At my rehab hospital, OTs evaluated how stroke survivors get on and off a toilet with the help of a grab bar. Aides dealt with all other toileting skills. Aides have large caseloads, so to stay on schedule and they do everything for their clients. Toileting after a stroke survivor goes home can be distressing when you learn all safety issues were not addressed.
Have Questions about Toilet Safety
Dear Toilet Safety Person,
Right you are! Aides have a big caseload and so do Occupational Therapists (OT). So you have to contribute your own two cents!
There are basic things one should know and have when going to or getting off the toilet:
1. Wear sweatpants or other type of elastic pants so you don’t have to struggle with going to the toilet or getting off and safely back to your wheelchair or your place of origin.
2. Have a hand rail or grab bar on the strong side if the toilet is too low to accomodate you.
3. A commode (without the bucket, of course) over the toilet is a way to make the seat higher without replacing the toilet.
4. The bathroom ranks as one of the top places for falls. So get yourself Life Alert or something like it. Over the years, I slipped and fell off the toilet twice. Life Alert to the rescue! It costs 50 bucks or so, but everybody with a brain injury should have one.
As the therapists say, safety is their first concern, and falling isn’t a picnic either!
Here the photo right after one of the falls involving the toilet: