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My husband has difficulty getting up from toilet. He grabs the towel bar to get up but it is quite a reach from the toilet. Installing a grab bar there would help but the distance to it is still an issue. I fear one day he may fall if he cannot grab on to something. Any suggestions?

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We used a SuperPole™ with the additional swing arm (this is a pole that is securely "wedged" between the ceiling and floor) in front of the toilet that mom could reach out and grab, it was also a place she could steady herself while I pulled up her pants. There are also toilet seat risers that have attached grab bars, or separated grab bars that attach to the toilet, or some people use a commode with grab bars that can be placed above the toilet, search bathroom safety products for seniors and you'll be astonished at what is available.
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Just an additional word of caution in case anyone wasn’t aware- towel bars, shower curtain poles, soap racks, toilet paper spools, NONE OF THESE or ANYTHING suspended from a wall in a bathroom is EVER safe as a lifting or rising assist UNLESS it has been installed with that specific purpose in mind.
ALSO, if you have recently moved to a home that has safety equipment installed, have a qualified handyman/installer check to make SURE that the safety equipment has been properly installed, and not just screwed into a wall that may be sheet rock or other materials that cannot support full body weight.
I learned this lesson the hard way, and luckily was not hurt myself, but would not want anyone else to have a more serious experience with equipment I tended to help.
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Countrymouse Nov 8, 2018
You had an accident with safety equipment that hadn't been installed correctly? That's terrible! It must have been such a blow to your confidence. Glad there wasn't lasting damage.
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My husband used the toilet paper holder and ripped the whole thing out of the wall. It was a huge pain for me to fix that giant hole.

We got a bench with a hole in the middle that fit right over the toilet. It had sturdy handles on either side. We also got a raised toilet, which are available at Lowe’s.
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Whyarewe Nov 8, 2018
Friend of mine, staying overnight, tore off the hanger parts of a towel warmer on the wall. Never said a word to me. Glad it came with a floor stand, but not putting it in that bedroom for sure. Folks who are not quite "all there" will use the closest item as a grab bar. Heaven forefend!
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I got to thinking that if Occupational Therapists had their way, towel rails and shower curtains would be banned by law from every bathroom - not only they but also all the handymen they contracted and sent to us on several jobs regaled me with horror stories about what happened to burly older men and sweet little old ladies alike when they didn't have properly installed grab rails or toilet frames.

If you go to any mobility or disability shop online, you'll get a good idea of all the different types available. Even if space is limited or the floor is tiled or the loo is a dolphin sculpture, there will be one that fits. Best of luck!

P.S. make sure it's easy to clean or you'll end up hating it.
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If your LO has lost strength on one side from a stroke or injury, be careful about using bedside commode frames or toilet risers that are designed for someone pushing or applying pressure on both sides of the frame because they can become unstable when someone applies full weight to only one side and tip over.

If your bath layout doesn't include a side wall for installing a grab bar or the wall is on your LO's weaker side, there are still some workable grab bar options out there. There's one that mounts to the wall behind the toilet and folds up against the wall when not in use that's very workable in just about any bath configuration. Because it has no feet extending to the floor, it doesn't block access to swing legs over a bathtub when using a transfer bench; neither does it impede floor cleaning efforts. Because the wall is carrying the full load, it needs to be installed using long wood screws by someone who knows how to hit the wall studs dead center. You may even need the wall opened up and extra structural studs installed horizontally so you can place the grab bar exactly where you need it. A quicker and less expensive procedure is to place horizontal studs over the existing wall; using some type of stain or paint before installation gives a fairly nice finished look even when the studs will be visible. One local volunteer fire department has become so good at the over the wall installation method they can install the grab bars in less than 30 minutes (arriving with precut and drilled painted horizontal studs).

There are also grab bars that attach to the wall behind the toilet and to the floor beside that are very effective if your bath has enough room available.

As a quick fix, my family once used metal strapping to "tie down" a bedside commode frame to the wall behind the toilet. It didn't look pretty and we had to use electrical tape to wrap the sharp edges on the metal strapping, but it did prevent the commode frame from tipping until we could order and install the grab bars. My depression era father always said anyone could fix it if they had all the right tools and all the right parts; real skill was being able to fix it with what you had.
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cwillie Nov 8, 2018
When I first saw those fold down grab bars I thought they were the best thing ever - unfortunately most of us would need to tear out the wall and add extra wood supports because studs are never where you need them to be.
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Like cwillie's answer I had a SuperPole in the bathroom for my husband. He had right side hemiparesis after a massive stroke and a right above knee amputation. The pole allowed him to use his left hand and pull himself to a standing position on his left leg and he could pivot onto his electric wheelchair. He had another one beside the bed so he could transfer from chair to bed to chair. He practiced these manoeuvres in hospital before I brought him home. These poles were a lifesaver and I highly recommend them. There is no construction. I put it up myself.
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A quick pointer if anyone chooses a toilet seat riser: ensure the LO can fully sit on the riser seat.

My sisters had bought my mom one of these risers as she had trouble sitting and rising from the standard toilet seat. The taller height made it easier for her to sit or stand.

When I arrived to care for Mom, the house reeked of urine. Sisters said the toilet was leaking. The floor was crusted with dried urine. (So, why didn't they get it fixed!?) Long story short, when trying to figure out the problem, I realized Mom was short, less than five feet tall, and she could only sit on the edge of the riser. She couldn't get her bottom fully on the riser. She'd pee on the riser edge, and the fluid flowed to the floor. With her dementia she couldn't realize it herself.

I tossed the riser and installed a rail around the toilet--the commode railing mentioned below--so she could sit and rise easily and get her bottom on the toilet. Took me hours to clean and sanitize the floor and clean the carpet because poor Mom would step in the urine, tracking it throughout the house.
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qattah Nov 8, 2018
Excellent point. My father was short in stature also and afterward he was in the hospital for awhile. The hospital supplied him with a riser seat but his feet didn't touch the floor. He kept telling them and they told him he just had to get used to it. He finally removed it himself and was fine.
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There are raised toilet seat with handle bars on each side. They fasten easily to existing toilet using the screws that hold the seat on. Makes all the difference (about 3 - 4 inches higher than regular seat (not to mention the newer lower toilets - the raised one is a super help)
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Nova or drive toilet safety rail at Lowe’s or other for about $35. It looks like a walker that fits over back of toilet bowl. This will help him sit and get up and nothing to pull out of the wall.
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They make a Toilet Surround that really works. Like a walker that sits around the toilet.
I've been told that a bedside commode frame will also work but I had the surround from my dad and my DH used it for 3 years.

www.healthproductsforyou.com/p-homecraft-adjustable-bariatric-toilet-surround-frame.html
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