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Aging in Place at Home: The Definitive Guide Part 7


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Toileting

Toileting Banner

Using the bathroom is hardly thought of as an onerous undertaking for the young and able-bodied. But for those who have fallen ill and entered their twilight years, the toilet is more likely associated with thoughts of dread rather than relief.

Hip range of motion, muscle tone, and trunk strength are all important for safely lowering onto and rising up from the toilet. Proprioception, dexterity, and coordination are necessary to properly clean the perineal area.

More often than not, these skills and abilities are outside the competency of aging adults, but there are many solutions available that can dramatically improve toileting for those aging in place.


A.D.A. height toilet


Purpose

An A.D.A. height toilet is taller than a conventional toilet and makes lowering onto and rising from the toilet easier, safer, and more comfortable for users. Those who feel like they are falling backwards onto a too-short toilet seat or who struggle hoisting themselves up can very likely benefit from an A.D.A. height toilet.


What to know before buying

Conventional toilets are typically 14 to 16 inches tall; A.D.A. height toilets are usually 17 to 19 inches tall. The additional height can significantly decrease pressure on one’s knees and help users avoid any struggling that may come with trying to raise from a seat that is too low.

ADA height toilet vs standard height toilet

Furthermore, the typical wheelchair is between 18 to 20 inches tall, so transfers for wheelchair users are easier with comfort height toilets since they are closer to the same level as the wheelchair seat. Use an A.D.A. height toilet to avoid the difficulty and danger of performing uneven transfers.


Proper sitting postureDetermine the ideal toilet seat height for the primary user to ensure a proper fit.

Have the user sit in a back chair with hips, knees, and ankles all bending at 90 degrees. To establish these 90 degree angles, the chair must be at just the right height for the user.

If such a chair is not available, consider using a pneumatic office chair and adjusting its height to make 90 degree angles. Otherwise, use a chair that is too tall and place something flat under the user’s feet to serve as an elevated floor.

Pneumatic office chair for measuring user's ideal seat dimensions

Adjust the height of a pneumatic office chair for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Once the user is seated properly, record the seat height:

How to measure seat height

Seat height (floor to bottom of thigh where it meets the knee at 90 degrees)

Wheelchair users should use the height of the wheelchair seat, assuming that a qualified healthcare professional properly fitted the wheelchair to the user (click here to read about having a wheelchair correctly fitted).

Verify that the user’s ideal sitting height fits the toilet seat height. If the tallest toilet seat height available is too short for the user, consider installing a toilet base riser, a toilet seat riser, or both a toilet base riser and a toilet seat riser along with an A.D.A. height toilet. Also, an adjustable height commode chair is another available solution.


Most people, especially men, find an elongated toilet bowl more comfortable than a round toilet bowl. When shopping for an A.D.A. height toilet, think about whether it should be elongated or round.

Elongated vs round toilet seat

If the existing toilet to be replaced is round, then be sure to measure the bathroom space to verify that a longer elongated bowl will fit without inhibiting any passageways, doors, or cabinets. Generally, elongated toilet bowls are about 2 inches longer than rounded toilet bowls, but it’s recommended to measure the existing toilet and compare with the exact manufacturer specifications of the replacement toilet.

Also, be aware that if a round toilet is what the user is familiar with, then an elongated toilet bowl may be an unwelcome change. Take the time to try out both toilets and make a confident decision.


Identify the rough-in size of the existing toilet to be sure the replacement A.D.A. height toilet will be compatible with the existing plumbing. The rough-in is a measurement from the toilet floor bolts to the wall behind the toilet.

The majority of toilets have a 12 inch rough-in, but models are also available for 10 inch and 14 inch rough-ins. Choose a toilet with the same rough-in as the existing toilet to ensure proper installation.


A.D.A. height toilets provide the ideal height for sitting, but the ideal height for toileting is actually in a deep squat:

Squat vs sit

Source: Squatty Potty

This makes for a puzzling conundrum: how can users sit at a comfortable and safe height without compromising bowel function? One solution is a toilet stool that enables users to recreate a squatting posture while remaining in a comfortable seated position.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Toilet Base Riser


Purpose

Toilet base riserA toilet base riser serves the same purpose as an A.D.A. height toilet: to lift the toilet seat up to a position that is more convenient for the user. And considering how often the restroom is used, it is very important to find a toilet seat height that makes lowering and raising easier and safer.

A toilet base riser is unique in that it retrofits to the bottom of the existing toilet as opposed to purchasing an entirely new toilet. Those who want to keep their current toilet but need it raised a few inches should consider a toilet seat riser.


What to know before buying

Toilet base risers usually lift the toilet by 3.5 to 4 inches. Measure the existing toilet height from finished floor to the seat and add the height of the base riser to determine the final height after installation. Compare this final height measurement to the user’s ideal sitting height.

Proper sitting postureTo determine ideal sitting height, have the user sit in a back chair with hips, knees, and ankles all bending at 90 degrees. To establish these 90 degree angles, the chair must be at just the right height for the user.

If such a chair is not available, consider using a pneumatic office chair and adjusting its height to make 90 degree angles. Otherwise, use a chair that is too tall and place something flat under the user’s feet to serve as an elevated floor.

Pneumatic office chair for measuring user's ideal seat dimensions

Adjust the height of a pneumatic office chair for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Once the user is seated properly, record the seat height:

How to measure seat height

Seat height (floor to bottom of thigh where it meets the knee at 90

Wheelchair users should use the height of the wheelchair seat, assuming that a qualified healthcare professional properly fitted the wheelchair to the user (click here to read about having a wheelchair correctly fitted).

Verify that the user’s ideal sitting height fits the final toilet seat height after the base riser is installed. If the final height is too short for the user, consider replacing the existing standard toilet with an A.D.A. height toilet and use a toilet seat riser along with the toilet base riser. Also, an adjustable height commode chair is another available solution.


Toilet base risers are designed to have a slightly larger footprint than the toilet bases they are supporting, so it is very important to measure the floor space around the toilet to verify that the toilet base riser will fit in the area.


Be sure to purchase a toilet base riser size that matches the existing toilet bowl (elongated vs. round). Conventional toilet base risers are only intended for round toilets; elongated toilets require a slightly larger toilet base riser that can accommodate their extended shape.

One surprising thing to note: toilet base risers for elongated toilets can be twice as expensive as toilet base risers for round toilets.


