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Accessibility Upgrades for Toilets

Raising the height and providing grab bars are just two of many things you can do to make toilets easier for everyone to use.

Right now, everyone in your house can probably use the toilet by themselves. But that may not always be the case. Your teenager could sprain his back. Some day, you might have pelvic surgery. Your mother could break a hip. All these events could make it hard for someone to use the toilet alone.

Do you feel ill at ease just thinking about needing help to use the toilet? Then plan ahead. Make some changes now so that your bathroom will remain the private place you want it to be.

Elevated Toilets

First, take a tape measure into your bathroom. Measure the distance from the top of the toilet seat to the floor. Is it 14 inches? Many are. That toilet may be too low for you. A toilet that sits 17 inches from the floor is easier to use.

Toilets that sit high off the ground aren't just for public rest rooms. They are now showing up in private homes too. These toilets put less strain on your legs, knees, and back. Tall people find them easier to use. And some people say that they work better. The water in the toilet is deeper, so it flushes better.

If you think raised toilets feel a little too high, check out new toilets that hang on the wall. You'll be happy to put these toilets at a height that works best for you. The new design will also please the person who cleans your bathroom. Having the toilet off the floor makes cleaning this area a breeze.

When you buy your new toilet, pick up some grab bars at the same time. Put these grab bars around the toilet area. The grab bars will help you sit down on the toilet and get up again. Look for grab bars that pivot on a hinge. You can pull these grab bars close to the toilet for a family member who needs support. Then, push them away so they don't get in the way of another family member.

Redoing your bathroom? Leave at least 18 inches of free space at the front of the toilet. Leave at least 42 inches of floor space on the side of the toilet. This extra space will help a person in a wheelchair move to and from the toilet.

Living with the Toilet You Have

Not in the market for a new toilet? Ask your plumber to put a small platform under the toilet you have. This will make it higher. You can also buy a seat that raises the height of your toilet. The seat rests on top of the toilet you have. Look for a seat that attaches to your toilet with plastic screws. This seat won't move or slip when someone sits down. And, you can take it off the toilet if another family member doesn't need it. This kind of seat can raise your toilet seat by 4-6 inches.

Some people have trouble reaching certain areas of their body. This makes it hard for them to clean themselves after they use the toilet. Buying a special bidet seat for your toilet can help. These seats fit under the toilet seat. Push a button to turn them on. They'll deliver a warm water wash and air dry to private areas.

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