Accessibility Experts October Newsletter: Handrails in the home help prevent falls

Accessibility Experts October Newsletter

Read time:

10 minutes

Handrails in the home help prevent falls

As a support feature for access ramps, stairs, bathrooms and other areas around a home, a handrail can help prevent people from falling by assisting to keep their balance. Handrails are an especially important home modification, especially for seniors and people with disabilities with mobility issues.

Provides peace of mind

For anyone with certain conditions affecting their mobility e.g., vertigo, having handrails to hold can provide comfort and reassurance that they are less likely to fall or lose their balance while accessing points in their home. Handrails also provide people the confidence to go anywhere in and around the home more independently.

Extra safety during bad weather

Rainy or windy days can increase the risk of slip, trips and falls while walking around the outside of the home. Handrails on ramps, steps and pathways can help avoid injuries by providing a stable object to hold onto while using slippery surfaces - helping people reach their destination safely.

A bridge to success

The objective of this job was to improve the front access point of our client’s home, to get from the front door to the driveway they were having to walk up and down not one but two sperate stairs without the assistance of handrails. Creating a dangerous area with greater risk of falls.

Our team and OTs solved this problem by designed and installing this timber Bridge with bilateral stainless-steel handrails to increase safety when crossing and provide support. The timber was given a lacquered to improve longevity, with minimal maintenance while being aesthetically pleasing.

This bridge provides a level pathway between the front access point and the driveway, provides peace of mine for our client when entering and exiting the home, reducing the risk of falls.

What is the difference between balustrade and handrails?


A balustrade is the section that is below the handrail. Numerous upright posts or a solid portion that rests at the side of the stair steps or landing make up a balustrade. The primary safety function of the balustrade, which is located beneath the handrail on your staircase, is to prevent individuals from falling over the side of a step or ramp. Usually constructed of wood or metal.


A handrail is a railing that runs along your stairway, ramps or pathways. You can hold the railing with your hands for additional support and balance when carrying out daily activities at home.

Handrails are designed to offer a firm grip and stability, preventing fall-related injuries along the staircase. They can either be decorative or purely functional.

Accessible Bathroom Modification

Did you know that the bathroom is one of highest falls areas in the home? At Accessibility Experts we understand how important it is for each bathroom we build to have the necessary safety modifications to fit the individual needs of each client, minimising the risk of falls or slips in the bathroom.

Working with qualified Occupational Therapists we designed and built this complete bathroom modification for one of our clients providing an accessible bathroom that minimises the risk of falls and slips, while also looking amazing. Safety features included in this bathroom are:

  • A grab rail mounted on the wall to the right of the toilet and a fold down grab rail mounted on the left of the toilet to provide support when siting and standing.
  • The shower has two grab rails that can be used for support and maintain balance, a handheld shower head that can be used to direct the water flow where needed without having to move around and a fold down seat mounted to the wall for seating.
  • The shower curtain installed is to provide more room to move around for the user and carers if needed. A shower curtain is a safer option than a shower screen especially if the door opens inward - in the event of a fall your body can end up blocking the shower screen door making it difficult for help to get to you without causing you further harm.
  • We installed grab rails between the shower and toilet, sink and cabinets, giving support when walking between bathroom facilities.
  • The floor tiles are slip resistant tiles, helping reduce the risk of slips and falls.

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