When it comes to adapting your toilet for better safety and comfort, there are a number of options. Some aren’t even too expensive or complicated. Others a little more involved but provide the user with extra independence and some peace of mind.
The following article will discuss six of the best ways to adapt your toilet, from height adjustments to transfer boards, to help you achieve the ideal bathroom setup.
1) Add Some Height
Let’s start with the cheapest and least complicated option: adding some height to your toilet seat. If someone in your household is having difficulty transferring onto or off of the toilet due to physical limitations (they may be elderly or have a medical condition like arthritis), this is a perfectly easy way to make the process easier.
To raise your toilet seat, you’ll need to elevate both sides of your existing toilet (the part that rests on top of the floor). The simplest solution for this is to place one or two risers underneath each side. These are usually made out of hard plastic and can be bought at any hardware store very cheaply. You can also buy more decorative risers or cushions if you wish to make the change less noticeable.
You will want to make sure that your risers are tall enough, otherwise they won’t provide sufficient elevation for an easier time getting on and off of the toilet. To do this, place a piece of wood or thick book underneath the existing seat. Then place another piece on top of that one to use as a reference point for how much your riser should elevate the seat.
Now simply add your risers beneath the toilet in their designated spots, and you’re done! If you want, you can make adjustments based on personal preference, but it’s important to make sure the seat is elevated high enough. When changing your toilet height, it’s also a good idea to measure the distance between the floor and your old seat (both of which should be at the same level). This will help you know how much more elevation is needed for any future changes.
2) Add Some Comfort (& Transfer Boards)
If you don’t want to make any drastic changes to your bathroom, simply adding a toilet seat raiser and risers can go a long way. But if it’s something more than just an elevation issue that needs attention, another option is installing transfer boards underneath the existing toilet seat. These boards allow any user to transfer from their wheelchair or walker to the toilet without disrupting their balance or damaging your floor.
The user should be seated on the second board while getting off of their wheelchair and onto the first board, which is already underneath the toilet seat. Then they can simply transfer over to the actual toilet and sit down. It’s a fairly simple process (hence why it’s a great option if you can’t remodel your entire bathroom).
One thing to note is that a transfer board won’t provide much in terms of safety or comfort for anyone who needs even more assistance. You’ll either need to install a grab bar near the toilet, or make further adjustments (i.e., adding risers and a no-slip mat).
3) Improve Your Toilet Seat Comfort
If you’re happy with the height of your existing toilet, but it’s just not comfortable to use, another popular option is switching out the standard seat for a padded one. These seats are often very inexpensive (if not included with other items in a multi-buy purchase), and are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Many padded toilet seats are designed to be universal (so they can fit any standard-sized toilet). They also come with elastic straps that attach them to the underside of your existing seat. This provides added security so it doesn’t move or slip out from underneath you when you sit down.
4) Improve Your Toilet Seat Security
If you’re constantly finding yourself pushing down on your toilet seat to make sure it doesn’t slip, or slamming down the seat shut when you’re finished using it, one final option is investing in a new locking mechanism. This will provide additional support for anyone who needs even more stability during the transfer process.
There are a few different types of locking mechanisms, all of which work in different ways. Some will lock at the handle while others have clamps that provide added security when the user closes the seat lid. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to make sure your locking mechanism provides adequate strength for everyone who uses the toilet.
5) Try A Handheld Bidet For Extra Comfort
If you want to expand beyond just standard tools for toileting, another option is using a handheld bidet. This device sprays water onto your bottom while seated on the toilet, so it can act as an alternative to thorough cleaning with TP. It’s already the most common form of cleaning in many European countries, and it can also be used to clean up any messes or accidents that may occur after using the toilet.
The best part about a handheld bidet is that it doesn’t require any installation—you just hold it underneath your bottom while you’re seated on the toilet. You can find many different types available at home improvement stores, but they’re also very affordable to purchase online.
6) Review The Toilet Seat Height Standard
Before making any changes to your current toilet seat, it’s important to review the standard height requirements. This information will tell you where your seat needs to be placed in reference to the floor (and why). The standard dimensions are as follows:
The lid of the toilet seat should be between 17 and 19 inches above the floor.
If your current toilet seat is too high or too low, that’s perfectly okay—just keep in mind that it may make it more difficult for everyone to transfer from the toilet. For example, if your current seat is too high, you’ll need to bend over further than usual so you can reach it safely and comfortably.
If the front edge of your seat is too close to the floor or flush against it, this may also cause problems when transferring (i.e., you won’t have enough room to place your feet when pushing down on the seat).
