When it comes to toilet safety, falls are often associated with a higher risk of injury in the elderly. As a result, installing a toilet safety rail along with a grab bar can help minimize the risk of fall hazards for those with mobility issues, who have difficulty with balance, poor eyesight, or are recovering from an illness.
There are many factors to take into account during the process of building a senior-friendly bathroom, including choosing safe bathtubs that support the bodyweight of the individual. Along with this, a toilet safety rail can provide added security with features such as foam handles. The best toilet safety rails include models from Vaunn, HEPO, RMS, Vive, and Medline.
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One of the top safety rail options in terms of price and quality is the Medline toilet safety frame. Its handles are designed for the elderly or adults looking for a secure grip, and the metal bracket can be adjusted between 18-24 inches. It also adjusts in height from 26 to 31 inches to fit both standard or elevated toilet seats and can be assembled tool-free.
It is one of the most highly recommended toilet safety rails on Amazon, with over 11,022 ratings from customers. However, some users claim that it doesn't come with assembly instructions, which can make it difficult to assemble the toilet safety frame.
The 2019 version of the Vaunn stand-alone toilet rail maximizes toilet safety with its durable frame that lends support to week joints. It's also one of the more innovative toilet safety rails, with a convenient side slot for reading materials. The well-padded grab bars support a user weighing up to 300 lbs and the bottoms come with anti-slip rubber tips for balanced weight distribution.
It is free-standing, meaning that the toilet safety frame can be easily be lifted or moved out of the way while seated, then moved back into position when it's time to rise.
Although it is on the pricier end of the scale, the HEPO Improved toilet rail promotes maximum safety despite its tool-free construction. The grips are screw-free, ensuring a long-lasting frame that will stand the test of time. The safety rail is made of high-quality non-toxic HDPE material, which is easy to clean with a damp cloth.
Reviewers particularly praise the sturdy construction of this toilet safety frame, but it's important to check whether it is compatible with your toilet seat at home due to its price point.
One of the few toilet safety rails that comes with a footrest option, the RMS toilet safety rail is ideal for those who don't want to bother with a complicated setup. It is a highly portable option that is fantastic for travel and can be easily packed away when you're not using it. While it does fit most toilets with an adjustable height of 28 to 36 inches, you should double-check to ensure that the 20" width is ideal.
On the other hand, something that one reviewer has noted in terms of toilet safety is the small sharp plastic flanges on either side of the footrest that can be painful if you step on them.
The Vive Toilet Safety rail has one of the most comfortable arms to promote safety for seniors who have arthritis or need additional stability while sitting and standing. Despite its relatively compact frame, it can support users weighing up to 300 pounds. It is easy to install on almost any oval toilet seat, with sturdy bolts that promote maximum toilet safety for any user.
However, one comment from users about the makers of this toilet safety rail is that customer service can be improved when it comes to returns and inquiries.
As per the ADA guidelines, grab bars should be provided on the sidewall closest to the toilet. This will help someone with sitting or standing or someone transferring from a wheelchair onto their feet and into position over top of a standard-sized commode seat.
Showers can often take up more space than other types of bathrooms, so it's important that you make the most out of your available room and provide sufficient areas where grab bars are needed.
Grab bar placement varies depending on what type of stall is being used; vertical entrance bars should go close to the jamb at entryways, horizontal ones alongside walls roughly 34 to 36 inches from ground level (though this height may vary according to individual needs), and faucet end wall bars near handles if they're present.
Medicare considers grab bars to be durable medical equipment (DME), falling under the same category as walkers and canes. For a product to qualify for this classification it must have been used in your home for an identified medical reason.
Grab bars next to a toilet help people using wheelchairs transfer themselves without the need of another person. They also assist those who have difficulty sitting down or balancing while seated by providing extra stability and support when needed most.
Suction grab rails are great for a variety of surfaces, but not all. They can be used on non-porous walls or glass that is flat and smooth, but they won't adhere to most objects at an angle. Users often find themselves having trouble with suction cups loosening over time which means the user will have to refit them again in order to keep using them.
When choosing the best toilet safety rail for your home, it is important to pay attention to features including weight capacity, the material of the rail handles, frame dimensions, non-slip design, and easy installation. An alternative to toilet rails is a grab bar that can also be installed near bathtubs, showers, and cabinets to add support and reduce the risk of a fall hazard.
Do you want to discover other ways to promote the safety and support of your loved one with limited mobility? Learn more about the process of ensuring a safe bathing experience, such as installing bath lifts in your bathroom.