Handicap Toilet Options
The toilet may not be the most glamorous item in your bathroom but it is certainly the most necessary, and a handicap toilet doesn’t have to be an eye sore to make life easier.
The bathroom signifies personal independence more than any other room in the house, but the standard bathroom has more obstacles than you would believe.
Of all of the rooms in your house, the bathroom requires the most physical exertion. If you have ever had a leg or back injury you will appreciate the fact that getting up and down from the toilet is a major undertaking. As we get older–and it happens to everyone–we lose some mobility and strength. In addition to grab bars, bath benches and specially designed showers you might want to reconsider some handicap toilet options.
A standard toilet is too low for people with limited leg or joint strength. A height adapter that you can snap onto a toilet is a simple way to raise the seat from 2 to 5 inches. You can also get new, higher toilets from home improvement stores for less than $200.
Other options to consider include installing grab bars on the walls around the toilet. You may also look into a wall-hung model that, while not necessarily a special “handicap toilet” can be installed at any height to make it accessible for all family members.
Models with power-lift seats, or integrated personal hygiene systems are also available. If you are redesigning your bathroom for a handicap family member remember that it needs to have enough approach space and clearance to allow a wheelchair or walker user to enter and turn around easily.
Raised Toilets Look at all the options before you choose. You will want to look at raised-height toilets, wall-hung toilets, or perhaps an in-wall tank toilet. A typical chair is 17 or18 inches off the ground and is a comfortable height for most people. Toilets are now available with chair height seats (2-3 inches higher than standard) that are easier on knees and a good height for transferring from a wheelchair). The few extra inches have a big impact on the ease of sitting down or getting up from a toilet. Raised-height toilet seats have become so popular that many manufacturers are offering them in all of their major lines and colors.
Wall-mounted Toilets Traditional houses have small bathrooms. A few inches here and there can mean the difference between being able to use the bathroom or not. A wall-hung toilet mounts to the wall framing which eliminates the need for the foot or the base. More space can be saved with an in-wall model. The only portion of the toilet that protrudes into the room is the bowl itself; the flush apparatus is mounted on a nearby wall. Toilet seats in a ‘dream’ bathroom would feature a wall-mounted arrangement. Think about how easy it would be to clean.
Whether you chose a floor mounted or wall mounted toilet will depend on the plumbing in your bathroom.
A mature friendly bathroom is a good remodeling investment. This doesn’t mean that your accessible bathroom has to look institutional. With a sound design and some aging-friendly products, you can make over your bathroom so that it is both usable and attractive.