Choosing the Right Bathroom Safety Product For Your Toilet

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Contributor-Icons_Ryan-HoweSo you have come to the realization that you need a toilet safety product installed to ease bathroom access or help prevent a fall. Great choice! Studies show that more than 234,000 injuries related to bathroom incidents are reported in the Emergency Room each year.

Many risks increase with age. You are three times more likely to be injured in the bathroom if you are aged sixty-five years or older than sixty-five years or younger.

14% of bathroom injuries reported to emergency rooms are related to standing up from or sitting down on a toilet.

 

There are several product choices, so which one is best for you? The answer is … it depends! Your physician, who knows your particular needs and condition, would be the best person to consult, but here is a guide to the types of products with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Raised Toilet Seats

Lumex® Raised Toilet Seats are designed to provide additional height, usually 3 to 4 inches, to the existing toilet seat. This doesn’t sound like very much, but as muscle loss in your legs occurs as part of the natural aging process, that additional height can make standing or sitting much easier. Additionally, maintaining balance is often more difficult due to aging or medications.

Most raised toilet seats have a locking mechanism that secures the seat to the toilet bowl. We recommend this, because the raised toilet seat will stay put better and move around less during toileting.

Pros:
  • Adds 3 to 4 inches of height to make sitting and standing easier
  • Some versions come with arms to assist with balance while sitting or standing
  • Some have locking mechanisms that hold the seat in place during toileting
Cons:
  • They can make cleaning the toilet more difficult because you have more surface area to clean
  • You cannot close the toilet lid because your toilet seat and lid must be in the upright position when raised toilet seats are installed

Toilet Seat Risers

Much like the Raised Toilet Seat, the Lumex Toilet Seat Riser adds 3 to 4 inches of height.

However, The Toilet Seat Risers are more stable because they are physically attached to the toilet using the seat screws.

Pros:
  • Adds 3 to 4 inches height to make sitting and standing easier
  • The toilet seat and lid can be closed, unlike a traditional Raised Toilet Seat
  • You sit on the toilet seat that came with your toilet rather than sitting directly on the Raised Toilet Seat
  • Physically attaches to toilet with screws, making it more stable than a traditional Raised Toilet Seat
  • Some versions come with arm rails to assist with balance while sitting or standing
Cons:
  • They can make cleaning the toilet more difficult because you have more surface area to clean

Toilet Safety Rails

Lumex Toilet Safety Rails are attached to the toilet seat and designed to provide handles to grab to assist with balance while sitting on or standing from a toilet.

Toilet Safety Rails do not add any height to the toilet seat, so you may need to use more arm strength than leg muscles to assist you.

Pros:
  • Have rails to grab and assist with balance while sitting or standing
  • Rails are height-adjustable to accommodate different user heights
  • Physically attaches to toilet with screws, providing more stability
Cons:
  • Does not add any height to toilet, so it is not recommended if you are experiencing leg muscle atrophy

Grab Bars

Most people think of a grab bar being installed in a shower or tub.

However, a Lumex grab bar installed next to a toilet can serve the same purpose as the Toilet Safety Rail.

Pros:
  • Physically attaches to a wall and therefore is a very sturdy and stable hand rail to assist with sitting on or standing from a toilet
Cons:
  • Does not work with all bathrooms. The toilet has to have at least one wall on the side of the toilet, and the wall needs to be the right distance from the toilet to ensure that grabbing the bar is comfortable
  • It is more of a permanent installation than a Toilet Safety Rail
  • Installation is more difficult. We recommend that it be installed by someone that is knowledgeable about wall construction in order to make sure the product is mounted to at least one wall stud

Another thing to consider — who will be using the toilet?

If you are sharing a toilet room with a spouse or others, they may not need or want a product installed on or near the toilet. For example, installing a raised toilet seat may assist one person, but create a danger for the spouse by making the seat so high that the spouse’s feet don’t touch the ground. In this case, you may need to compromise and install a toilet safety rail or grab bar instead.

If you are still having difficulty deciding which Lumex toilet safety product is best for you, consult your physician or a local homecare dealer.

 

Sources:

CDC – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR); June 10, 2011 / 60(22); 729-733:
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6022a1.htm

Contact us for more ideas and advice.

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Ryan Howe is Product Manager at Graham-Field.

About GF Health Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700. © 2017, GF Health Products, Inc., all rights reserved.

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