Every week we take a look at a specific assistive device and all the options available. This week we're taking a look at elevated/raised toilet seats. To explore our other posts about assitive devices, see the links below:
It's something that you may never have thought about, but if you're living with an older relative who has trouble sitting down and standing up, a raised toilet seat could be a big help. Raised (or elevated) toilet seats reduce the distance that a person has to move when they sit down on the toilet. By raising the toilet seat just a few inches, it can make a world of difference for someone who finds it difficult to sit and stand from the toilet.
There are a wide variety of types when it comes to raised toilet seats and we want to make sure that if you're considering purchasing a raised toilet seat, you select the right one for your need. The following are a list of important questions that you should ask before purchasing an elevated toilet seat.
Features! Features! Features?
Raised toilet seats come with a variety of features but which ones do you need? Features can include:
- Support arms (removable or permanent)
If your relative needs to put weight on something when they stand up or sit down, support arms are a must. They can provide that extra stability and extra peace of mind.
- A clamping mechanism
Some raised toilet seats have a clamp on mechanism that makes them easier to add and remove.
- Slip resistant pads
Extra safety is never a bad thing and slip resistent pads on the toilet seat can make it a little bit safer for the person using it.
- Slip in brackets (for those with leg or knee injuries)
If the person using the raised toilet seat has a leg or hip injury and needs an extended hip position when sitting down, a slip in bracket is a good option. They are curved with a dip in one side to allow easier access. The above is an ablewear toilet seat from Patterson Medical.
What shape of toilet will the seat be used on?
A quick and easy question but it can often be overlooked. You have to make sure that your toilet seat is the same size as your toilet bowl. There are two standard types of toilet seats, round front (roughly 16.5" long) and elongated (roughly 18.5" long). It's easy to tell just by looking at your toilet seat, but make sure you know the type of toilet you have before heading to the store.
It's also important to take into account the space in your bathroom. If your toilet is wedged between the sink and the shower, it might not have enough space ot accomodate a wider raised toilet seat.
What size should the raised toilet seat be?
This depends on the height and mobility of the person using it. Raised toilets seats can range from 2 to 6 inches above the original seat height. There are also a variety of wider options than regular toilet seats. Consider the height, mobility and comfort level of the person using the raised toilet seat before selecting a size. It's also possible to get toilet seats with adjustable heights and widths, if you're not sure which size to get.
How does it look?
Now that we've talked about the practical aspects of raised toilet seats, let's talk about the look. Support handles and nondetachable raised toilet seats can look bulky and out of place in the bathroom. It's not the most important thing, but think about easily removable options if you're worried about style.
If you're looking to make bathroom trips easier for your older relative and their caregiver, consider our tips and head out and get a raised toilet seat. If you have more questions about raised toilet seats or more tips on how to provide an elderly relative with the proper care, contact us at Qualicare.