Most toilet base risers include kits with the necessary plumbing and hardware parts to ensure proper installation. Check beforehand that an installation kit is part of the purchase.

Know that sometimes the nuts and bolts that are provided in these kits are not rust-proof. If such is the case, purchase matching nuts and bolts at a hardware store in brass or stainless steel to avoid any possible rusting.

Additionally, depending on the existing toilet, the bolts included in an installation kit may not be long enough to correctly fasten the toilet base riser. In the event the bolts are too short, bolts of the correct length can be purchased at a local hardware store.


Toilet base risers typically come in a shade of white that may or may not match the existing toilet. Since toilet base risers are made of P.V.C., users can paint the risers to make them less conspicuous. A high gloss spray paint intended for plastic surfaces should emulate a toilet’s porcelain sheen.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Toilet Seat Riser


Purpose

As mentioned above, an A.D.A. height toilet and a toilet base riser are two options for bringing the toilet seat up higher to make lowering onto and rising from the toilet easier. But there is a third method for lifting the toilet seat height: a toilet seat riser.

A toilet seat riser is actually the least invasive and least expensive way to lift the height of an existing toilet seat. A toilet seat riser is basically an oversized toilet seat made of hard plastic that sits under the existing toilet seat and gives it a boost. Consider how a toilet seat riser can make toileting more convenient and safer for users who struggle to sit and stand with their current toilet seat height.


Must-have Features

Hinges – Due to the location of the toilet seat riser, it inevitably dirties with use. Therefore, it is important that users have a hassle-free, easy way to access the underside of the toilet seat riser to clean it.

Toilet seat riser with hingeThe toilet seat riser must have hinges in the back that allow it to lift up along with the existing toilet seat. This ensures that users can clean the bottom of the toilet seat riser by simply lifting it up. Also, a fold-up hinge feature is also helpful for any male users who may need to fully lift the toilet seat to use the restroom.

Some toilet seat risers are just a single piece that fits under the existing toilet seat. Avoid this kind of toilet seat riser because the only way to clean it thoroughly is by unbolting it from the toilet.


Mounting holes – The toilet seat riser must have mounting holes at the rear of the unit that coincide with the location of the existing toilet’s mounting holes. To help guarantee a proper fit, look for a toilet seat riser that has oversized mounting holes or slots that offer some leeway for lining up the toilet mounting holes with the toilet seat riser mounting holes.

Hinged toilet seat riser

Prior to ordering a toilet seat riser, it is recommended to measure the distance between the toilet’s mounting holes (5 ½ inches is standard) and verify that they line up correctly with the toilet seat riser’s holes. Contact the manufacturer and/or retailer to find out this measurement if the figure isn’t included in the product’s technical specifications.


Features to avoid

Support arms – First, the toilet seat and its arms are not suited to adequately bear a user’s weight. Grab bars securely fastened to walls, over-the-toilet commode chairs, and free-standing toilet safety frames are the only options that offer proper support.

Toilet seat riser with arms

Furthermore, the side supports are obtrusive and complicates perineal cleaning while seated.


Clamp locking mechanisms – Locks that clamp onto the toilet can loosen unexpectedly and do not keep the seat riser securely in place.

Toilet seat riser with clamp

Furthermore, if the seat riser does not fit the alignment of the toilet, the clamp may not make a strong connection and can slip off the toilet when a user sits (especially when uneven weight is applied).


No-bolt risers – It is absolutely necessary that toilet seat risers safely and securely fasten to the toilet.

Relying on non-slip pads and/or gravity alone to keep a seat riser in place is dangerous. Uneven weight application and shifting while seated can easily loosen the riser free and send its occupant to the floor.

Non-hinged toilet seat riser


What to know before buying

Toilet seat risers are non-returnable because they are a hygienic product. Take the time to verify that the seat riser will install and fit correctly on the existing toilet to avoid ordering a riser than cannot be used due to incompatibility.


Manufacturers typically provide mounting bolts, nuts, and washers to fasten the seat riser to the toilet. Before purchasing the toilet seat riser, call the manufacturer and/or retailer to verify that the necessary hardware is, in fact, included.


Toto toilets do not have pass-through fastening bolts like most toilets, so toilet seat risers will not be compatible with Toto brand toilets. Additionally, toilet seats with a quick release removal feature will not be compatible with the new seat riser bolts.


Confirm that the bolts included with the seat riser will fit through the toilet’s hinge bolt holes. Contact the seat riser manufacturer and/or retailer to check the diameter size of the bolts included for installation. If the bolts have a larger diameter than the toilet’s existing bolts, visit a local hardware store and buy a sample bolt in the same size that comes with the seat riser.

Test the sample bolt to see if it fits through the toilet mounting holes. If the bolts are too big to fit, ask the retailer if the correct size bolts are available. If the correct size is unavailable, consider special ordering the right bolts or research alternative seat risers that have the right size bolts.

To special order bolts, ask the seat riser manufacturer and/or retailer for the correct bolt length to guarantee a proper fit.

Be sure to buy matching washers and nuts for tightening the bolts. And it may be prudent to order more hardware than necessary in the event a few pieces go missing.


Make sure the seat riser fits the existing toilet. Carefully read the seat riser description to see if it is intended for round or elongated toilets.

But matching an elongated seat riser with an elongated toilet or a round seat riser with a round toilet does not guarantee a fit. Look at the dimension specifications for the seat riser and make certain that the width and depth match the existing toilet.


Determine the appropriate seat riser height for the user. Most seat risers add 3 ½ inches to the toilet height, however, there is one riser in particular that only adds 2 inches. Measure the existing toilet height from finished floor to the seat and add the height of the seat riser to determine the final height after installation.

Compare this final height measurement to the user’s ideal sitting height.

Proper sitting postureTo determine ideal sitting height, have the user sit in a back chair with hips, knees, and ankles all bending at 90 degrees. To establish these 90 degree angles, the chair must be at just the right height for the user.

If such a chair is not available, consider using a pneumatic office chair and adjusting its height to make 90 degree angles. Otherwise, use a chair that is too tall and place something flat under the user’s feet to serve as an elevated floor.

Pneumatic office chair for measuring user's ideal seat dimensions

Adjust the height of a pneumatic office chair for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Once the user is seated properly, record the seat height:

How to measure seat height

Seat height (floor to bottom of thigh where it meets the knee at 90

Wheelchair users should use the height of the wheelchair seat, assuming that a qualified healthcare professional properly fitted the wheelchair to the user (click here to read about having a wheelchair correctly fitted).

