One of the most painful ironies of serious medical conditions is that the hardest things to talk about are the most important to address. This is especially true of medical commode solutions, incontinence supplies, shower aids, and other equipment designed to make using the restroom safe, comfortable, discreet and even independent.
Why are toilets and bathrooms so vital for living independently?
Physical therapists and other recovery specialists will often say that the ability to use the bathroom is the single milestone they’re aiming for when working toward hospital or rehab discharge.
The bathroom process is highly personal, involving predominantly internal clues and behaviors you’ve been practicing, strictly independently, your entire life. Unfortunately, when you start needing help in the bathroom due to legitimate medical concerns, it can quickly affect your dignity. Most people fight fiercely to retain this aspect of their independence.
But to use most Western home toilets, you must sit back, essentially blindly; stay seated, balanced and upright on a toilet with no sides; and then stand back up again from this seated position.
(Alternately, wheelchair users must instead perform transfers to and from the toilet, often within spaces that are far too small to accommodate such a maneuver.)
Without specific input to customize a home toilet for someone’s medical issues, most bathrooms will contain virtually no aids or safety equipment for accommodating anyone but fully able-bodied people.
This means that mobility issues—including balance problems and muscle weakness—put you at greater risk for a fall during the bathroom process. Moreover, most bathrooms are predominantly covered in hard, slick surfaces and sharp corners, which make them among the most dangerous places to experience a fall.
How to address bathroom safety and independence.
Properly addressing these safety concerns requires understanding the problem and the risks (even if catastrophes have been avoided up to this point), and implementing solutions that are both effective and safe.
Grab bars do no good if they’re not installed securely. They actually make things even more dangerous.
Here are some questions to address when considering bathroom safety equipment.
Who are these solutions for?
What concerns need to be considered?
- Sitting down?
- Standing up from a seated position?
- Not being able to sit down so low or get back up again from that level?
- Getting into and out of position?
- Staying upright while seated?
- Space and access for mobility aids?
- Slippery surfaces?
Then, what kinds of solutions will really remedy these concerns?
- Raised commode seats?
- Padded commode seats?
- Safety handles/grab bars?
- Fixed guide rails?
- Floor tread?
- Padding on corners and edges?
Also, will adult incontinence aids or other single-use supplies help to mitigate accidents and keep you or your loved one safe and dry in between bathroom visits?
Helios provides Tampa bathroom safety solutions.
Here’s where having a medical resource right here in the Tampa Bay area is really important. Because unless you’re already an expert, these problems are difficult to solve safely and effectively. On top of that, when discussing bathroom safety, you want someone local you can trust.
Whether over the phone or in person, your Helios representative can help you navigate bathroom use issues, discretely, while explaining the medical supplies we have on our North Dale Mabry sales floor, in our stock storage, and/or readily available to order from our trusted suppliers.