Raised toilet seats provide a simple way of retaining independence. When used together with a walking frame, they provide a simple means of using the toilet without too much cost.
These are designed to sit on top of the existing toilet seat and raise its height from 2 to 6 inches. They enable the user to get on and off the seat much more easily. For people who are recovering from a hip or knee replacement, they are ideal.
Raised toilet seats provide a simple way of retaining independence. When used together with a walking frame, it provides a simple means of using the toilet without too much cost.
Fitting is easy. Most are designed to be clipped or bolted in place for security. An optional attached lid is available with some models.
For personal hygiene, most models are designed with front and rear cut-outs to make cleansing easier and are typically made of a lightweight and high-grade plastic that is stain and odour resistant. Some come with built-in arms to assist with rising and lowering onto the raised seat.
Raised toilet seats can be purchased for a very reasonable cost. They can be easy removed and stored when not in use or moved from one toilet to another for travel purposes.
Wheelchair users or people with severe mobility issues may need more support and stability than a raised toilet seat offers. But for minor mobility issues, this provides a simple solution.
Before buying, please measure the size and take note of the shape of your toilet for compatibility as raised toilet seats must be fitted to the toilet bowl (not the existing seat) and should ideally clip on (or bolt onto) to your existing toilet. Obviously the better the fit, the more secure the user will feel. Standard raised toilet seats generally accommodate weights up to 120kg while bariatric models (for larger users) will accommodate users who are 180kg or more.
An alternative to handrails, and often easier to install, is a toilet safety frame. This conveniently wraps around the user’s existing toilet. Toilet frames offer additional stability when sitting down or rising from a toilet seat.
In general, most toilet frames are made from powder coated steel or aluminium and include slip resistant rubber ferrules on the end of the legs for safety and padded armrests for comfort. They can remain in place for daily use yet can be easily moved if required. Some toilet frames can even be bolted securely to the bathroom floor where extra stability is required.
Most toilet frame surrounds are height and width adjustable to suit the user’s specific needs.
Some feature a built in elevated toilet seat, offering the benefits of a raised toilet seat and toilet frame combined.
Many toilet surrounds are height and/or width adjustable and come with a detachable toilet seat that can be removed for ease of cleaning and sterilisation.
Toilet frames enable the user to raise and lower themselves and provide more stability and security than a simple raised toilet seat, but as they take up more space, it may prove difficult to fit them in a small space. Measuring the space either side of the existing toilet is recommended before choosing this option and take into account whether it will impede any other fitments in the room.
A commode chair is a portable toilet and is ideal for someone with greatly reduced mobility. It is particularly useful for someone who has difficulty manoeuvring a frame or wheelchair to the bathroom.
Designs and functions vary considerably. Commodes can offer several functions in the one aid. Price and materials used also vary widely, depending on its intended function and to accommodate the user’s body weight.
Depending on whether the commode will be a temporary or permanent mobility aid will determine the final choice. For instance, a bariatric commode for long term use will need to be strongly constructed compared to a commode for post-operative use.
A commode for a shower cubicle will need to be constructed from rust proof material. Some models can be converted from a bedside commode to a toilet frame and raised toilet seat.
Folding bedside commodes can be used where space is limited and can be folded without tools for convenient storage and travel.
A commode is essentially a portable toilet that can be used in any room and comes complete with a detachable bowl that can be removed, cleaned and sterilised.
Commodes are typically used in bedrooms for overnight convenience, when a visit to the bathroom could be difficult. However, they can be used during the day in any room, such as downstairs,
Commodes are available in every format from basic utilitarian frames and folding frames, as well as padded armchair styles which discretely conceal the pan from view.
A wheeled commode is another option available, which can be easily moved from room to room as needed.
Commodes that have removable arms for side transfers are worth considering for wheelchair users.
Consider where a commode is best suited and carefully measure the space available before purchase. Check that the bowl is easy to remove, carry and replace and is of an adequate size for its purpose. All bowls should be made from a material that can be hygienically maintained. Some bowls come with a separate lid for extra protection from odours.