Verify that the user’s ideal sitting height fits the final toilet seat height after the seat riser is installed. If the final height is too short for the user, consider replacing the existing standard toilet with an A.D.A. height toilet and use a toilet base riser along with the toilet seat riser. Also, an adjustable height commode chair is another available solution.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Toilet stool


Purpose

A toilet stool improves toileting posture and helps users perform better bowel movements. While sitting on a toilet, the body forms a 90 degree angle. At this position, the rectum kinks and restricts bowel movement. Placing a toilet stool under foot changes the angle of the body to about 35 degrees and straightens the rectum, which makes passing stool easier.

Squat vs sit

Source: Squatty Potty

The benefits of proper toileting posture are numerous:

  • Helps prevent constipation (although it should be noted that toileting posture is obviously never a substitute for a healthy diet abundant in fiber)
  • Reduces the need to push and strain during bowel movements, and thus, lessens the risk of developing hemorrhoids and pelvic floor issues
  • Increases the likelihood of more complete eliminations, which results in less fecal buildup and encourages better colon health
  • Allows women to more completely empty their bladders and, consequently, decreases the chances of urinary tract infections

What to know before buying

Squatty PottyFirst and foremost, to properly use a toilet stool users must be limber enough to sit in a squat-like position: bottom on toilet and feet on stool.

Situating the stool under foot while sitting on the toilet may pose a problem for some.


Users are advised to test their abilities with a temporary, makeshift toilet stool before making a purchase. A conventional stepstool, a storage container bin, or even a few small 2 by 4 blocks of wood will serve the purpose. Whatever is used, be sure that the makeshift toilet stool will not slip on the floor or buckle under the user’s weight; be safe.

Keep in mind that toilet stools are typically 7 to 9 inches tall, so strive for a similar height when testing. Users should actually use the toilet during this test to have a better understanding of the full experience. Properly maneuvering with pants straddling one’s ankles may be difficult for some, so it’s important to go through the whole toileting process to see if the user is capable of using a stool.

Finally, toilet stools are easier to use than the makeshift stools one might use for testing. Therefore, even if a user experiences some difficulty during testing, the user may, nonetheless, find no problems while using a toilet stool.


Wooden Squatty PottyToilet stools slide under the toilet bowl when not in use and generally only take up slightly more floor space than a person’s feet when in use.

Even still, it is advised to make sure there is enough space around the base of the toilet to store and use the stool.

Take down the dimensions of a toilet stool and measure the area surrounding the toilet base to see if there is any interference such as walls, cabinets, and pathways.

Toilet safety frames occupy the same floor space as toilet stools; if toilet stool users need assistance with standing and sitting, then grab bars should be installed.


Toilet stools tucked away beneath the toilet take up the floor space where men’s feet would typically be when standing to use the toilet. To remain close to the toilet, men must shift their feet slightly and approach the toilet at a slight angle to use the toilet while standing.

Verify that there is enough room around the toilet for men to comfortably use the toilet while standing.


Determine the appropriate toilet stool height for the user. Most toilet stools are 7 to 9 inches tall.

To determine the most appropriate height, sit on the toilet where the stool will be used and create a makeshift stool with a conventional stepstool, a storage container bin, or even a few small 2 by 4 blocks of wood. Test at different heights to find what’s most comfortable and safe.

It’s very important that users test the stool at the toilet height that will actually be used. So, any intentions to replace the existing toilet with an A.D.A. height toilet or plans to install a seat and/or base riser should be carried out before exploring a toilet stool.


Persons recovering from hip replacement surgery should not use a toilet stool. Hip replacement surgery recovery protocol requires that one’s hips do not form anything less than a 90 degree angle to prevent dislocating the new hip.

The goal of a toilet stool is to create a 35 degree angle, so obviously using a toilet stool is out of the question during recovery.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Commode chair


Purpose

Commode chairs are portable and allow users to toilet without having to travel to the bathroom. Commode chairs are most helpful for those who are bedbound, experience incontinence, have limited mobility, or have wandering tendencies.

Also, commode chairs can act as a temporary toileting solution while the bathroom space is modified to meet the needs of the user.

The bathroom should be the first choice for toileting; modifications and assistive devices should be introduced in the bathroom space first before resorting to commode chair use.

The commode chair is a great solution if the distance to the bathroom is simply too far for the user, assistive devices alone cannot resolve the deficiencies of the bathroom space, and time/money restraints preclude the bathroom from undergoing the necessary home modifications.


Must-have Features

Tool-free leg height adjustment – The commode chair seat height must match the user’s ideal sitting height to ensure the safest and most effective results. Users should follow the instructions detailed in the guide below to determine their ideal seat height, but they should still find an adjustable-height commode chair.

Commode chair with adjustable height legs

Adjustments in one inch increments is most likely suitable, but ½ inch is preferred because it offers greater accuracy.


Elongated seat – Commode seats are smaller than conventional toilet seats, so it’s important to find a commode seat that fits the user. Most women and nearly all men will find that a round seat is neither comfortable nor user-friendly. Opt for an elongated seat instead.

Elongated bedside commodeFirst, elongated seats are larger than round seats, so they offer more surface area for the user to sit comfortably. Second, elongated seat openings are larger than round seat openings, so users are less likely to miss the opening while toileting (especially men whose anatomy extends beyond the seat when using a round commode).

Furthermore, the extra opening space with elongated commodes makes access for perineal cleaning much easier.

Finally, commodes with elongated seats are generally larger and stronger than commodes with round seats, so users experience greater stability while seated on elongated commodes.


Commode lid cover – Ideally, commodes should be emptied and cleaned immediately after usage, but inevitably there are instances when prompt disposal isn’t possible. In such cases, it is vital that the commode have a lid that seals tightly and holds in odors.

Containing odors goes a long way in maintaining dignity and comfort; users don’t feel like they are living in a bathroom. Of course visitors and caretakers are beneficiaries, too!


Features to consider

A bariatric chair – Most standard commode chairs are rated to accommodate up to 300 pounds. If users require a higher rating, bariatric chairs are typically certified to support between 500 and 1000 pounds.

Bariatric bedside commode chairIn general, bariatric commode chairs utilize a stronger construction method, boast stronger materials, and have larger frames. Keep in mind that a bariatric commode chair will usually take up more space than its normal commode chair counterpart.

