How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

 

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

 

 

Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Removable Arms

Elevated toilet seats are great for improving safety and ease for the elderly when getting onto and off of the toilet.

For some reason, toilets are generally made quite low.  As with any surface, getting onto and off of a lower height is more difficult than when a surface is higher.

When you throw being elderly and having more trouble with strength and flexibility into the mix, then low toilets can be a real problem.

Elevated toilet seats simply raise the height of the toilet seat to make this easier. They come in many shapes and sizes so it’s important to choose one that will fit your toilet.

It is also important they are a good fit for your elderly loved one.  If elevated toilet seats are too low or high, they can actually not be helpful or even increase the risk of falls.

This article is written to provide you with all the details you’ll need to find the right elevated toilet seat for your elderly parent.

 

Elevated toilet seats are designed for anyone with decreased strength, endurance and balance. Seniors fit into this category. Installing a raised toilet seat is an excellent way to reduce the risk of falls. Elderly with extreme balance problems, however, or who need an extremely sturdy surface might consider a commode with no wheels instead. 

 

Elevated Toilet Seat Recommended Features

 

 

The most important feature of a raised toilet seat is that it fits your toilet properly.

 

Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Arms, Elongated
Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Arms – installs under your toilet seat

 

 

The things to consider for fit are:

 

  • Height: See “How to Fit” section below for details of how to choose the proper height
  • Shape: There are SO many different shaped toilets, you have to make sure your elevated toilet seat is the right shape for the toilet
  • Closure Type: Some come with no closure (and this is ok on some toilets), others have a front securing mechanism or side tighteners to secure the elevated toilet seat on better
  • Peri-area fit: One common complaint  about raised toilet seats is that the male genitals do not fit properly in some of the toilet seats. For more portly gentleman or those with difficulties with swollen prostate, consider a large sloped opening at the front of the elevated toilet seat.
  • Cleaning: Consider which type would be easiest to clean

 

 

 

Warning: Raised Toilet Seats with Arms 

 

If a person has poor strength and difficulty with balance, they sometimes will put too much weight on one of the arms and flip the elevated seat off. This, of course, is opposite to the point of an elevated toilet seat – which is to improve safety.  For this reason, keep in mind that a raised toilet seat with arms is best for someone who’s balance is reasonable unimpaired.

If you feel arms are needed but you’re not sure your elderly loved one has the strength and balance to manage a raised toilet seat with arms, consider toilet safety rails or a commode over the toilet.

 

 

Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rails

 

 

3-in-1 PADDED Commode/Shower Chair. Institutional Quality, Padded Armrests and Back, Adjustable Height

 

Raised Toilet Seat Accessories

 

Raised seats come in many shapes and sizes (just like toilets):

 

  • Different heights: 2″, 3″, 4″
  • Different openings
    • Some are built for petite elderly or women
    • Some are built with men in mind with a larger sloped front opening
  • Different style closures: front tighteners, side tighteners
  • Different shapes: round, oblong, etc. to fit on different shaped toilets
  • Padded
  • Arms: some elevated seats come with arms, these are not always a safe feature
  • Metal fastening system: some come with a metal fastening system on the bottom. These can be more cumbersome, difficult to fit and harder to clean

How to Fit the Raised Toilet Seat

 

Make sure it will fit – it is surprising how many different designs of toilets there are. The only true way of knowing is through trial and error but keeping this in mind while shopping can help:

 

 

Seat Height:

Make sure the raised toilet seat doesn’t make the total seat height too high (for all users). This is difficult if the users are significantly different heights such as 5 foot compared to 6 foot.

You want the top of the raised toilet seat to be at least to the crease of the users knee and not too tall that they cannot touch the floor when sitting down.

They come in different heights such as 2″, 3″, 3.5″ and 4″.

A good rule of thumb is to have them sit on a surface where their knees are just above 90 degrees with their feet flat on the floor.

Measure this height and then subtract the height of the toilet seat without the toilet seat cover. That is approximately the right height for your elderly parent’s elevated seat.

 

 

How it Fastens:

Make sure elevated seats fasten securely. The last thing you want is a tipsy unstable elevated seat.

Some raised seats have no securing tighteners. These still work on some toilets for some people.

They are not suitable for people with very poor balance and a tendency to “plop” down when sitting as the seat will sometimes slide slightly in place and can cause a fall.

I prefer the designs that secure to the inside of the bowl rather than try to grip the outside of the bowl. They are more secure and have less tendency to loosen over time.

 

 

Weight Capacity:

Most elevated seats come with a weight capacity. Check it will properly support your loved one.

 

 

 

How to Use a Raised Toilet Seat

 

Once you have found the right fit and the elevated seat is secure, your elderly parent can start using it right away.

 

  • They approach it like any sitting surface by backing up until they feel the toilet at the back of their legs.
  • Then they take off their pants and sit down, trying to spread equal weight as they sit.
  • Getting up is the same.

 

If extra support is needed, you can consider toilet safety rails or a bathroom grab bar beside the toilet to go with the elevated toilet seat. Or an alternative is a portable commode.

 

 

Recommended:  Essential Medical Supply Elevated Toilet Seat with Padded Removable Arms

Locking Raised Toilet Seat solves your needs for a riser that fits most commercially available toilets. 5″ rise make it easier to get on and off toilet. The elevated toilet seat is designed for users who cannot get all the way down to their existing toilets especially users with hip and knee replacements.

