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Toileting Aids for the Elderly

Special toileting equipment can play an important part of life in old age. There are many pieces of equipment which can help when toileting without assistance becomes difficult. These include items for the bathroom itself, along with products for the bedroom or elsewhere in the home.

Commodes and Urinals

The commode chair is a crucial piece of kit for those who might struggle to reach the bathroom unaided. Using one means they can use the toilet without making a journey from the bedroom.

These are really moveable toilets which do not flush but require manual emptying. For those with major mobility difficulties, this equipment is a key part of day-to-day life.

There are many styles available, but most have the common feature of a removable toilet bowel. This makes it easy to clean after use. Some commodes have wheels so they are easy to move next to the person’s bed, for instance.

Usually they feature wipe-clean surfaces which can be easily cleaned and disinfected. This is important for the control of germs.

Some commodes have discreet designs which help them to blend in with the room. Wicker or solid wood frames are a common choice, although these tend to be more expensive.

Cheaper models of commode chair are on the market, made with plastic and metal. Aluminum is ideal, as it is not prone to rust. Frames made of steel are less popular as they are heavy and corrosive.

Wheeled shower chairs which double as commodes are also available. These can be self-propelled or attendant-propelled. These chairs are suitable for wet rooms if required and are made of non-corrosive materials.

A bed-bound person may need to use bed pans or portable urinals. In these cases, the individual will need their carer to dispose of the waste. Traditional ‘tray’ pans are still popular, often with lids. In order to reduce spillages, urinal bottles have wide necks and clip-on lids.

Bed pads and other incontinence products are widely available online. Bed pads have an absorbent core material which soaks up liquid. A less absorbent outer layer protects the person’s body from coming into contact with the moisture.

Most modern bed pads are disposable, but high-quality machine washable pads are also available.

Toileting Equipment in the Bathroom

There are numerous aids which make it easier to use the toilet for people with mobility difficulties. After certain operations, a patient may struggle to sit down and stand up from the toilet.

Wall-mounted grab rails next to the WC may help provide support. Free-standing toilet rails also do a similar job. If neither of these is available, a raised toilet seat might be the best option.

These fit to the toilet, increasing the height of the seat. This means there is less distance for the user to travel from the standing position to sitting down. An increase in height of just a few centimetres could transform the usability of the toilet.

These special seats attach to a conventional toilet in different ways. Most have screw-on clamps which lock securely in place. Safe fitting is vital to rule-out the chance of accidents.

A raised toilet seat is made of either soft or harder synthetic material. The hard rigid models create the most stable surface on which to sit. Most people find these the most reassuring to use.

Very elderly people whose skin is prone to breaking may prefer a softer sitting surface. A padded raised toilet seat might be the best option. These usually attach to an existing toilet seat using Velcro straps.

All seats designed to provide a raised sitting height are generally easy to clean. Regular disinfection is necessary for these products.

Panic or Emergency Alarms

Fitting a panic button near the toilet adds an extra safety feature. An elderly person slipping from a toilet could be seriously hurt. The injury may render them immobile and unable to raise the alarm if they live alone.

Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.

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