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Toilets, or rather going to the toilet is a large part of everyday (and night) life, but something so simple as going to the toilet, which we all take for granted can cause major problems for the elderly or people who suffer from mobility problems. In order for them to retain their dignity and “go it alone” for as long as possible, there are some minor and major adjustments which we can make to their environment. This doesn’t only apply to elderly people though, people recovering from accidents or surgery can also have problems which affect their toileting.
Bathroom Rugs – can trip people or slide when you stand on them, so remove all rugs from around the bathroom (except the non slip type) and in the hallway or landing outside the bathroom. In fact, make sure that the person has a clear route.
Handrails – are a great idea for helping people to lower themselves or raise themselves from the toilet. They need to be well positioned, and do use proper hand or grab rails, towel rails are not strong enough to support a person if they lose balance and can cause more harm than good.
Raised toilet seats – mean that the person doesn’t have to raise or lower themselves quite so far. There are different styles to choose from and really can make a big difference.
Lights – darkness can be disorienting to some people, so think about placing a night light on the bathroom route to make it easier and safer.
Call Systems – are a good idea if are dealing with an elderly person who is likely to get themselves into a spot of bother in the bathroom. A buzzer or bell can make the whole episode more manageable when needed.