Toilet Safety Rails
Product Guide and Recommendations
Toilet safety rails provide a surface for seniors to push on when getting up and down from the toilet. They are not meant for pulling up on.
They are great for people who get up and down more easily (and safely) when using a bit of arm strength to push.
They are not permanently installed and are relatively inexpensive.
Toilet safety frames fit on most toilets and are easy to install.
At times, it takes a bit of elbow grease to get old toilet bolts loose, but is usually quite easy.
They are usually similar but there are some features that can be different between the types of frames.
I have seen a toilet safety frame make all the difference when people are having difficulty getting on and off the toilet.
Who Should Use?
Elderly who have difficulty getting up and down from a surface, particularly the toilet.
Toilets tend to be lower than other chairs so getting up and down from them is often even more difficult.
If you find your aging parent gets up much more easily from a chair with arms (than a chair without), they would like benefit from toilet safety rails.
Who Should NOT Use?
Elderly with extreme balance problems or who need an extremely sturdy surface might consider a with no wheels instead.
Seniors who pull up during some part of the process of getting up and down from a surface would not like a toilet safety frame as they do lift when pulled up on.
Most toilet safety rails are width adjustable.
Where they attach to the existing toilet bolt, there are usually release buttons that can be pushed in to make the toilet rails wider or skinnier depending on the width of the senior.
Solid or Padded Armrests
Toilet safety rails come with armrests which can be made of different materials.
A toilet safety frame should have rubber tips on the bottom of the legs.
- A drawback is that toilet safety frames can seem shaky when wiggled side to side.
- As mentioned above, they also lift up when pulled up on.
- Though they fit on most toilets, I have encountered a few toilets out there that cannot accommodate a toilet safety frame.
- Though toilet safety rails are usually height adjustable, the height adjustment is not very effective as it tilts the armrest into an angle, rather than being flat.
If an elderly person only pushes down through the armrest when getting up and down, though, they are sturdy for supporting their weight.
This usually is not a problem as the height is usually adequate for most elderly people. However, for seniors at the extreme end of the heights (either tiny or very tall), this might be an issue.
How to Fit
Toilet safety frames are attached to the back of the toilet.
Here are the steps to do it yourself:
- Adjust the width to be appropriate for your aging parent
- Undo the toilet bolt at the back of the toilet
- Take out the toilet bolt and washer/stopper
- Remove the toilet seat and cover
- Place the toilet rail hole over the hole for the toilet bolt
- Re-apply the toilet seat and cover
- Put the bolt through the toilet seat, cover and toilet safety frame
- Secure the bolt snugly with the washer/stopper
How to Use
When sitting down onto the toilet, a senior should be positioned ready to sit down.
They can reach back with one hand for the handle to make sure they are in the right position.
Once they are sure they are in the right position and their clothing is ready, they can reach back with their other hand for the second armrest.
They can put as much weight as they need through their arms when sitting down.
It is the same in reverse for getting up.
They should remember not to pull on toilet rails but only push weight through them.
How Much Does a Toilet Safety Frame Cost?
Toilet safety rails usually cost between $25 and $100.