Making toilet access easier
If you find that sometimes you (or a person you are caring for) have difficulty reaching the toilet in time there are some things you can do to help. It's important that the toilet enviornment is safe and free of tripping hazards.
Access and use of a toilet can be made easier by making the following changes:
- adjust the toilet to the correct height by using a raised toilet seat and installing grab hand-rails to make sitting down and getting up easier
- provide support for the proper seating position by using a foot stool (if you can do so safely) if your feet do not reach the floor comfortably
- ensure the area is clean and provide good lighting and warmth to make the toilet environment comfortable
- ensure the toilet is safe by removing clutter that can slow or trip you such as floor rugs and bath mats, and
- install an outward opening door - inward opening doors are dangerous particularly if you fall against the closed door and are then are trapped.
Alternatives to toilets
If you or the person you're caring for cannot reach a toilet easily, alternatives are available:
- commodes - a commode is a chair with a built in toilet pan which can be placed by the bed. Commodes come in a variety of designs. Some look like ordinary chairs with a cover-seat in position. Mobile commodes have two or four wheels and brakes.
- hand held urinals - these bottles or urine collection devices are available for men and women. Some have a non-spill design and can be used in bed or on a chair. Disposable urinals are available for travelling. You need to have a degree of strength and flexibility, particularly so for female urinals which must be held quite firmly.