What Is A Toilet Safety Frame ?
As caregivers to elderly parents we are constantly trying to make things easier for our parents in their daily activities. Any area which requires mobility becomes more critical, and the toilet is no exception. there are a number of ways of making things easier, and one of these is the toilet safety frame.
What is a toilet safety frame ? Toilet safety frames are frames which are placed over and around the toilet to give you support when you either sit down on, or stand up from the toilet. Some models are also combined with a raised toilet seat.
Toilet safety frame types and uses
Toilet safety frames come in several types –
- toilet safety frame only
- toilet safety frames with a raised toilet seat
Toilet safety frames are the same as toilet safety rails, systems of support which go around a toilet around.
Toilet safety frames
These are metal frames – usually aluminum or steel – set up around, and over, parts of the toilet to provide maximum support to people who have mobility, balance and strength issues.
The frames can come in general either as a two-legged model or as a four-legged model.
The height of all the models in both types is adjustable in all, except for one brand, that I have ever seen.
Two-legged Toilet Frames
Here are some examples of two-legged models –
Heathcare Direct 101BSA Toilt safety Rails
Pivit Bathroom Safety Frame
Lumex Versaframe Safety Rail
Homecraft Toilet Safety Frame
These two-legged models require the removal of the toilet seat and lid to have a section bolted to the toilet. It fixes to the same bolts as your toilet seat.
To install –
- remove toilet seat and lid
- place the rear white bracket section with the two screw holes on the plate over the holes where your toilet seat was attached
- place your seat and lid back re-bolts as before, but with the frame plate underneath them
- slide the rear assist rails and adjust them to hole at the desired width – they will click into positon and the brass button will pop out
- attach the arm rests to the assist rails
- now adjust the height armrests/leg sections to the height of the toilet
Four-legged Safety Frames
Here are some examples of four-legged models –
Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail
Healthex Portable Healthcare Foldeasy Safe Support
OasisSpace Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail
RMS Toilet Safety Frame
Carex Toilet Safety Rails
Vaunn Deluxe bathroom Safety Rail
The Installation here requires nothing other than placing the frame over and around the toilet.
Here are some examples of a second four leg design but wit horizontal bars on the floor –
Elderly Assis Toilet Safety Frame
Drive Medical Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail
Kinbelle Bathroom Toilet Safety Rail
The installation for these is again just to place by the toilet – no fixings as they stand alone.
What happens when the toilet is eventually too low ?
It’s normal that over time the problems of sitting and standing will get worse with elderly parents, in many cases anyway, and the level of the toilet seat will become an issue.
Your parent will have two options –
use some form of riser or elevated seat on the toilet
use the second type of safety frame which has an elevated seat on it
Toilet safety frames (without seat) combined with raised seats which attach to the toilet seat, or bowl
There exist a whole range of different type of seats that can be attached to your toilet seat or bowl, and which raise the seat up from between 2 – 6 inches.
The types include –
Rings of plastic which fit under your existing toilet seat. You remove your seat and fit the riser underneath, with your seat on top of it, and bolt it all on again – note this may not fit with a two-legged safety frame, but it will work with a four-legged safety frame.
Your safety frame remains in place and can still be used for support.
Some examples are –
Nova 3 1/2 inch toilet seat riser
Maddak 4 inch hinged seat riser
Spacers or Tall Seats
These are seats with wedges or spacers placed underneath them to raise the height. You simply remove you seat and put the new one in its place.
The two-legged safety frames will bolt under the seat as they do with an ordinary seat, and the four-legged ones are just placed over the toilet
These come in heights of 2 -3 inches.
An example of these is –
Centoco 3L440STS-001 raised toilet seat with lid
This is a very rudimentary form of seat/ riser combined which simply clips onto your existing seat and adds the height you chose.
The safety frames can just be placed in the normal way to give support.
Side fastening seats
For these seats you will need to remove your toilet seat completely, as these heightened seats attach to the bowl of the toilet. You just tighten two side clamps to the toilet bowl.
The safety frames with four legs would be the best option here as the don’t need to get to the bolt holes which could be covered by these seats depending on your size of toilet.
The seats come in heights of 2 – 6 inches.
Some examples are –
Aquasense 4 inchRaised Toilet Seat with lid
Vaunn Medical Clamp-on 4inch Raised Toilet Seat
Carex Raised Toilet Seat
PCP 4″ Raised Toilet Seat
Front Locking seats
With these models, it depends on the size of your toilet whether or not you have to remove the existing seat or not, but you will at least have to keep it in the upright position if you don’t remove it.
For the safety frame you may also need to remove the toilet seat completely if it doesn’t have enough space in which to place the frame. Again in this instance it may work better depending on the size of your toilet if you have a four-legged frame which doesn’t require access to the bolt holes of the seat.
These seats come in heights of 4 – 6 inches and are the most sturdy of the seats which attach to the toilet bowl.
These models work with a clamp at the front and a lip that sticks out at the back and goes under the rim on the inside of the toilet bowl.
Some examples are –
Carex E-Z Lock 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Medokare 4.5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Vive 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Padded Handles
Safety Frames with integrated raised or elevated toilet seat
The second type of toilet safety frame has a raised toilet seat integrated in its design. These do not attach to the toilet, but are placed over the toilet with the seat suspended in the frame above the bowl. The weight is distributed over the four legs of the frame.
These frames are for those people who not only have difficulty with sitting and standing, but also lack strength, balance, need more support and who also want a more solid design.
The raised seats which attach to the toilet bowl can wobble in a lot of cases, and in many don’t have any form of handle, or armrests. The safety frame with a raised toilet seat has large armrests and as the seat is above the toilet within the frame, and supported by four legs, there is little, or no way, for it to wobble.
So, with these safety frames the seat is raised above the toilet in the frame.
The frames have
- adjustable heights – 18-23 inches in general
- the weight capacity is variable, but higher than for other types of raised seats
- there are bariatric models of safety frames for heavier people
Some examples of safety frames with raised seats are –
Maddak Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat with legs
PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1
MOBB elevated toilet seat and frame
Aidapt President raised toilet seat and frame
Lattice commode toilet seat and frame
Safety Frames with raised toilet seats + lift mechanisms
For those people who struggle a great deal to sit and stand due to frailty, lack of strength, or serious illness, there also frames which incorporate a lift mechanism into the raised seat.
The toilet seat lifts come with greatly varied levels of technology.
The mechanisms can be pneumatic, hydraulic or electric.
Some examples of safety frame toilet lifts –
The Uplift Commode
Easy Access Tilt Toilet lift ( this model is slightly different as it is secured to the toilet without legs)
The Liftseat Powered Toilet Lift
The Drive Solo Lift with Arms
Portable bedside commodes
Now to my mother’s favorite, the portable bedside commode.
Sometimes called a 3-in-1 commode it’s a metal chair frame with toilet seat and a pale.
The commode can be used as a toilet safety frame a with a raised toilet seat.
It is possible to adjust the height and there are bariatric frames which support far higher weights.
To install the commode as a toilet safety frame –
- remove the pale
- remove the backrest section of the commode which should just click out if it has push buttons, or undo wing nuts if it has those
- place your toilet seat and lid in the upright position
- place the commode over the toilet with the toilet lid and seat on the commode in place
Some examples of this type of commode are –
Drive Medical heavy duty bariatric commode
Drive Medical steel folding bedside commode
UltraCommode bedside commode
This is, in my opinion, a very good option for an elderly person who needs a bit of assistance with their balance as they can use it in the bathroom for the toilet, or if they are feeling they cannot walk that far, they can use it in their bedroom as a bedside commode.
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