Although everyone’s needs are different, toilet frames generally help make the bathroom safer and ensure users can retain their independence and dignity.
What is a Toilet Frame?
Generally made from coated metal, toilet frames are designed to assist with sitting and standing and fit onto or around a toilet. As such, they must be strong enough handle the users’ weight. They can be either free-standing or permanently fixed to the floor or wall. Some toilet frames also include a built-in toilet seat. Toilet frames offer support on both sides of the toilet.
What is a Toilet Support Rail?
Similar to toilet frames, toilet support rails are designed to support the user while sitting down or rising up from the toilet. Typically, toilet support rails are placed on only one side of the toilet. Rails can be attached to either the wall or the floor and frequently fold up out of the way when not in use.
One-Sided or Two-Sided?
Two-sided toilet supports are ideal for users who have weak, stiff, or aching joints from conditions such as arthritis or injury. They’re also the logical choice for people with balance issues. However, if the user is stronger on one side than the other or often uses a wheelchair, a one-sided support system may make more sense.
Temporary or Permanent?
The decision whether to use a temporary solution or a permanent one largely depends on lifestyle. If the patients using the toilet frame or rails lives with others or has frequent visitors, a free-standing frame with non-slip feet that can be removed by other uses makes sense. Also, toilet rails that fold away when not in use work as a temporary solution. However, if the patient normally lives alone and minimizing falls is a concern, a fixed frame or rail may make more sense.
Wall-Mounted or Floor-Mounted?
Although wall-mounted rails typically take up less space, not all walls are strong enough to properly support the users weight safely. Therefore, it’s often a smarter choice to use a floor-mounted system that can be screwed into the timber or concrete.
The user’s height is a factor in selecting the proper toilet support system. Find one that is height adjustable to ensure short or tall users get the best fit. In addition, extra-wide and width adjustable systems are available. Hygiene, of course, is a key factor, so ease of cleaning must be a consideration. Look for joints that are free from gaps or divots as well as easy to clean arms. Although padded arms can be more comfortable, they can be more difficult for weak or small hands to grip and may also be harder to clean.