Toilet safety rails
Reaching senior age will come with specific challenges, including in terms of balance and coordination. As you might also be dealing with muscle weakness and bone frailty, certain activities will become more difficult to complicate. Unfortunately, one of the most common issues regards using the toilet, and more specifically, getting on and off the actual thing. To prevent accidental slips and falls, you should consider using a toilet safety rail or frame. This service offers exactly the sturdy support you need, being available in different versions and price ranges.
Best toilet safety rails for elderly
While there are many different toilet safety rails available for seniors to choose from, we handpicked the best toilet safety rails that offer a combination of support, easy installation and are customizable for your individual needs.
Medline Toilet Safety Rails, Safety Frame for Toilet with Easy Installation, Height Adjustable Legs, Bathroom Safety
- Adjustable handles that rotate back to allow a wide range of comfortable and secure positions
- Cell foam armrests
- Adjusts for perfect height
- Easy to clean
And another popular option is a toilet safety rail that includes a raised toilet seat with arms.
Carex 3.5 Inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms - For Elongated Toilets, Elevated Toilet Riser with Removable Padded Handles, Easy On and Off, Support 250 lbs, White
- Sit and stand safely
- Padded handles
- Easy installation
- Safe and durable
What is a toilet safety frame?
As stated above, a toilet safety rail is a useful tool to have in your home, meant to provide the necessary support while using the toilet. Also known as a frame, it is available for different types of toilets, including standard and elevated. With this kind of support, the risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom is reduced, and you will feel safer while using the toilet. It is worth mentioning that such tools are easy and comfortable to use, so you do not need to be anxious with regard to functionality. The toilet safety rail is one of the best products to install in your bathroom, as it can facilitate the toilet access and also prevent falls. Did you known that most of the accidents seniors suffer occur inside the home and more specifically while using the toilet? A toilet safety frame can keep you safe, while standing or sitting from/on the toilet.
Toilet safety rail features and types
A quality toilet safety rail will have a number of specific features, being able to offer the necessary support while you are using the toilet. You should be on the lookout for a sturdy frame, which can fit the form of your toilet. Many rails come with non-slip padded grab bars, so that seniors can grip them without worrying they might slip. The legs are padded as well, in order to prevent further accidents. To increase the level of comfort offered, the armrests are padded. Seniors might prefer the cushioned handles, as opposed to the ones made from steel, which are usually so cold to the touch. Depending on the model, you might find a frame with adjustable handles. These can be rotated in diverse positions, as desired.
It might be possible to choose a toilet safety frame that has an adjustable height. This means that the respective rail can be used with both standard and elevated toilet seats. If you are wondering about the material from which the frame is made, you should know that the most common choice is aluminum. This is because the material is both light in weight and resistant to the everyday wear-and-tear process. The width might be adjusted as well, depending on the model. It is recommended to check out the weight capacity, in order to make sure that you are able to use the toilet frame without threats to your safety.
Advanced models are available in the form of all-in-one rollators. The model features a hide-away commode, which can be used as a toilet safety frame when needed. As a result, seniors benefit from both the functionality of the rollator and the one of the safety frame. Considering the intended use, it should come as no surprise that the frame is light; to ensure the comfortable maneuvering, swiveling front casters have been added. The rollator comes with wheel locks for when the stationary use is desired. Last, but not least, it features a padded seat cushion for comfortable use, and even a small pouch to store sanitary wipes. As you might have already figured out, it is compatible with most types of toilets.
Another interesting model is the reversible model, with actually bolts on your toilet and use the standard seat you are already familiar with. In accordance with your needs, you can install the arms either up or down. Naturally, the up position is suitable for those who require support during standing or sitting. On the other hand, the down position might be useful for seniors who need wheelchair transfers. Do not be worried about the height, as this is not too high. The same goes for the width, which is quite accommodating. If you are always on the go, you might consider a toilet safety frame with a folding design. This has the same benefits to offer, with the addition of the frame that folds. Thanks to the unique design, you can transport and store it as needed, without too much effort being required.
