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Toilet seat feedback welcome!

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,827
south-east London
When my husband was diagnosed with dementia in 2012, one of the first things I did was fit a bright red toilet seat to the loo bowl.

It has served its purpose very well and my husband has been able to maintain his independence in going to the loo under his own steam for the most part (but occasionally needing someone with him to remind him what to do, depending on how tired he might be feeling at the time).

However, I now see a new obstacle starting to raise its head in that he is beginning to find the toilet too low and he starts to panic the lower he bends in an effort to make contact!

Now, here is my problem. I know that raised toilet seats (including red ones) are available. However, there are four adults in our family home and I am not sure how suitable these might be for overall family use.

My husband sits down for everything, my son doesn't. I am frightened of buying something which may be an obstacle to my son - or indeed to visitors to our home.

Preferably I'd like something permanently fitted so someone doesn't have to be with my husband to put a raised seat on every time he needs the loo, and then whisk it off again for normal use.

The toilet room is tiny - literally just room for the loo and a bit of leg space (the sink and bath/shower is in an adjacent bathroom. Because of the space restrictions I am limited on being able to use handrails or frames which fit around the loo (the frames would probably jut out too far and block the door opening).

I am now a blank page on which to add ideas!

Has anyone had a similar problem? I'd love to know how it was resolved, whether here or private.

Thanks for any input :)
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,756
England
My sister-in- law requires a raised seat as she has a major hip problem. When visiting I have never had a problem sitting on the seat. She has a small hand pull on the wall to the right of the toilet to assist her when standing. It is just a raised seat, not frame work at all. My brother has no problems with the seat either.
 

Essie

Registered User
Feb 11, 2015
563
Hi Lynne have you thought about replacing the whole toilet with a new 'disabled friendly' one that has a higher pan - there are many out there I'm sure but these are links to a couple of websites that stock them -

http://www.bigbathroomshop.co.uk/Toilets_and_Basins/Toilets/Comfort_Height_Toilets/White_Disabled_Comfort_Height_Doc_M_WC_Toilet_and_Cistern/cid9266pr85123.html

http://aquabliss.co.uk/toilets-basins/bathroom-cloakroom-toilets/comfort-height?gclid=CKq8oZ7lnMoCFUeVGwodCygKEQ

They are termed 'comfort height' toilets and have pans that are 450-485mm high as opposed to a standard loo that has a pan of about 385mm height so you could potentially gain as much as 10cm and it would still be, for all users, a standard toilet.

Re the rails there are again so many sites out there that sell them but I find this one has a really good range so there may be something there that is slim enough to suit your limited space

http://www.essentialaids.com/mobility/grab-rails-grabrails.html

Incidentally we had a similar set up and about a year ago decided to knock through and combine loo and bathroom and it has been fantastic, before both rooms were only just big enough for purpose but now the space feels so much better - room to move around, light and airy, my partner said it would be 'better than the sum of it parts' (ie two very small rooms) and it really is so if you have been considering that I would definitely recommend it.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,633
Kent
I had grab rails installed by the side of the toilet. They are permanent fixtures now, even though not needed, because if they are removed they will leave holes in the tiles. However it is a small price to pay because Dhiren felt strange with a raised toilet seat and the toilet frame was impractical in our very small toilet.

I think it really is trial and error to see which suits the individual best.

PS. A couple of my friends with arthritic hips are very grateful for the grab rails when they come to visit.
 

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
482
Essex
The Bath Store sell a taller than standard toilet in their compact range. My Dad had it installed after having a hip replacement (he had been using a raised toilet seat up to then).
 

Selinacroft

Registered User
Oct 10, 2015
936
Have you had an OT assessment? They are experts at knowing both what is available and what will fit and be practical in the available space.
Dad tried a raised toilet seat and got in a terrible mess with it (quite literally!) so it was quickly abandoned and he gets on well with an over the toilet frame. More recently he has had grab rails fitted by OT in several strategic places en route to the bathroom.
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
My son who is disabled and 6ft 7ins tall, has a toilet seat that is around 3 to 4 inches deep and sits inside the toilet with the normal seat raised.
It doesn't work with a seat with a lid though so I always have to remove the lid part if I can't source a lidless seat.

It sits in the shower cubicle in between uses and just pops on the loo when needed.

It's a b*gger to clean though.
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,827
south-east London
Wow, thank you everyone for your feedback and help with this. It's certainly given me the kind of detail I need in order to work out what will work best.

Essie, yes I have pondered on having the loo and bathroom knocked through into one. I think if it was just the two of us here I would go down that route. However, with four of us in the house it is quite a relief at times to have the two separate. The alternative would be like going back to my childhood home where you could always guarantee that someone would be hammering on the door to use the loo the second you got into the bath!

Also, I would be a bit worried about having all that noise caused by walls being knocked down - my husband doesn't do well around noisy environments these days. I haven't totally ruled it out though.

The raised toilet seats sound like they can get quite messy, I'd like to try and avoid that, I hate making extra work for myself :D

I think it will have be grip rails or a toilet frame for support (if I can find a frame of suitable size).

Nitram, thanks for the link to the folding grip rails - that might be the answer.

Another answer might be to get someone to change the direction of the way the toilet door opens - it might then be possible to fit toilet frame in.

There's lots to think about for sure. I've never had an assessment done by the OT though, now my husband is struggling a bit more, maybe the time is right. I had a stair rail fitted last year as well as grab rails in the bathroom, but that was something I arranged myself rather than the OT.

As it happens I am going to a carers' conference on Friday. It might be a good opportunity for me to find out who can do what etc. I'll hold fire until I have attended that before I decide on anything

Thanks again all, your input has been a great help - as always! :) xxxx
 
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Lilac Blossom

Registered User
Oct 6, 2014
556
Scotland
We had a Mowbrey toilet seat and frame supplied by hospital OT when hubby was coming home a few years ago.

It doesn't take up excess space, is very simple, no work involved installing. We leave it in place all the time and it doesn't bother anyone but it is easy to remove as it is not fixed to anything.

I'm not much good at posting links but if you search Mowbrey toilet seat and frame you can find full description, prices, etc.

It might be a good idea to speak to SS or District Nurses as they confirm what would be best for your OH.
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,827
south-east London
Just an update - I had a visit from Staying Put today and after going through the various options and seeing the limited space in our loo, it was agreed that grab rails would work best.

Amazingly the Staying Put handyman had a spare half hour on his hands and equipment in his van so, not only did we discuss the options - but everything was fitted before he left, which was great, as it saved me from having to make another appointment next week.

Of course, having spent the last couple of weeks struggling to get on and off the loo, my husband managed perfectly well once the new rails were fitted - even though he didn't use them!