With aging comes diminished physical abilities and the simple task of using the toilet can become challenging. It seems simple and is something that can be easily overlooked, but the elderly can be at risk going to the bathroom. Without assistance a slip and fall can lead to a break or fracture which can be dangerous to the elderly. Assisting a patient with toileting can be as simple as using the proper toileting aids and techniques.
Our mobility seems to be the first casualty of aging. This may seem like a problem for outside the home, but there are dangers that lurk inside our homes. The bathroom is probably the area for greatest concern due to potentially slippery surfaces such as porcelain and smooth ceramic tile. There are several reasons why our elderly loved ones may require toileting assistance and they can include:
With our elderly population growing, it is more important than ever to be sure and have an open, honest discussion with your loved ones when it comes to assisting a patient with toileting.
When toileting a patient any caregiver needs to take all steps possible to make sure the patient feels no embarrassment or shame in requiring assistance when toileting. The main concern may be incontinence (both urinary and fecal), but there are measures you can take to minimize these potential issues. A toileting schedule for the elderly can actually “train” a patient’s system to go regularly or at least semi-regularly. Simple things like limiting caffeine and making sure any path to the toilet or commode is clear of obstructions and well lit. Other options may include:
1. Portable Commodes: These can be used in a multitude of ways it can be used as an over the toilet commode or in a bedside manner. The side handlebars allow the user to sit and stand with more stability and many have an included bucket for bedside toileting. Many are also lightweight and foldable for travel.
2. Bedpans/Urinals: For those that are bedridden, these toileting aids can allow for patients to relieve themselves while still in bed and minimize mess and possible laundry since they can help protect bedding and linens.
3. Commode/Shower Chair: One economic option is a commode/shower chair that allows the patient to use the facilities in an over the toilet or standalone option and then simply be pushed into a handicapped shower for bathing. No need for transfers once seated.
4. Grasp Bars: Most of these bars can be mounted vertically or horizontally in any spot needed for additional support during toileting. There are permanently mounted bars and grasp bars that utilize suction cups for easy removal and travel.
5. Raised Toilet Seat: The act of sitting and standing can be difficult for those with limited mobility and these add-ons allow for a higher toilet seat to minimize the range the user needs to sit or stand.
As we age, toileting can become more difficult. In order to properly aid an elderly patient during toileting we must be sure to use any medical/toileting aid necessary to help make toileting easier. Besides using available toileting aids, it’s imperative that we make the patient feel comfortable and not feel embarrassed about the everyday activity of using the toilet. Help your loved ones maintain their quality of life!!
Bath safety products are important to maintain safety in the bathroom for seniors, children, bariatric or those with a disability. Health Product For You offers a wide range of bathroom safety products from top manufacturers like Drive Medical, Graham-field Health Products, Medline Industries, Mjm International, Teakworks4u. Shop now!
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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