Going to the bathroom can be dangerous for the elderly. There is a real risk of falling and getting up from a seated position may be difficult without help. Luckily, toilet safety rails provide support and stability when standing and sitting. If you would like to know more about toilet safety rails, keep reading.
What Are Toilet Safety Rails?
A toilet safety rail is a strong, secure rail installed on or around the toilet to provide better support when you use the toilet. It is typically made from metal, making it strong enough to support a lot of weight. This is great because a lot of seniors have balance issues.
Many people, especially seniors, have a hard time carefully sitting down without help. Arthritis in the knees/hips and/or muscle weakness causes limited mobility and makes it hard to safely sit down. This increases the risk of injury, but safety rails give you something to hold on to while you sit, so you don’t lose your balance and fall over or slip off the toilet.
Similarly, many seniors struggle to stand when their hips are level with or lower than their knees. Unfortunately, this can make going to the bathroom difficult or painful, and you may fear you’ll get trapped on the toilet. Toilet safety rails provide better support by allowing you to use your arms to help stand.
Types of Toilet Safety Rails
Many types of toilet safety rails exist, so finding the right one for you may take a little legwork. Some toilet safety rails attach directly to the toilet, but others attach to the wall/floor. Some attach to the toilet but also have legs for better support.
A fully legless toilet rail is only connected to the toilet. These are incredibly easy to install (typically removing the toilet seat to attach the rail), but they are not as strong as many other options because they only use the toilet for support and stability, so they may not be good for obese patients. Instead, this patient would do better with a toilet rail that attaches to the toilet and has legs that extend to the floor.
A toilet seat riser with handles is another option to consider. They provide handles to help you stand/sit, but they also lift the toilet seat, so you sit higher. This keeps your hips above your knees, making it easier to get up. Similarly, you could put a commode over the toilet. This will also provide handles and a higher seat.
Freestanding toilet rails are not attached to anything. Like a walker or commode, they can be easily moved when someone else needs to use the toilet. However, this means they are less stable than secured options. Many types of toilet safety rails attach to the wall, and others attach to the floor.
Best Brands and Models of Toilet Safety Rails
There are many brands and models of toilet safety rails, but some are better than others. A popular favorite free standing toilet safety rail is the Vive Health Stand Alone Toilet Rail. It has high arm rails, and it sits on the floor. With two long horizontal bars on the floor, it is a secure choice. As an added benefit, it includes a magazine holder.
If you prefer rails that attach to the toilet seat, consider the Moen Home Care Glacier Toilet Safety Bar or the Vive Toilet Safety Frame. The Moen model has lower handrails, making it better for people who only need a little support. The Vive model has higher rails, making it better for people who really struggle to stand.
If you want more support, however, you’ll need a model that uses the floor for support too. Some great models include the Medline Toilet Safety Rail, Lumex Versaframe Toilet Safety Rail, Vive Health Toilet Safety Rail, and the Carex Toilet Safety Frame. These all attach to the toilet but have front legs that extend to the floor.
The Raised Toilet Seat by Vive is another great option. This is excellent if you also want a higher seat to make it easier to get up. The handles are pretty large, making them easy to use. It fits most toilets, and you don’t usually have to remove the original toilet seat.
Where to Buy Toilet Safety Rails
You can buy toilet seats in person or online. In person, you’ll need to find a medical device retailer. They sell all kinds of safety and medical devices. Depending on the type you choose, you may be able to find some at home improvement stores and pharmacies. Online, however, you have many more options, such as Amazon, which can save you a lot of money.
Toilet safety rails can be just what you need to make life easier. They come in many options, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. If you need more support, one that sits on the floor or attached to the floor/wall is best. If you would like to know more, start looking for a toilet safety rail today.
How to Choose Toilet Safety Rails
Since there are so many different toilet safety rails, you can find some that have great features and some that lack features you want. One of the most important features is a non-slip exterior. Some toilet safety rails have a soft foam covering, but others may have a rough exterior that gives your hand traction like a tire on the road.
Depending on your living situation, you may also want to be able to get rid of the rails for other people. For example, flip up and flip down grab bars have a hinge, so you can flip them down when not in use. Similarly, a pivoting toilet rail swings sideways and adjusts to many heights.
Don’t forget to consider the weight your toilet safety rail can support. If you’re obese or particularly unsteady on your feet, you probably want a stationary railing that is secured to the floor or wall. Another risk if you are unsteady on your feet are tripping hazards. Some toilet rails have bars or footrests that sit in front of the toilet, but this can become an obstacle that is hard for those with limited ability to avoid.