Toilet Access Basics

Toilet Access Basics

I visit people with disabilities every week, and whether I am there to look at their home for accessibility, or some high tech need, we inevitably end up talking about using the toilet. I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss some basic toilet assess issues and solutions.

Getting on/off the Toilet
For many people, getting on/off the toilet is difficult.  Sometimes the issue is the height of the seat.  To address this issue there are a number of solutions that could be helpful.

I see a lot of people choose a toilet seat extender with arms built in, like this:
Picture of toilet seat extender with arms buit in with large red X over the picture
Toilet Seat Extender with Arms Built In

I strongly discourage this option because it can be a safety hazard.  The only point that the seat is secured to the toilet is the clip at the front.  If a user does not put even pressure on the handles, it can cause a fall.

Here are some better alternatives:
Picture of toilet seat extender - no arms.
Simple Toilet Seat Extender

This item simply makes the seating surface for the toilet higher.  It is easy to install, but can be difficult to keep clean.

3-in-1 used as toilet seat extender
3-in-1 Commode Over Toilet

Most insurance policies will provide a 3-in-1 commode.  This product, in addition to being used as a bedside commode, can be placed over the toilet.  The height of the legs is adjustable and the armrests give additional support.  This is a great solution for many people.

Another way to raise the toilet seat if from the bottom with a Toilevator.

picture of toilet raised up by a toilevator between the floor and the toilet itself

This product will raise the toilet 3.5″.  Since the toilevator is installed between the toilet and the floor, you sit on the regular toilet seat, and do not have some of the cleaning issues with other alternatives.

If you need arm rests to help you get on/off the toilet, here are some products for that:
Toilet seat extender with handles that attaches between the toilet and the toilet seat
Toilet Seat Handles

This option is only slightly safer than the toilet seat extender with arms built in.  It would be a little more difficult to fall with this set up, but keeping the toilet clean can still be problematic.

For some, just having handles to help get on/off the toilet is all that is needed.  In that case, here are some solutions:

Picture of toilet seat safety frame installed on toilet
Toilet Seat Safety Frame

This is an inexpensive way to add armrests to your toilet.  For some just having something to push off of is all they need to get on/off the toilet.  And, since the arms are supported by the floor, it is a sturdy solution.

Picture of Super Pole installed in bathroom
Super Pole

The Super Pole (pictured above with Super Bar addition) is a great solution for many access problems, including toilet access.  For some, having something to grab onto and pull up is a better assist for getting on/off the toilet.  This product is held in place by tension between the floor and the ceiling.  It is very sturdy, and as you can see from the picture above can be placed to help with toilet and tub transfers in some bathrooms.  Also, because it is not structurally attached to the house, it can be placed in the exact spot that is helpful to the user.

This has been a look at a small sample of the products that are available for toilet access.  I did an article on Tub Access a number of months ago, to read that article, click here.  I also did a previous article on the “No-Touch Bathroom” click here to go that article.

For help with your toilet access or any other assistive technology needs, please click here to contact me.

Share Your Ideas
I would love to hear your ideas on this topic, please leave your comments and/or suggestions about this topic below.