One thing worth mentioning is that users who do not necessarily need the higher weight rating may nonetheless prefer a bariatric chair because it offers greater security. It is very common for a standard shower chair to slightly shake during normal use, which may make some users feel unsettled. Since a bariatric chair is designed for heavier weights, it exhibits more steadiness than a standard chair that is made to carry lighter loads.

A final point to take into consideration is that bariatric chairs usually run 1.5 to 2 times the price of standard commode chairs.


Features to avoid

Vinyl padding – While it may seem like vinyl padding would offer more comfort than plastic, the difference in comfort between the two materials is fairly minor.

Vinyl commode chair seatVinyl padding is not as durable as plastic and stains easily, which can be embarrassing for users.

Manufacturers will often times offer a limited lifetime warranty on the frame of the chair, but will not offer any warranty on the vinyl pads.

It is not uncommon for the vinyl padding to split along the seams from normal use.


Drop arm support rails – Commodes with drop armrests allow users to transfer from a wheelchair onto the commode. Unfortunately, the nature of portable commode chairs sabotages this otherwise thoughtful feature.

Drop arm commode chairCommode chairs are not permanent fixtures, and consequently, they are susceptible to movement and even tipping during a transfer. The momentum of a user’s body weight while transferring can cause the commode chair to shift out of place and pose a serious fall risk.

Also, a transfer that lands the user on the edge of the commode seat may cause the chair to tip due to the uneven weight distribution. Conventional commode chairs with fixed arm rails prohibit users from sitting anywhere but squarely in the middle, so these potential hazards only exist with drop-arm commodes.

Due to the inherent lateral movement involved in transferring, wheelchair users should transfer onto a secure toilet rather than a portable commode chair. If the bathroom is inaccessible, then the space should be adapted to fit the user’s needs.


What to know before buying

Commode chairs are considered hygienic products and, as such, are often deemed a non-returnable item by retailers and manufacturers. It is important to be very thoughtful when purchasing a commode chair so as to avoid any wasted time and expense on a chair that may not appropriately fit in the intended space or adequately meet the user’s needs.

Continue reading the following points to take the proper precautions before purchasing a commode chair.


While a chair may be advertised as “tool-free assembly,” it is highly recommended to have a few of the usual suspects (Philips and flathead screwdrivers, hammer, utility knife, wrench set) just in case. In the event that parts loosened during shipment or the manufacturer made mistakes in pre-assembly, these tools will help retighten and reassemble as necessary.

Last of all, putting together and positioning a commode chair can require some muscle, so be sure to have a capable helper if needed.


Confirm that the user’s weight falls within the commode chair weight rating. If the user requires additional support, shop for a bariatric chair.


Find a chair that matches the user’s seated measurements. While most adjustable-height commode chairs will accommodate the majority of users, it is wise to compare the user’s measurements to the chair’s specifications to confirm a proper fit.

Proper sitting postureFirst, have the user sit in a back chair with hips, knees, and ankles all bending at 90 degrees. To establish these 90 degree angles, the chair must be at just the right height for the user.

If such a chair is not available, consider using a pneumatic office chair and adjusting its height to make 90 degree angles. Otherwise, use a chair that is too tall and place something flat under the user’s feet to serve as an elevated floor.

Pneumatic office chair for measuring user's ideal seat dimensions

Adjust the height of a pneumatic office chair for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Place feet on a prop for correct sitting posture

Once the user is seated properly, record the following measurements:

How to measure seat height

Seat height (floor to bottom of thigh where it meets the knee at 90 degrees)

How to measure seat width

Seat width (outermost parts of back of butt)

Verify that the user’s seating measurements fit the commode chair. If the chair seat heights available are too short for the user, then see if the manufacturer sells leg extensions to raise the chair height.

If the user requires a shorter seat height than what a commode chair can offer, investigate hiring a handyperson to cut down the chair legs. In the same fashion, be sure to confirm that the commode chair width between the arm rests is wide enough to accommodate the user comfortably.


Ensure there is enough space to properly use the commode chair. Take down the measurements for the chair’s overall width and depth, then apply these dimensions to the space where it will be used to verify that the chair fits. There should be adequate room in front of the commode chair for the user to stand and sit.

Also, there should be space on at least one side of the commode chair to accommodate a caregiver.


Toilet Safety Frame


Purpose

A toilet safety frame is a supportive railing system that straddles a toilet and gives users a grab bar on both sides to hold when lowering onto and rising up from the seat. Toilet safety frames are ideal for situations in which wall-mounted grab bars are not viable due to obstructions in the wall or the distance from the toilet is too far for the user to reach the grab bars.


Must-have Features

Self-standing safety frames – Toilet safety frames that feature legs exhibit much greater stability compared to models that must be mounted onto the back of the toilet.

Self-standing toilet safety frame

Legs increase safety and offer users a higher sense of security, which is especially helpful to individuals with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease.


Rubber leg tips – The bottom of the legs must have rubber tips to keep the device securely in place.

A fall and serious injury could result if the safety frame were to slide out of position while in use.


Padded arm rails – Arm rails should be padded to help users maintain a strong grip while rising and sitting, which is vital for preventing slips and falls.

Furthermore, the padding makes the rails suitable to use as arm rests and more comfortable to use for those with weak skin and hands.


Features to consider

Adjustable-height legs – Toilet safety frames with adjustable-height legs allow users to customize the height of the arm rails for the best fit and comfort.

For the average user, adjusting the height of the arm rails a few inches in either direction will not have a huge impact on comfort or performance. Users who have particularly short or long torsos, though, will find the adjustable-height feature very beneficial.


Features to avoid

Toilet safety frames without leg supports – Toilet safety frames without legs attach to the two bolts at the back of the toilet seat.

Toilet-mounted safety frame - no legs

While these safety frames don’t take up space outside of the toilet footprint, they are significantly less stable than safety frames with leg supports. So much so, that these types of toilet safety frames exhibit enough instability that users could very likely fall off the toilet seat.

For this reason, toilet safety frames without legs should not be used.


Two front leg supports with back toilet mount – Toilet safety frames that have two front legs and mount on the back of the toilet are a hybrid version of legless safety frames and typical toilet safety frames. The intent is to offer the stability of leg supports while cutting down on the space the device occupies.

Toilet-mounted safety frame

Unfortunately, this type of safety frame isn’t secure enough and exhibits significant movement during use. This shaking increases the possibility of losing grip and, consequently, falling. Avoid this option and select conventional self-supporting toilet safety frames that stand firm instead.


