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Caught Short! The Benefits Of Raised Toilet Seats

Posted by Mike Phipps on July 27, 2020

The Comfyfoam, Savanah, Novelle and Red Raised toilet seats that are available for sale on the Ability Superstore website

British people hate the idea of answering nature’s call while out and about.

The problem is the human body rarely has patience for such concerns, meaning we’re never entirely in control of when the urge will strike. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before that urge becomes urgent!

If this resonates, spare a thought for those who find using the toilet, even in their own home, something of a challenge. Whether living with a visible, physical disability or a hidden condition, for some, the act most of us take for granted — even if we don’t shout it from the rooftops — can cause stress, anxiety and worry, unless they can get to a fully accessible toilet in time.

We recently published a blog on hidden disabilities, and how easily misunderstood they can be. One of the main focal points was how quick the public can be to decide if someone is ‘entitled’ to use a disabled bathroom, based on looks alone. Rash decisions that regularly lead to embarrassment and even health and safety problems. Now imagine actually making it through the bathroom door unchallenged, only to find the facilities are not actually fit for purpose because they haven’t been appropriately adapted.

Despite legal obligations, the number of disabled bathrooms in the UK which do not meet requirements is shocking. As recently as 2017, The Independent newspaper ran a story on how more than 50% of Premier League football clubs failed to meet their promise and ensure suitable stadium facilities for all. The charity Mencap estimates the cost of installation would be around £10,000 per team, equating to roughly one day’s pay for many players at top-flight level.

If this is a problem at big money sporting institutions, you can imagine the reality in bars, restaurants, shops and pubs across the country. Many shortcomings boil down to a lack of understanding as to what an accessible toilet really means. So called “Doc M” grab rail packs are obviously important, and you should gauge dimensions based on the need to have room for one or potentially two carers. But this still overlooks one of the cheapest and most easily installed items; the raised toilet seat, where the toilet is a standard height toilet and not a specific raised toilet.

A toilet seat raiser, to use the technical term, is a simple but revolutionary form of assistive technology that does exactly what it says on the tin. By elevating the height of the seat itself, you make it far easier for those with reduced or limited mobility to sit on the toilet itself as they don’t have so far to bend down, and, in turn, not so far to rise again to a standing position.

When choosing one for home use, it’s important to gauge the height required correctly.

Similarly, it’s also essential to consider weight, as not all raised toilet seat options can support the same amount of downward force.

There’s an abundance of raised toilet seat models out there, with the market overall expected to grow for both public and private bathrooms in the next five years. Some, such as the Comfyfoam Raised Toilet Seat, are designed to be soft and forgiving, while others, for example, the Savanah Raised Toilet Seat, provide less luxury, but have an easy installation and removal process. The Novelle Raised Toilet Seat is ideal for situations where only some users will benefit, as it can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily.

It’s also important to consider the fact that mobility is often one of several challenges for people with disabilities. The Red Raised Toilet Seat is a good example. Changing the colour of a raised toilet seat may not seem like much, but it can make a significant difference for those with visual impairment or those living with dementia.

When ensuring that a toilet is accessible, as with any other area of your home or business, it’s important to listen to those who will be using these facilities. Have a read of Lesley’s recent blog about accessible shopping – it certainly makes you think. Listening and learning will certainly make the finished room a more pleasurable experience for all to use.