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Bathroom Safety: The Toilet

| Ageing

Right at Home shares some helpful bathroom upgrades to keep elderly residents safe.

Original post by Dr Rein Tideiksaar | June 21, 2016 | Updated by Right at Home

bathroom safety right at home

For many people, getting older can mean the loss of strength and balance when getting from one place to another. One of the greatest challenges for the elderly is getting up and down from the toilet.

So, we thought we'd share some of Dr Tideiksaar's recommendations on how aged individuals and their carers can implement some handy safety measures. Let's face it, when you've got to go, you've got to go.

Toilet Grab Bars

Grab bars, either wall or toilet attached, can compensate for low toilet seats and help a person safely sit down and get up from the toilet. For those who have a hard time getting up from a seated position, there are some grab bars that can support the weight of a person while also acting as a toilet paper holder.

Raised Toilet Seat

Individuals with a lack of arm and leg strength or balance often have difficulty lowering themselves down to sit on a toilet seat, or rising to a standing position safely. A raised toilet seat – say by 3 to 4 inches – reduces the amount of squatting and the distance that has to be covered to sit on the toilet. Many seats are equipped with brackets or locking clamps that stabilise the seat on the toilet rim, making them easy to install.

Toilet Safety Rails

For individuals with poor balance who use the arms of a chair to sit down and get up from a chair, toilet safety rails are a great addition for bathroom safety. The safety rails attach directly to the toilet seat and have two rails on either side – like an armchair – for maximum stability.


Commodes offer a temporary or permanent solution for individuals who have a difficult time traveling to the bathroom in a timely manner. While commode seats come with or without wheels, people who have extreme balance problems should consider a commode without wheels for additional stability and safety. Commode seats can be a replacement for the toilet or can fit over the existing toilet. They're especially beneficial for people who are no longer safe walking to the bathroom at night.

Three-in-one Commodes

For those who need a grab bar as well as a higher toilet, consider an over-toilet adjustable commode, often referred to as a 3-in-1 commode or an all-in-one commode.

It has three main functions:

    • A raised toilet seat
    • A toilet safety rail
    • A freestanding commode for use outside the bathroom

The bathroom can be a dangerously slippery place for our aged population. If you or your loved ones are having trouble getting from A to B, consider one or more of these recommendations. A simple renovation now, can spare families much pain later. 

Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently and age in their home. Right at Home Australia is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones, and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no admin or subscription fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget. ​

To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 362 609 or visit our website.

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