Molded construction supports up to 300lbs and features padded removable arms for travel or easy transfer. Seat will lock securely on bowl with out the use of tools and the need to remove the existing toilet seat. It allows for and allows for easy tool free removal for privacy. Large 10″ x 9″ hole allows for easy use.  No latex.

 

View raised toilet seat choices at Amazon.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Help Your Older Adult Move from Wheelchair to Toilet

Help Your Older Adult Move from Wheelchair to Toilet

 

 

 

Caregivers, save your back!

 

Since family caregivers don’t get formal training in safe lifting and transfer techniques, it’s easy to hurt yourself while helping others. These instructions will allow you to confidently help your older adult move from wheelchair to toilet while also saving yourself and the wheelchair user from injury.

 

Important Tip:

For Wheelchair Transfers involving a wheelchair and toilet. I recommend having a raised toilet seat with arms; a raised toilet seat with arms helps ease this type of wheelchair transfer because it helps the wheelchair user by giving them something to hold onto for support, this will allow the transfer to be made with extreme caution and safety.

http://www.oshatrain.org/courses/images/623/623_2_2_toilet_seat_riser.jpg

 

Instructions for proper transfer from wheelchair to toilet

 

1. Starting Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet

The wheelchair user should be currently sitting in a wheelchair, in a position where it is easy for them to transfer from the chair. When the user is ready, you should make sure that the brakes are engaged on both sides of the chair before attempting a transfer.

The wheelchair user should be currently sitting in a wheelchair, in a position where it is easy for them to transfer from the chair. When the user is ready, you should make sure that the brakes are engaged on both sides of the chair before attempting a transfer.

 

2. Removing Footrests & Clearing a Path To Transfer

The next step would be to remove any type of components of the chair that are in the way of an easy transfer. That would include footrests (if they are removable), leg rests, and/or any extra accessories or components that are removable. Some wheelchairs do not have the feature to remove the footrests, others allow you to “swing away” the footrests to the sides so that they are not in the way when attempting a transfer.

 

3. Caregiver Positioning & Precautions

You should be in the right position to attempt a wheelchair transfer. This means that if you are the caregiver, you should make sure that you are ready to support the user’s weight in case you need to assist them during the transfer.

The caregiver should also keep in mind which side of the user is their weak side; this allows you to know which side they are more likely to lean or fall over if that occurs.

The weak side of the user is determined by finding out which side they have a weakness in their extremities. This may include their arms & legs, depending on their current condition.

If you are able to determine their weak side, you can position yourself so that your knees are between their legs, ready to support the knee in case they need help. Your hands should be positioned so that you are ready to support their hip area as well.

 

4. Wheelchair User Shifting

The user should now be in position to lift from the chair. This means that they are positioned at the edge of the wheelchair seat with some minimal momentum building towards the front of the chair.

When they are at the edge of the seat, ask the user to ensure that their legs are level with the ground, and that their feet are positioned straight underneath the seat so that they are ready to stand up.

 

5. Standing & Transfer

When the user is in position and ready to stand, make sure that your hands are on their hip area. The user’s arms should be positioned on top of the armrests to provide stability and support.

Direct the user to lean towards the front of the chair, this will help the caretaker handle the weight of the user when they are assisting the person during a transfer.

The user should push themselves upward and out of the chair. Their arms positioned on the armrests, and their feet leveled with the ground, which will help ease the pressure of the transfer for both parties.

Once they are in a standing position in front of the chair, the caretaker should shift their positioning towards the opposite end of the user’s weak side (or their strong side). The toilet should be directly in front of the user when they are in a standing position after exiting the chair. They should face the front of the toilet, the user’s eyes should be facing the wall where the toilet is facing.

Once they are ready to sit down, assist them by providing limb and hip support, then you will want to instruct them to slowly step back until they are positioned to sit in the center of the toilet seat. While doing this step, the arms of the toilet should help the user by providing support, the user should place their hands on top of the arms of the toilet.

 

Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet Tips

  • Make sure you allow the user enough time to complete each step without having to struggle with their body weight.
  • If able, the user should be able to lift some of the weight of their body out of the chair during the transfer, to allow an easy transition.
  • You should always double check the brake mechanisms of the wheelchair before attempting a transfer.
  • Remember that some bathroom surfaces may be slippery when attempting a transfer, some may not provide enough support to enable a wheelchair transfer.

 

And that is how you can properly transfer a person out of their wheelchair and into their toilet.

If you are consistently having to transfer out of a wheelchair and onto a toilet, or from a wheelchair to , or any type of transfer, you should research information to buy a wheelchair that comes standard with flip back armrests, or removable armrests. This should help you and your caregiver to easily transfer in any type of situation.

  • Always protect your back by bending your knees instead of from your waist.
  • Consider using an inexpensive gait belt to help you safely support your older adult.
 

 

  • Ask your older adult to use the wheelchair or toilet seat arms for support rather than holding on to your shoulders.

 

  • If their legs are not strong, place your knees in front of theirs (called blocking) while they stand.
  • If one side is weaker than the other, stand on the weaker side for extra steadiness and support.

 

Go regularly to reduce accidents

It takes some preparation to help your older adult from wheelchair to toilet. To reduce the chance of an accident because it takes so long to get to the toilet, make regular trips to the bathroom to reduce urgency. Try after meals and every couple of hours. Don’t wait until your older adult says they need to go – by then the need might be too urgent.

 

Video below: an occupational therapist demonstrates a wheelchair to toilet transfer using a raised toilet seat with arms.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

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Find the Right Power Wheelchair

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About Me

Create Your Own Blog