Toilet frames or toilet surrounds are safety aids that can help people support themselves while using the toilet. They are a great way for elderly or disabled users to continue using their bathrooms independently, which can greatly increase their self-esteem and overall confidence.
There are different styles of toilet frames available on the market, in this blog, we’ll go through the options, and what kinds are best to suit each user.
Different Types of Toilet Frames or Surrounds
- With Toilet Seats
Toilet surround with an included toilet seat is a great safety aid for users with restricted mobility. Due to the adjustable height of the seat, it can be easier for a user to lower themselves, and stand back up independently. These aids include the armrests that can be used to support the bodyweight of the user, and keep them comfortable throughout use.
- Without Toilet Seats
Freestanding toilet surrounds safely allow users to use their existing toilet seat. They provide safety and comfort when using the toilet, and blend into the bathroom environment with ease. Freestanding frames can easily be removed or moved when not in use.
- Other Functionalities e.g. Magazine Holder
Toilet surrounds are great safety aids, but can also add an extra layer of functionality to your bathroom. For example, some surrounds may come fitted with a magazine holder on the side for a stylish addition that creates storage too.
When Should Toilet Frames Be Considered By Users?
Toilet frames or surrounds should be considered when a user has restricted mobility or has trouble with stability. The arms can be used to support the user when moving between seated and standing positions, and surrounds with seats can make it easier for users to move between these two positions. This aid is also great for elderly or disabled users who feel they need extra support when navigating their bathrooms.
Main Points to Be Considered For Toilet Aids
- The ability to adjust the height
For mobility restricted users, in particular, the height of a toilet surround is extremely important to consider. The user must be able to safely and comfortably sit down, and stand back up independently for the aid to be most effective. Thankfully, many surrounds come equipped with height adjustment settings so that each individual user can be catered for.
- The weight-bearing capacity (Determined by the construction material)
Different toilet surrounds have different weight-bearing capacities. This depends on the material that the aid has been constructed with. A surround made with steel can safely support the entire bodyweight of the average user, whilst one constructed with PVC or plastic may not be able to bear the full weight of an adult. The weight-bearing capacity of a surround should be considered before purchase.
- The height and weight of the user
Checking the height and weight-bearing capacity of the aid is extremely important, but so is considering the height and weight of the user. This will impact how the user interacts with the aid. If the aid does not allow the user to put their full weight onto it or is too high or short for the user, the integrity of its safety will be compromised. If possible, a user should be able to try the aid before purchase.
- Presence of a grip
Toilet surrounds allow users to hold onto the safety arms – the user must be able to firmly and comfortably hold this grip for the aid to remain safe. Of course, some aids have extra padding for comfort, and others are simple and easy to grip.
- The width of the toilet bowl
The width of the toilet bowl will impact how the aid fits into the bathroom. The area, and surround, both need to be measured to ensure that it will fit into the existing bathroom space, and around the toilet bowl. This will ensure that all safety aspects can be used correctly and confidently by the user.
Other Toilet Aids to Consider With Toilet Surrounds
- Raised Toilet Seats
Raised seats, much like a surround with an included toilet seat, can make it easier for individuals with restricted mobility to move between seated and standing in the position. Different heights are available across the market, and other functionalities, such as high visibility can be included with the aid too.
- Accessible Toilet
Accessible toilets are an excellent aid for wheelchair-bound individuals. They allow the user to safely move between their chair and the toilet seat/
- Bidet Sprayers
Bidet sprayers allow users with restricted mobility to easily clean themselves after using the toilet. They come in different materials and are a great asset to ensure individuals can continue using the bathroom independently.
- Bidet Seats
Bidet seats are a great way for users to maintain cleanliness in the bathroom without compromising on their safety. A bidet seat can clean the user adequately, and with smart bidet technology, can even clean itself, and make the bathroom experience much more pleasant.