Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gotta Go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now

We're rounding out bathroom safety today. Obviously grab bars around the toilet are helpful, but some bathrooms are just not set up for that, if there's a tub on one side and a pedestal sink on the other side, so then what do you do?

You add something called a versa-frame. You can see here that this item is just an aluminum frame that fits to the existing toilet. The legs can be raised or lowered, and this provides arms the person can use to help push up from the toilet. This item costs around $50, but I've never seen them at a big box store. You'll have to order it online or get it at a medical equipment company.

Most toilets are low, sitting only about 15" from the floor, making it difficult to get up if you have a bum knee or hip. Replacing your toilet with a 17" model is one option, but an expensive option. You can get a toilet for around $115, but if you don't know how to install it yourself, you'll have to pay a plumber for the installation. One option is to add a toilet seat riser. This particular model locks (don't ask me how), and can also be purchased with arms. Not always the most stable option, and can be problematic if there's a man in the house. But at $50, it's less expensive than replacing the toilet.

For a lot of situations, a bedside commode is a solution. If a person can't walk to the bathroom, a bedside commode can be placed wherever the person needs it. The bucket is removable for ease of emptying. The bedside commode can also be used over the toilet. In this photo the bucket is removed, and the splash guard is left in place, so this could then be placed over the toilet. Then, if needed, the bucket can be replaced and the bedside commode placed by the bed at night. Bedside commodes come in wider widths than the one pictured here for wider people. There is still some Medicare coverage for bedside commodes, so be sure to check with your medical equipment provider for details. If you pay out of pocket, cost will be $150-200, depending on the type.

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