What to know before buying

While most safety frames include rubber tips on the legs to prevent skidding, there are some models available that would otherwise be suitable but lack this important feature.

If such is the case, a simple remedy is to apply self-adhesive, non-slip bumpers to the bottom of the legs. These can be purchased at any local hardware store.


Toilet safety frames may extend beyond the toilet footprint, so it is very important to ensure that there is enough space around the toilet to accommodate the frame. Compare the measurements of the frame to the area around the toilet before making a purchase.


Toilet safety frame with front braceSome toilet safety frames use a brace that stretches across the front two legs.

While this brace provides additional stability to the arm rails, it can also introduce a potential tripping hazard. Braces that protrude significantly beyond the toilet base are particularly dangerous as users may trip over them when rising or sitting. Braces that hug close to the base of the toilet, however, are less likely to cause any problems.

Keep this in mind when considering toilet safety frames with this front brace.


While most arm rail heights will be suitable for most users, it would be prudent to first take measurements to determine the user’s unique preference. After all, some users may need a particularly high or low height that only certain toilet safety frames can offer.

Take an arm chair that the user can easily push off of while standing up and grab hold of while sitting down. If such a chair is unavailable, use an office chair with adjustable-height arm rests. And if an office chair is unavailable, then consider using a sofa and one of its arm rests. Whatever is used, be sure that the arms are both comfortable and functional for the user.

Measure the distance from the top of the seat to the top of the arms.

Measure chair armrest height

Now apply that measurement from the top of the toilet seat where the toilet safety frame’s arm rails will be used. This is the ideal height for the toilet arm rails. Compare this measurement to the safety frames while shopping.

If the exact height isn’t available, remember that a few inches in either direction may not cause any problem for the user. Users who need a very close match, though, may need to consider alternative solutions for assistance with rising up from and lowering onto the toilet.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Bidet Toilet Seat


Purpose

As coordination and flexibility reduce with age, performing perineal cleaning becomes a difficult task. A bidet toilet seat makes personal hygiene easier to perform after toileting by eliminating the need to stretch and twist to clean hard-to-reach places. And a bidet offers a more thorough cleansing after toileting, so it actually helps users increase their personal hygiene.

Since a bidet toilet seat is an attachment that fastens to or replaces the existing toilet seat, it saves a significant amount of bathroom space by avoiding the need for a stand-alone, conventional bidet. The toilet basically becomes a dual-function toilet and bidet.

Read more to learn how a bidet toilet seat can improve quality of life.


Features to consider

Non-electric bidet seatNon-electric bidet – A non-electric bidet is an economical, simple option for users who would like a straightforward installation.

Below is a list of the features to consider when shopping for non-electric bidets:

  • Simplified mechanical buttons and controls
  • Slow-closing seat
  • Self-cleaning spray nozzle
  • Retractable nozzle when not in use
  • Heated water (with a hot water connection)
  • Posterior and feminine wash settings
  • Positionable spray nozzles
  • Adjustable water pressure
  • Water temperature settings

Non-electric bidets require at least a cold water connection. Models that have a heated water feature also need a hot water line connection. Depending on how many and which features a user selects, a non-electric bidet can cost as little as $25 or as much as $250.


Electric bidet seatElectric bidet – An electric bidet is a premium option that includes more convenience features than its non-electric counterpart. With that said, electric bidets do require a nearby G.F.I. outlet for a power source, which can be hard to come by near a toilet.

Nonetheless, users may find that the list of features that accompany an electric bidet make it worth the extra installation hassle:

  • Wireless remote control operation
  • Slow-closing seat
  • Quick-release lid that allows users to easily remove the lid for cleaning
  • Intelligent sensor that prevents accidents by only allowing the bidet to operate when a user is seated
  • Night light feature
  • Self-cleaning spray nozzle
  • Retractable nozzle when not in use
  • Posterior and feminine wash settings
  • Tankless heated water without need for a hot water connection
  • Heated seat
  • Warm air dryer
  • Automatic deodorizer
  • Positionable spray nozzles
  • Adjustable water pressure and spray width
  • Temperature settings for water, seat, and air dryer
  • Multiple wash settings such as massage, pulse, oscillation, and bubble wash

Electric bidets must have a cold water connection and a nearby G.F.I. outlet to plug into for power. A hot water line is not needed, though, so that helps make installation a little easier. Electric bidets start at around $250 and can go as high as $2000 or more. The price is dependent on the number and type of features the user selects.


What to know before buying and installing

When comparing the non-electric bidet to its electric counterpart, there are several functional shortcomings the non-electric bidet suffers from that are worth mentioning, some more significant than others.

  • Water may take time to heat if drawing from a hot water line vs. an electric tankless heater.
  • Non-electric bidet controls are only on the right side, so left-handed users may find operation somewhat awkward or difficult. Most electric bidets feature wireless remote control operation, however, there are some that have controls strictly on the right side.
  • Operating the non-electric bidet manual controls require turning knobs, which may be difficult for users with arthritis or poor dexterity. Electric bidet controls are touch screen and/or push buttons.
  • Unlike electric bidets which are actual toilet seats, the majority of non-electric bidets attach to the seat bolts at the rear of the toilet under the existing toilet seat. As a result, the front of the toilet seat props up and creates a gap between the seat and the rim of the toilet. This can make for an unsettling experience when the front of the seat gives as users lowering onto the toilet. Furthermore, when users sit down, the toilet seat bends under the weight and the seat can actually break over time. For this reason, it’s recommended to buy toilet seat bumpers to bridge this gap so the front of the toilet seat rests on the toilet rim properly. Another way to remedy this problem is to purchase one of the few non-electric bidets in the market that is an actual toilet seat instead of simply an attachment.
  • The personalization settings for non-electric bidets tend to be less precise than those for electric bidets. Finding the right water temperature, spray nozzle position, and water pressure can be challenging.

While bidet toilet seats are designed to integrate with most toilets, it’s best to contact the bidet seat manufacturer to confirm its compatibility with the toilet brand and model before making a purchase


Discuss the return policy with the retailer before purchasing; some retailers deem hygienic products as unreturnable


The bidet nozzle and other working parts occupy more space than a normal toilet seat’s hinges and consequently shorten the seat. Round toilets fitted with a bidet seat may be too cramped for some users, and therefore the best application for bidets is with elongated toilets.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


Grab bar


Purpose

Users who find lowering onto and rising up from the toilet seat may benefit from the support of grab bars positioned near the toilet. Grab bars allow users to slowly descend onto the toilet seat in a controlled manner. And when users stand back up, they can push against the grab bars for added leverage.

