Up to 80% of falls in the house happen in the bathroom, making it a dangerous place for seniors.
A toilet safety rail is a great way to reduce the risk of slips and falls in the bathroom.
In this article, we will explore what toilet safety rails are, their benefits, and tips to use them safely for seniors and the elderly.
You can see my list of the best toilet safety rails in this guide.
What is a Toilet Safety Rail (and How Does it Help)?
Toilet safety rails are devices that assist the user in helping to lower onto or raising themselves from a toilet.
They come in handy when a toilet is either too low or when the user is having trouble supporting their weight when using the toilet. They also assist individuals with poor balance or weak joints.
Tip 1: Install Toilet Safety Rails Correctly
Safely using toilet safety rails starts with the installation. Ensure that the rails are installed properly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you feel uneasy about this, many plumbers will install bathroom safety products for you.
Here is the general installation process.
Step 1: Assemble the Kit
The toilet safety rails kit has a mounting bracket attached to the back of the toilet. The bracket includes pre-drilled holes that will bolt onto the toilet seat and the rail system.
Afterward, attach the two rail ends to the bracket while adjusting the height to a suitable fit.
Step 2: Remove the Toilet Seat
The toilet seat is fastened to the toilet using simple bolts. Simply unfasten the bolts, and the toilet seat detaches from the toilet bowl.
Step 3: Install Bracket and Safety Rails onto the Toilet
After fitting the toilet rails onto the mounting bracket, place the bracket onto the holes where the toilet seat was previously attached. Proceed to fasten the bracket securely onto the toilet bowl.
Step 4: Adjust Rail Height
Depending on the user’s height, the toilet safety rail legs can be adjusted using the pin clicking mechanism. Toilets already fitted with a raised toilet seat should have a lower-based adjustment.
Step 5: Re-Install Toilet Seat
The toilet seat attaches back to the toilet through the bracket. Simply align the holes for the toilet seat with the bracket and refit the toilet seat onto the toilet.
How to Use the Toilet Safety Rails – 9 Tips
Before Using the Rail:
1. Ensure that the safety rails are firmly secured and not damaged in any way. Ensure there is no wiggle or wobble when you put your weight on them.
2. Adjust the rail height to meet the user’s needs (from 26 to 31 inches).
3. If you’re using a free-standing safety rail, lift the toilet seat first, and install the rail while ensuring toilet paper is within reach.
4. Ensure the person using the seat can feel the toilet seat behind their knees while holding the rail.
While Using the Rail:
5. Allow the user to rest their arms with even pressure onto the rails to prevent imbalance.
6. The user can bend forward gently before lowering themselves onto the seat.
7. After usage, the user should place both hands firmly onto the rails, plant both feet firmly onto the ground and lift themselves. Caregivers can assist persons with improper balance by placing their hands on their backs.
8. When assisting someone, ensure that they don’t hug or hold onto your neck as this may lead to both parties falling.
9. Maintain the safety rails by regularly wiping and ensuring the hinges under the seat are clean and dry. When rust appears, it is time to replace the unit.
Final Thoughts: Toilet Safety Rails for Seniors
Toileting assistance for seniors comes with its fair share of challenges. Nevertheless, the elderly need to live with dignity and independence, and toilet safety rails are one way of doing this.
This guide can help your loved one use toilet safety rails appropriately!