their old ones are weak or unstable, you may be looking to install new ones. There are many options available, which may leave you wondering which are best. Learning what factors you need to consider when help you find the best stairwell handrails based on your loved one's needs. Here are a few of the factors to consider when selecting these rails.
The Amount of Weight They Can Support
As you are shopping around for stairwell handrails for the elderly, one of the most important factors to consider is how much weight the support rail can support. Part of this has to do with installation, while part of it has to do with the materials the rail is made from. Aluminum supports less weight than iron or steel. This is especially important to consider if your loved one is overweight. Always ensure the handrail can support their weight without pulling out from the wall or buckling or bending under pressure.
How Easy They Are to Grasp
Another factor to consider is how easy the railings are to grasp. Some railings are thick. This can make it hard for a smaller hand to wrap their fingers around. Always bring your loved one along when selecting rails and find one that they can easily wrap their hand around and grasp.
The Finish of the Rail
The last factor to consider when selecting a stairwell handrail for the elderly is the finish of the rail. The finish of a metal rail affects more than just the appearance of the rail. The finish affects how much grip the rail has and how comfortable it is to hold on to. A polished finish may look sleek, but it can be slippery, especially when hands are wet or sweaty. A ribbed finish provides for better grip, but can start to hurt the hand if your loved one has sensitive hands or has to hold the rails for a long period of time as they go down the stairs. And an epoxy finish warms metal so it isn't so cold, but it can wear quickly. Carefully weighing the pros and cons of different finishes will help you find the rail that's best for your loved one.
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