Those who use a wheelchair can hold onto the grab bars for assistance with transferring onto and off of the toilet seat.

Grab bar


Must-have Features

A.D.A. compliant – Grab bars that meet A.D.A. standards have been tested and verified by independent third parties, so users can have absolute confidence in their structural strength and performance.

In addition to the grab bar itself, the mounting hardware should also be A.D.A. compliant. This ensures that the grab bar will stay securely fastened in place. The various kinds of mounting hardware are detailed below.


Rust-proof – The vast majority of grab bars in the marketplace are rust-proof, but there are still a handful out there that are not. And it may go without saying, but a rusty grab bar is a serious safety concern because it may fail without warning and cause injury to the user.

Do not make any assumptions when shopping: verify that the manufacturer specifically states that its grab bar is rust-proof.


Features to consider

Grip type – Grab bars are available in several different kinds of grips:

Grab bar with smooth gripSmooth – Smooth is the standard grip type that comes with most grab bars. Grab bars with a smooth grip are generally easy to grasp, even when wet; nonetheless, some users with especially weak hand strength may need the additional traction that other grip styles offer.


Grab bar with peened gripPeened – Peened is a finely grit textured finish applied to the grab bar that provides users with a better grip.

The texture creates friction that helps prevent hands from slipping off the grab bar.


Grab bar with knurled gripKnurled – Knurled is a coarse, diamond-patterned texture cut into to the grab bar that creates a very strong grip. Grab bars with a knurled textured perform very well when wet.

Because knurled is so coarse, though, users with sensitive skin may find the grip to be too abrasive.


Grab bar with curl gripCurl – A curl grip grab bar uses a smooth finish with indentions on the underside of the grab bar to allow fingers to better wrap around and hold onto the bar.

Curl grab bars help users keep a strong grip without any harsh texture.


Grab bar with grip padsPads – A padded grip grab bar uses a smooth finish with non-slip rubber pads on the underside of the grab bar.

The rubber pads offer users a better grip than the smooth grip finish offers on its own.


Grab bar with shur gripShur-grip – A shur-grip (also called sure grip and rippled) grab bar incorporates a patterned texture into the grab bar material itself.

The gripping surface is continuous and “closed” as opposed to peened and knurled which feature actual cuts into the material to create the gripping surface. The “closed” ripple effect gives users a secure grip without being rough on their hands


When selecting the grip type, try to strike a balance between current needs and potential future needs. If a user finds that the knurled grip is only negligibly better than the peened grip, then the peened grip may be a better long-term solution since the knurled grip may later be too harsh as the user’s skin weakens.

On the other hand, if a knurled grab bar is the only grip type that gives a user the security he or she needs, then by all means select the knurled grab bar and address future needs as they arise (this may mean introducing additional home modifications, assistive devices, and/or care providers).


Grab bar towel rack – While the value of grab bars in the shower may be obvious, grab bars also play a valuable part in safety outside of the shower. Drying hands with a towel after washing them is usually a harmless act, but a towel that suddenly slips off the rack or a moment of imbalance can potentially lead to a disconcerting situation.

In such circumstances, it’s simply human instinct to grab hold of the towel rack for support and balance. Unfortunately, wall-hung towel racks can fail when used in this manner; towel racks are meant to support the weight of towels, not people.

Grab bar towl bar

Therefore, consider replacing the existing towel rack with a dual-function grab bar towel rack. Doing so can offer the reassurance that should the user need to rely on the towel rack for support and balance, the strength of the grab bar will deliver.


Concealed screw mount – Grab bars that conceal the mounting screws give a more finished appearance that users may prefer.

Exposed mount grab bar

Exposed mount

Concealed mount grab bar

Concealed mount

Generally, grab bars that feature concealed screw mounting are only slightly higher priced than grab bars with exposed screws.


Features to avoid

Suction cup – Grab bars should only ever be installed by fastening to the wall with screws and proper mounting anchors. Suction cup grab bars are very dangerous; the grab bar may unexpectedly slip from its position or even fall off the wall, which could result in serious injury.

Suction cup grab barUsers who are less inclined to go through the trouble of drilling through the shower wall to install grab bars are attracted to suction cup grab bars’ non-invasive installation method. But it is exactly this poor installation that makes suction cup grab bars so ineffective and dangerous.

Many manufacturers specify that their suction cup grab bars should strictly be used for steadying purposes rather than supporting weight. While transferring onto and off of a toilet, users must place a significant amount of weight on the grab bar for support, so suction cup grab bars are not an option.

So, only buy and use grab bars that securely mount to the wall; never buy or use suction cup grab bars.


Fold away grab bars – Consumers are attracted to fold away grab bars because they extend out into areas where wall-mounted grab areas cannot reach.

Flip up grab barUnfortunately, fold away grab bars mount at a single point and the mounting bracket is unable to stand up to the torque of normal use; a user’s weight is simply too much pressure for the pivoting fulcrum to withstand and the mounting bracket can actually break at this joint.

The problem really is a lesson in physics. The leverage effect that’s created when a user applies weight onto the end of the grab bar produces so much force that the mounting bracket breaks.

Pass on fold away grab bars and choose appropriately-placed conventional grab bars instead. Read more about correct grab bar placement in the “What to know before buying” section below.


Floor-to-ceiling mounted grab bars – What makes floor-to-ceiling mounted grab bars so appealing is that they can be placed nearly anywhere without depending on vertical walls for support. Unfortunately, floor-to-ceiling mounted grab bars suffer from the same shortcomings in design as fold away grab bars: the mounting method isn’t strong enough to endure the torque applied during normal use.

Floor to ceiling mounted toilet grab barFloor-to-ceiling mounted grab bars use tension to stay in place, similar to the mechanics of a spring-loaded shower curtain rod. When the user holds onto the grab bar for support, the force can cause the top and/or bottom brackets to suddenly slip from position.

This propensity to slide out of place is exacerbated by other conditions of the environment such as uneven ceilings and floors, condensation build-up that weakens the mounting brackets’ contact with the ceiling and floor, home foundation expansions and contractions that disturb the mounting brackets’ contact with the ceiling and floor, and inadvertently bumping into the grab bar pole that may cause mounting bracket movement.

