What is a SuperPole?
Although the SuperPole doesn’t actually have superpowers, it’s an excellent mobility aid designed to make transfers in your home safer. The HealthCraft Group (our Ottawa, Ontario neighbours!) created the pressurized product to fit securely between your floor and ceiling. Since you can place the pole almost anywhere in your home, it’s a must-have product for preventing falls.
The SuperPole also comes with accessories for added safety, depending on your mobility needs. These optional products include attachable handles and a trapeze bar for bed transfers. The popular SuperBar accessory adjusts along the pole with a brilliant pivot and lock system that easily rotates the bar every 45 degrees for multiple stages of transfers (like sitting to standing). For anyone living with a chronic illness, disease or injury that has affected their hands (such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Parkinson’s), the SuperBar can be rotated with a forearm or wrist and leaned on without worrying about limited grip strength.
SuperPoles vs. Grab Bars: Which Product is Right for You?
Both options offer many benefits and work well together, but there are key differences between the two. Ultimately, the best solution depends on the layout and construction of your home, your unique mobility needs, and existing home modifications.
Mobility Needs & Placement
Standard grab bars are the perfect option if you’re looking for support in your shower or tub. They’re waterproof, provide extra grip, and come in various styles to match your bathroom decor. They can also support 400-500 pounds compared to the regular SuperPole system that holds up to 300 pounds (although there’s a bariatric version that supports up to 450lbs).
On the other hand, if you need support outside the bathroom, the SuperPole is multi-functional and can be used without nearby walls.
No one likes the hassle of installation, but it’s important to consider when making any change to your home. Grab bars are stationary so must be drilled and secured properly into a wall, whereas the SuperPole is secured to the ceiling with a pressurized jackscrew. The pole can also be adjusted and moved if needed.
How can you use the SuperPole?
Now that we’ve covered the pole’s features, let’s learn where to place it in your home. The product is designed for use wherever most transfers are made, including moving to and from your bed, toilet, couch, and kitchen table.
The mobility aid also helps caregivers by alleviating their workload and preventing muscle strain. Whether a caregiver is a family member, friend or healthcare provider (like a Personal Support Worker), aids make transfers safer for everyone.
Although we all want to stay in bed some mornings, the SuperPole helps you move from a lying position to seated or standing in a few swift motions. Since it reaches up to the ceiling, the product also assists transfers to a wheelchair or walker from any bed height.
Slippery surfaces raise the risk of falling. By placing the pole next to your shower, tub and toilet, you can use them all with only one aid. You can also lean against the pole to rest between transfers—just be careful not to get it wet!
Since it’s used daily, the kitchen is an essential room for staying safe. Try to install your SuperPole near the dining table, sink, or prime counter space to go from chopping to munching easily.
Lastly, we recommend placing the pole near your living room couch to watch your favourite shows or host guests without losing your balance. Many of our clients who live with Parkinson’s Disease say the SuperBar accessory is a game-changer for transferring in and out of their favourite chair!
How do you install a SuperPole?
Installing the pole doesn’t take long and only requires a few tools, including a screwdriver and stud finder if you have one. Please read HealthCraft Group’s complete installation guide before placing your pole; however, the general steps are:
Measure the height of your room from floor to ceiling
Identify where your ceiling joists are and how far apart they are
Position the floor plate and ceiling plate directly below a ceiling joist
Insert the pole and screw into place until the product is secure
Ensuring you assemble and install the aid correctly can be slightly challenging depending on the room size, joist width, and ceiling slope. That’s why we recommend finding an extra set of hands to help. Call up a friend or family member who’s handy with tools, or hire a contractor who specializes in access remodelling (hint, hint).
We may be a bit biased, but our team at BuildAble are accessible design pros—our RapidAccess division can help install SuperPoles in just a few minutes!! If you have any questions about remodelling your home or deciding which products are right for you, we’re here to help.