7) Review Your Toilet Seat Riser Options
No matter what type of toilet you have, there are likely at least a few options available for purchasing an adjustable or elevated toilet seat. Even if they seem expensive, it’s important to remember that the cost of installing all of these tools is much cheaper than paying for a home medical equipment rental.
If you have a standard-sized toilet, your best bet is purchasing a raised toilet seat riser to help you transfer onto the toilet more easily. These can either attach directly underneath your existing seat or be placed over it. They’re commonly available in one- to three-inch heights, with larger risers providing more security and stability during the transfer process. If you have a smaller toilet or are not confident with your balance, it’s best to use the smallest riser possible.
If you have a very large or extra-wide seat on your toilet, however, this may cause problems when seating multiple family members at once. In this case, it’s best to purchase a raised toilet seat riser that can attach to the wall behind your toilet instead. This will allow you and other household members to be seated at the same time, without feeling too cramped.
8) Purchase A Toilet Seat Riser With Additional Features
If you’re still uncomfortable using your current toilet, it’s important to purchase a raised toilet seat riser that has more features than just the elevated seat itself. Some of these include:
Locks for added security.
Cup holders and/or storage compartments.
Support bars for users who need extra help getting onto or off of the toilet (they’re essentially like mini-staircases).
For individuals who are simply looking for added comfort or support during the transfer process, consider purchasing a raised toilet seat with armrests. These come in many different styles and can provide extra assistance with transfers, especially if you’re having issues with your upper body strength, balance, or stability.
9) Install A Raised Toilet Seat Riser Or Transfer Bench
No matter which type of raised toilet seat riser or transfer bench you’ve decided to purchase, it’s important to install it properly. Some tools come with detailed instructions that are easy to follow, while others will simply require a basic level of knowledge regarding how to use your drill and screwdriver.
Depending on where you’d like to place your raised toilet seat riser or transfer bench, the needed installation process will vary. Some units come with suction cups that can be attached to the floor or wall for added stability. Conversely, others use adhesive tape instead for this same purpose.
Regardless of which type you own, it’s important to take the time to properly install it before using it. This means making sure that it doesn’t wobble back and forth when someone is seated on the toilet, which could cause injury or accidents if proper precautions aren’t taken beforehand.
10) Maintain Your Raised Toilet Seat Riser Or Transfer Bench
No matter how expensive your raised toilet seat riser or transfer bench is, it will quickly become useless if you don’t clean and maintain it regularly. Some models may use suction cups to hold the elevated seat in place, which can build up with debris over time and lose their effectiveness at holding the unit still.
In order to provide optimal functionality as well as comfort, take the time to wipe down the suction cups with a damp paper towel and disinfectant spray at least once per week. If they seem dirty or grimy in any way, it’s best to replace them entirely with new ones in order to ensure optimal hygiene and safety.
This process may also apply to other models that use adhesive tape for installation purposes. Make sure to keep this covered at all times so that it’s not showing when you or other household members are transferring onto the elevated seat.
11) Don’t Forget About Maintenence And Cleaning
There are many different types of raised toilet seats available on the market, ranging from simple risers that simply elevate your current toilet seat up a little bit, to more complex models that have a wide range of features and accessories.
Regardless of which type you choose, it’s important to maintain and clean your raised toilet seat riser or transfer bench on a regular basis. Some units come with replacement parts that can be purchased separately if they wear out over time, while others will require you to replace the entire unit.
Regardless of which type you purchase, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance in order to avoid unnecessary accidents or injuries. If your raised toilet seat riser or transfer bench is easy to clean and maintain, it will work better and last a lot longer as well!
Tips & Warnings
1. Raised toilet seat risers can be used to elevate a raised toilet seat so that it’s at a comfortable height for transfers, or they can also be used to help people get onto or off of the toilet while seated. This is beneficial for individuals who have trouble bending over to sit on a standard size toilet, and don’t require a completely elevated toilet seat.
2. These are great for people who have arthritis or knee problems that make sitting on a standard sized toilet uncomfortable or painful.
Having trouble with that? A raised toilet seat riser does the trick!
3. There are several different types of raised toilet seats available to accommodate users’ specific needs, including:
a) Concentration of plant extracts and aromas: Rosemary extract is a powerful antioxidant. Menthol gives the lotion its fresh, minty scent and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile extract calms and conditions your skin while you bathe.
b) Gentle skin cleansers: A few natural ingredients go a long way in these non-foaming cleansers. They clean, hydrate and condition skin all in one step.
c) Herbal extracts exfoliants: These are halfway between physical and chemical exfoliators. Rather than penetrate pores with acids or enzymes, they simply remove the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal a brighter complexion below.