You can have as advanced a toilet as possible. But what’s the reason to have even the most powerful flushing toilet with the best design if a person cannot use it properly? It’s often the case with elderly or disabled people who require special features to use a toilet. Even though you, the reader, may be young and healthy now, you may experience the same even before getting old due to some injury or illness.
Luckily, there are rather easy tweaks that can make any toilet senior-friendlier. These include modifying the seat and adding some assistance in the bathroom. Here we provide some tips on revamping your toilet to make it more suitable for older adults.
Raise the Seat
One of the most common issues with age is standing or sitting up. It’s not always lower back pains; often, it’s a rather generic weakness of muscles. Regardless of the cause, it’s the issue that should be addressed, so a person can sit down on the seat or get up from it easier.
It can be solved with special raised seats. With these, one has to bend much less, reducing risks and required effort. Generally, there are 2 ways to achieve this:
- Install a taller seat. Well, this is the ultimate solution. A senior-friendly seat can be 2 to 6 inches taller than a regular one. You better consult the doctor to choose the right elevation level, according to the person’s height and condition. Most of them cause no issues for a healthy person who may (at very worst) feel a little uncomfortable with it. Well, you can find a better place to read a book or browse your feed.
- Use a toilet seat raiser. These appliances are cheaper than new seats and easier to install. No extra tools are required for most models, so you can install them with your bare hands. Moreover, they usually come in various versions. Thus, no matter whether you use a round or an elongated seat, there is a compatible raiser for it. Some of them come already equipped with… Now, let’s talk about these separately.
Install the Grab Bars and/or Rails
It’s easier to get up or even properly sit on the seat when you have something to hold on to. Even the author, being far from senior, has experienced it after hard labor or workouts. And elders deal with this problem constantly. Grab bars are the solution to helping them both get on and off the seat.
If you have opted for a toilet seat raiser, you can choose a model with built-in bars. They require some space around the toilet, though, so if you have it in a separate room from your bath, these can stand in the way of other procedures, like cleaning. However, some models have an adjustable width to change it within several inches.
In this case, you better install wall rails. These can be foldable and used by a person who needs them; others may just ignore them and not even feel them Even stationary bars (if you consider these more reliable) can be put wide enough for anyone to feel comfortable on the seat. Their installation is a bit of a hassle; luckily, it’s a one-time job.
Flushing is among the primary reasons we have modern toilets. But if it’s hard to turn around and reach the button or the lever, the toilet becomes almost intolerable to use. How can this be overcome?
Well, the most obvious method is to check and try. It’s preferable to take the older person to the store where they may just try sitting on the toilet and reaching the flush after standing up from it or while still on it. The experience may differ because there will probably be no bars installed and even no walls to hold on to. After the installation, every part of it will be easier anyway.
There’s More to Your Bathroom
Doing your job on the seat is just a part of the bathroom experience. There are more process stages; some require as much attention as the toilet itself. Pay attention to them.
- Making way to the toilet. If it’s located deep in the bathroom, additional bars may be necessary to walk along the wall holding on to these.
- Anti-slip floors or floor mats. In fact, it will reduce the risks for anyone as the bathroom floors may be wet and slippery more than anywhere else in your household.
- Minimize the clutter on the shelves. Elderly persons are likely to knock some of your gels, shampoos, or even toilet paper down to the floor.
- If you haven’t installed a proper toilet paper holder yet, do it. It’s much more convenient than leaving it in the tank. It is harder to reach this way and likelier to be dropped on the floor and rolled somewhere. The holder should be within the person’s reach, so keep this in mind if you install wall grab bars or rails.
Maybe a Commode Chair Is Better?
You may think it’s better to get a commode chair. As annoying as it may be to empty and clean it, a commode chair may be a salvation for people who feel it is too challenging to get to the most powerful flushing toilet. Well, they have been invented for a reason, but they also have some drawbacks. So it’s up to you which one to pick.
There is a situation, though, when a commode chair is undeniably better. One has to go down or upstairs to the toilet, which can be too challenging, so a commode chair is a way out. Okay, you may prefer your regular toilet as the basic choice, commode chairs being the last resort.
Toilets are a large part of what we call a quality of life. So they are to be made as comfortable as possible, which implies caring for the seniors. Hope these tips have been of some importance to you.