The possibility of failure is too great with floor-to-ceiling mounted grab bars and isn’t worth the risk.

Opt instead for wall-mount grab bars for the safest and most secure grab bar solution. Keep reading for instructions on proper grab bar placement and use.


What to know before buying and installing

Grab bars are only as reliable as how well they are mounted to the wall. Plan out how the grab bars will fasten to the wall before purchasing the grab bars and any necessary mounting hardware.

Stud-to-stud – The optimal mounting scenario is fastening both ends of a grab bar to wall studs with 2 to 3 rust-proof screws per end (4 to 6 screws total). But often there are several factors that prohibit this optimal mounting scenario.

Grab bar stud installationFirst, the position of the studs may not align with the grab bar location that best suits the needs and preferences of the user. Furthermore, grab bars are manufactured at pre-assigned lengths (12 inches, 16 inches, 18 inches, etc.) that may not match the distance between the studs.

Even though studs are traditionally 16 inches apart, there’s no guarantee that the studs were installed accordingly (especially in a “wet wall” where studs may have been repositioned to accommodate plumbing lines).

Since stud-to-stud installation is the most secure and straightforward method, users should make their best attempt to line up the grab bar with two studs. As long as the grab bar still serves the user well, consider slightly adjusting the position and/or length of the grab bar.

If at least one end of the grab bar simply cannot align with a stud, then utilize a hollow-wall anchor to securely mount the grab bar.


Hollow-wall anchors – the basic function of all hollow-wall anchors is the same: maximize the wall-mounted weight the anchor can support by distributing that weight across a larger portion of the wall. Hollow-wall anchors utilize a toggle that inserts through a hole in the wall, spreads across the inside of the wall, and screws into place with a bolt to remain anchored to the wall. There are three different hollow-wall anchoring products in the market that are well-suited for mounting grab bars.

SnapToggle bolt anchors by Toggler – The SnapToggle bolt anchor features a metal channel that inserts through a drilled hole in the wall and flips up vertically to grip onto the inside of the wall above and below the drill hole.

Snap Toggle grab bar anchor
Snap Toggle grab bar anchor through the wall

A bolt passes through the hole in the wall and screws into the channel to fasten the grab bar flange securely into place.

Snap Toggle grab bar anchor in the wall
Snap Toggle grab bar anchor screwed to wall

According to the manufacturer, the SnapToggle bolt anchor should only be used when the other end of the grab bar is fastened to a wall stud. If no studs can be found, then skip the SnapToggle bolt anchor and consider the other two hollow-wall anchors. If the location of one stud is confirmed, then the SnapToggle bolt anchor is an appropriate option for mounting the stud-less side of the grab bar.

One advantage of the SnapToggle bolt anchor is that it is very rare to find an obstruction within the wall above and/or below the drill hole that would inhibit the metal channel from flipping up into place. Plumbing lines and other wall inner workings tend to run vertically rather than horizontally, so it is most likely that the SnapToggle metal channel will flip into position without any interference since potential obstructions would probably only be located to the left and right of the drill hole.

Nonetheless, if a tile grout line is very close to the intended mounting location, then it may be prudent to drill a very small pilot hole through the grout and test the surrounding area for any obstacles hidden within the wall. Insert a bent paperclip or other “L” shaped wire through the hole in the grout and rotate to see if it hits any obstructions. Fill the pilot hole in the grout line with a dab of silicone caulk or patch the grout line with matching-colored grout mix.

SnapToggle anchors are available in five different holding strengths to suit the specific conditions and needs of each grab bar application.

The strength of the SnapToggle anchor is directly related to the size of the hole drilled in the wall and the diameter of the fastening bolt. That is, the stronger the SnapToggle anchor, the larger the hole in the wall and the larger the bolt diameter required.

Here is a breakdown of the drill-hole size and the bolt diameter size required for each of the SnapToggle versions listed from smallest (carries the lightest load) to largest (carries the heaviest load):

  • B.A. SnapToggle – requires ½ inch hole in wall and uses a 3/16 inch diameter machine threaded bolt to fasten to the wall
  • B.B. SnapToggle – requires ½ inch hole in wall and uses a 1/4 inch diameter machine threaded bolt to fasten to the wall
  • B.E. SnapToggle – requires ¾ inch hole in wall and uses a 5/16 inch diameter machine threaded bolt to fasten to the wall
  • B.C. SnapToggle – requires ¾ inch hole in wall and uses a 3/8 inch diameter machine threaded bolt to fasten to the wall
  • B.D. SnapToggle – requires ¾ inch hole in wall and uses a 1/2 inch diameter machine threaded bolt to fasten to the wall

The first step in mounting a grab bar with the SnapToggle anchor is to select the correct SnapToggle anchor size to support the weight of the user. Keep two things in mind when determining how much weight the SnapToggle anchors must hold.

First, there may be secondary users (spouses, family members, guests, etc.) who share the toiletand may also depend on the grab bar. Second, caregivers who assist with toileting may need to hold onto the grab bar for support, sometimes simultaneously with the user. Factor these possibilities into the potential weight the SnapToggle anchors must hold.

To select the correct SnapToggle anchor version, consider the two variables that determine holding strength:

  • Wall material – what is the wall material (drywall, tile over backer board, etc.)?
  • Wall thickness – what is the wall thickness (3/8 inch drywall, 5/8 inch backerboard plus tile, etc.)?

Identify the wall material and thickness for the grab bar installation and review the weight-bearing specifications in the chart below for the different SnapToggle versions to determine the smallest, least invasive anchor size that offers the appropriate holding strength.

Snap Toggle Weight-Bearing Chart

Due to the size and proximity of the installation holes, only two SnapToggle anchors should be placed in the upper half of the grab bar flange when fastening to drywall. Walls with plaster over lath and tile over drywall are stronger, so in these instances three SnapToggle anchors can be used to fasten a grab bar flange. When determining the appropriate strength and least invasive anchors, be sure to account for the total number of anchors that can be used based on the wall material.

The next step is to ensure the selected anchors are compatible with the grab bar flange screw holes.

The diameter of a grab bar’s mounting flange screw holes varies from grab bar to grab bar, but most grab bar mounting flanges are fastened with 3/16 inch diameter screws. The smaller SnapToggle anchors use bolts of a smaller diameter (3/16 inch and ¼ inch), while the larger SnapToggle anchors use bolts of a larger diameter (3/4 inch). When shopping for grab bars, find out the largest screw diameter size the mounting flange can accommodate and compare that with bolt size of the SnapToggle anchors that were selected in the previous step. Make sure the grab bar’s mounting flange screw holes are large enough to receive the appropriate SnapToggle anchor bolts.