Cost of toilet safety frame
The cost of a toilet safety rail depends on the type, materials used, and number of features offered. You should expect for the best models to have a cost that varies between $30 and $250, but high-end versions might step over that mark. The more features a toilet safety rail has, the more expensive it's going to be. In choosing a particular model, be sure to take your needs, but also your budget into consideration.
Advantages of using a toilet safety frame
Perhaps the biggest advantage worth mentioning is that the safety rail offers adequate support while you are lowering or rising yourself from the toilet. With a sturdy design, it offers the necessary stability to complete this activity, being recommended for seniors who are dealing with limited mobility or balance issues. Perhaps you are recovering from a hip or knee replacement surgery, and you need a bit of support while using the toilet. The same goes for seniors who are suffering from physical conditions that impair their functioning. Do not forget, however, to check out the recommended weight capacity before making a purchase. As many manufacturers point out, the toilet safety rail is not intended for full weight bearing.
The fact that you can swing the frame out of the way is a potential advantage, especially if you are sharing the toilet with other people, who do not such support to sit down or get up. You can then snap the frame into place and use it as needed. Keep in mind that it is possible to install only one side rail, especially if you do not need that much support. For seniors, having this frame in their bathroom means a renewed independence. They can use the toilet without help, enjoying their privacy. It is clear that having mobility issues comes with its own challenges, so having this kind of help makes all the difference in the world.
Using the toilet is a basic need and one that can be achieved without too much support, when you are young and healthy. However, once you reach senior age, even this basic activity can turn into a dangerous one. A toilet safety frame provides one with, exactly as its name describes it, the needed safety. It represents an unobtrusive support, which helps those dealing with stability issues, among other things. Imagine suffering from deteriorating conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, dealing with recent surgery on major joints, or just the age-related weakness. A safety frame can make toileting a simple process, eliminating the risk of accidents.
Here is a short overview of the main benefits a toilet safety rail has to offer:
- Stability when sitting or standing on/from the toilet
- Reduced risk of slipping and falling
- Easy installation, no tools are required
- Adjustable height and width - some models might allow for a customized fit
- Padded handles or armrests for comfortable use - a secure grip is also ensured
- Frame made from aluminum, which is both lightweight and durable (steel frames are also available - these are more durable but heavy, which means they are also difficult to raise or move)
- Satisfactory weight capacity
How to choose a toilet safety rail
Keep in mind that not all the toilet safety rails are adjustable. When shopping for such a product, be sure to check for adjustability. Width is particularly important, as you need an adequate amount of space to move your legs. As for stability, you should pay attention at the different models; it is clear that the models with four legs are more stable than the ones with two legs. If the toilet seat is elongated, you might need to purchase a customized toilet safety rial. As for the weight limit, this usually varies between 300 and 350 pounds. The pressure you apply adds to the respective weight, so be sure to take this into consideration. Also, the one-sided pressure might lead to a fall, this being the reason why you should always support yourself on both rails.
It might be tempting to choose a model that folds, as this feature allows for easy storage. However, before you go through with your purchase, take a moment and think about your situation. Is it temporary or permanent? Consider your strength and ability to move the toilet safety rail, if needed. A floor-mounted unit, for instance, represents a good solution for a permanent need. If you are recovering from surgery or you plan on traveling frequently, perhaps it might be for the best to choose a portable model, with a folding design. Also, it is always recommended to choose a model that allows for both the height and width to be adjusted.
In choosing a particular model, think about your toileting abilities. For instance, if you suffer from balance issues, you might require more assistance. A bolted safety rail offers the highest level of stability. An occupational therapist might visit your home to offer guidance on the best toilet safety rail, in accordance with your bathroom layout, and the position of the toilet in particular. If you are doing wheelchair transfers, you should choose a sturdier model, preferably one that hinges, as this will ensure a safe transfer. Should you have a small toilet area, you will need to make sure that the chosen toilet safety rail will not go over the toilet bowl.
