Over 50% of all emergency room visits by the elderly are attributed to injuries. Of these, 80% happen in the bathroom.
Consequently, bathroom safety is of utmost importance when it comes to the elderly. As caregivers and guardians, we, therefore, need to look at solutions that can help reduce the likelihood of bathroom injuries.
One such feature is including a raised toilet seat in your bathroom.
Because seniors struggle with toileting due to reduced mobility and age-related medical conditions, elevating the toilet can make things easier for them.
You can choose to raise your current toilet seat to fit your needs or purchase a new one (see the best raised toilet seats for the seniors and the elderly).
And here’s how to get the best measurement for your needs.
Does Your Senior Need a Raised Toilet Seat?
Persons facing challenges with limited mobility, recovering from medical procedures, and having little to no lower body strength may choose to adopt a raised toilet seat. For example, you may be struggling to lower yourself to sit or even stand without assistance.
Other situations may be persons with knee or hip injuries, poor balance, low strength, and physically challenged individuals. A raised toilet seat may prove particularly useful for you.
Benefits of Using Raised Toilet Seats
Some of the benefits accrued from using a toilet seat include:
- Reduction in falls and injuries
- Added comfort when sitting or bending
- Easy to install, clean, and maintain
- Easily portable
- Helps maintain bathroom independence
We have already seen who the raised seat is for and the benefits it comes with. However, you may be asking which is the best toilet seat for the elderly.
Each person’s needs differ from the other, and thus it is important to find the right solution. Additionally, you may not be able to return your raised toilet seat in case it’s not the right fit for you due to very obvious reasons.
Before you make your purchase, there are a few things to consider.
Getting the Best Measurement for Elevated Toilet Seats for Seniors
1. Seat Type
There are two types of toilet seats to consider – rounded or elongated. The rounded seat is also known as the standard seat and is what is common in most homes.
In contrast, the elongated bowl has a significant oval shape to it. Knowing the type of your existing toilet seat will provide valuable information when you are ready to purchase your raised toilet seat.
A raised toilet seat should be able to support the weight of its user. Be sure to check the packaging or ask the manufacturer to provide details on how much weight your toilet seat can accommodate.
3. Seat Height
Depending on the model of the seat, you can expect an increase in the height of between 2” to 6”. The seat height is influenced by how strong you are, your height, and how easily you can maintain your balance.
To get the best fit, take the following measurements to find the best toilet seat height for an elderly person:
- Measure the distance from your knee to the floor of the toilet.
- Measure the height of your toilet seat from the floor upwards.
- Subtract the measurement of the toilet’s height from the measurement of your knees. The difference is the height of the raised toilet seat to be purchased.
You may want to consider added features of the raised toilet seat as this will contribute to your comfort. Here’s a simple guide to consider.
Additional Features To Look For
1. Seat Padding
Padded seats offer that extra bit of comfort while being used. They also offer much-needed relief to individuals with arthritis or pressure sores.
2. Seat Handles
If you are experiencing trouble with lowering yourself onto the toilet due to back problems or low body strength, handles may come in handy.
These toilet seats come with arms attached to assist with standing or sitting. Additionally, some models may include arms that adjust in width to accommodate individuals with wider body frames.
3. Seat Portability
There is no reason why you should only experience the safety and comfort a raised toilet seat offers in your own home only.
Therefore, you may want to consider a seat that is easy to remove and use in other environments. In addition, take into account a portable seat that can apply to both rounded and elongated toilets.
Like every other item in your house, you need to be able to clean your toilet seat easily. Raised toilet seats that are easy to install and remove allow for easy cleaning that saves time for caregivers.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Safety in the bathroom is paramount given the high number of accidents that occur there amongst the elderly. Fortunately, raised toilet seats are a safe way to improve bathroom safety while toileting.
A simple solution such as a raised toilet offers relief and comfort for people with mobility challenges. To choose the best toilet seat, however, establish the measurements needed beforehand!