When the appropriate size and number of anchors are used according to manufacturer guidelines, SnapToggle anchors can securely attach grab bars to any wall surface as long as one of the grab bar flanges is fastened to a wall stud. For stud-less grab bar installation, consider the following two hollow-wall anchor options.


WingIts anchors – The WingIts anchor features an expanding toggle that inserts through a drilled hole in the wall and pops open to grip onto the inside of the wall around the drill hole. Similar to the SnapToggle, a bolt passes through the hole in the wall and screws into the toggle to fasten the grab bar flange securely into place.

Wingits through wall
Wingits expanded in wall

WingIts anchors can be used to mount both grab bar flanges to the wall; neither flange needs to be attached to a stud. This makes installing the grab bar much easier as the location isn’t dependent on any wall studs. With that being said, the mounting location must not have any obstructions around the drill hole that would interfere with the WingIts anchors properly expanding inside of the wall.

If there is a tile grout line near the drill hole location, then drill a very small pilot hole through the grout and test the surrounding area for any obstacles hidden within the wall. Insert a bent paperclip or other “L” shaped wire through the hole in the grout and rotate to see if it hits any obstructions. If there is something in the wall that would block the WingIts anchors from expanding, then move the mounting hole position to avoid the obstruction (keep in mind that this will change the placement of the grab bar).

WingIts anchors are available in two different holding strengths. The drill-hole size required to install the WingIts anchor is directly related to the anchor’s holding strength, that is, the stronger WingIts anchor requires a larger drill-hole size than the light-duty version.

While the drill-hole size for the light-duty WingIts anchor is smaller, it actually requires two drill holes rather than just one. Because drilling through tile can be such a delicate process, users may prefer to drill two larger mounting holes instead of four smaller mounting holes to fasten a grab bar to the wall.

The two WingIts versions and their respective drill-hole sizes are shown below:

Wingits - resgbw35

R.E.S.G.B.W.35 – requires two ¾ inch holes in wall

Wingits - gbw40

G.B.W.40 – requires 1 ¼ inch hole in wall

For the majority of users, the R.E.S.G.B.W.35 WingIts anchor offers the appropriate support for mounting a grab bar. Users who need additional holding strength should select the G.B.W.40. Remember that in addition to the primary user, there may be secondary users (spouses, family members, guests, etc.) who share the toilet and may also depend on the grab bar. Also, caregivers who assist with toileting may need to hold onto the grab bar for support, sometimes simultaneously with the user. Factor these possibilities into the potential weight the WingIts anchors must hold.

One drawback of the WingIts anchor is that it is only compatible with WingIts and Glacier Bay (Home Depot brand) grab bars. WingIts anchors feature screw holes that exactly match up with the screw holes on the flanges of WingIts brand and Glacier Bay brand grab bars. This actually makes installation easier since the anchors and grab bars are made specifically to fit together.


SecureMount anchors by Moen – The SecureMount anchor features a plastic toggle that inserts through a drilled hole in the wall and flips up vertically to grip onto the inside of the wall above and below the drill hole. A bolt passes through the hole in the wall and screws into the toggle to fasten the grab bar flange securely into place.

Moen SecureMount Anchor
Moen SecureMount Anchor Install

Just as is the case with WingIts anchors, SecureMount anchors can be used to mount both grab bar flanges to the wall; neither flange needs to be attached to a stud. The grab bar position isn’t dependent on fastening to any studs, but the mounting location must not have any obstructions around the drill hole that would interfere with the SecureMount anchors flipping into place inside of the wall.

The SecureMount anchor is similar to the SnapToggle anchor in that it mounts vertically against the inside of the wall above and below the drill hole, so encountering an obstacle within the wall is much less likely since most inner workings also run vertically and will be on either the left or right of the drill hole.

Even still, if there is a tile grout line near the drill hole location, then it may be wise to drill a very small pilot hole through the grout and test the surrounding area for any obstacles hidden within the wall. Insert a bent paperclip or other “L” shaped wire through the hole in the grout and rotate to see if it hits any obstructions. If there is something in the wall that would block the SecureMount anchors from flipping up vertically, then move the mounting hole position up or down to avoid the obstruction (keep in mind that this will change the placement of the grab bar). Fill the pilot hole in the grout line with a dab of silicone caulk or patch the grout line with matching-colored grout mix.

Moen only offers one SecureMount anchor that requires a drill hole size of 1 ¼ inch and is rated for supporting persons weighing up to 300 pounds. when installed properly. When considering how much weight the anchors should support, think about any secondary users (spouses, family members, guests, etc.) who share the toilet and may also depend on the grab bar. Also, caregivers who assist with toileting may need to hold onto the grab bar for support, sometimes simultaneously with the user.

Moen recommends using Moen brand grab bars with the SecureMount anchor. The Moen grab bar flanges have screw holes that are specially designed to align with the screw holes on the SecureMount anchor. The mounting flange on Moen grab bars offers more places to insert the fastening screws than other grab bars, and consequently, makes installation much easier.


The best grab bar placement depends on the approach the user can take based on the floorplan of the bathroom. Review the various grab bar locations for transferring onto and off of a toilet to determine what is most appropriate.

Note: grab bar placement for a diagonal and side approach applies to wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users alike. The grab bar placement for a front approach only applies to non-mobility aid users who can walk independently.

Grab bar toileting diagonal approach

Diagonal approach for mobility aid users


Grab bar toileting side approach

Side approach for mobility aid users


Grab bar toileting from approach

Front approach for walking users

Keep in mind that users may eventually rely on mobility aids, which means they will need to change the floor plan and grab bar locations to successfully transfer onto and off of the toilet.


These positions for toilet grab bars come from the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (A.D.A.A.G.) intended for commercial settings.

The goal of the A.D.A.A.G. is to make commercial spaces as accessible as possible for the most people as possible. The result is a set of accessible design standards that are generic enough to adequately serve a wide spectrum of users. Essentially, A.D.A.A.G. caters to the “average” user who has accessibility needs.

Do not automatically follow the grab bar standards set forth in the A.D.A.A.G. Instead, customize the orientation and location of shower grab bars to fit the user.


Recommended supplementary products and home modifications


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