The three main aspects you want to pay attention to are size, durability, and comfort. Even though the size might seem like the most obvious, it is actually the factor responsible for the biggest confusions. You will need to assess the size of your bathroom and its layout, paying attention to the toilet area in particular. The most important thing is that you have enough space on the lateral parts of the toilet. If you do not have enough space, you will need to choose a different model, preferably one that fits without additional alterations being necessary.
Durability is the second main aspect to consider. You want to purchase a toilet safety rail that is sturdy enough to prevent common accidents, which will also last a long period of time. In terms of durable options, the safety rail with a stand-alone frame is your best bet. This is because it actually goes around the toilet, having a complete support frame. By contrast, the ones that bolt to the toilet are less durable. As for comfort, this is quite obvious. You should make sure that the toilet safety rail has padded armrests and perhaps storage space, so that you can store magazines, books, or even a communication device.
How to install a toilet safety frame
As you will see for yourself, the safety rail can be easily installed, between the toilet and the seat. The installation process does not require any tools, as all you have to do is attach the respective frame to the toilet. Adjustable brackets make the mounting process easier, so you do not have to be anxious about this process in any way. It is just as easy to remove and clean it.
For the first step, you should remove the toilet seat assembly, which will include both the nuts and bolts. The toilet safety frame should be placed between the seat and toilet fixture, and you will need to make sure that the bracket is actually facing the back of the toilet. Then, you should replace the toilet seat and place the bolts back into place. Make sure to tighten the nuts as instructed. The side rails of the safety rail should be inserted into the respective bracket, and you should make sure that they are in the desired position. Lastly, adjust the frame to the desired height. Check to see if the feet are adjusted at equal heights, otherwise the frame will be unbalanced. Go through everything again, in order to make sure that all the hardware is securely fixed.
If you are dealing with severe weakness or lack of balance, it might for the best to be supervised when using the toilet safety rail. In some situations, assistance might be required, as you need to make sure that no further accidents occur. As mentioned above, you should never bear full weight on the frame, as this is only designed to offer the necessary support and stability. Such devices are not meant to support the full weight of a person and accidents might occur, should you attempt to do so. Before actually using the toilet safety rail, you might test it for stability. All you have to do is grip the handles and push down on the respective rails, while sitting or standing on/from the toilet.
Note: To prevent infections of any kind, it is for the best to clean the toilet safety rail at regular intervals, using common cleaning products. Do not use products that are abrasive or too powerful, as you might end up dealing with skin problems, and you will damage the toilet safety frame as well.
As an aging individual, it might become difficult to go to the bathroom on your own. Actions such as sitting or rising on/from the toilet can prove to be challenging, with a high risk of falling and other potential injuries, especially if you are already dealing with muscle weakness, lack of balance, or one frailty. This is the reason why many healthcare specialists recommend the raised toilet seats, which make the whole toileting experience less daunting. The same goes for the toilet safety rails, which offers the necessary stability when using the toilet. You can go a step further and use a commode, especially if you are having a hard time reaching the bathroom. It all depends on your needs and current level of independence.
Using the toilet safety rail
This might sound like the obvious thing, but there is a process to follow, especially with regard to safety. If you are planning on sitting down, you should make sure that you have already adopted the correct position. You can support a part of your weight on the frame, but make sure not to push down too much. Once you have your clothing ready, it is time to allow yourself to sit down, without hurry. To get up, you will have to follow the same process, but in reverse. Never pull on the toilet rail, otherwise you might end up injured.
From all that has been said, you have probably understood that a toilet safety rail can contribute to a better quality of life, allowing you to handle toileting on your own. This newfound independence will help you maintain a positive mindset, not to mention you feel better, knowing that you brought down the risk of accidents down to a minimum. Take your time to search for a toilet safety rail that fits both your needs and budget, taking any particular demands into consideration.
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