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My parents moved to an independent living facility closer to me in August. They have not been able to visit my home because we do not have high toilets and there are two steps that they would have to go up to get to either one of them. My mom cannot get up the two steps without a railing and she has to have a high toilet. We do not currently have the money to fix this problem. Dad wants to visit, but can’t leave Mom that long. Any ideas?

Seniors need both safety and trouble free access. If you cannot provide it, perhaps you can visit them.
Making these changes are sometimes expensive, railings, ramps, but some ideas for cheaper solutions are out there. Does your mother have a walker? Medicare provides.

Perhaps your father can help find inexpensive solutions.

It is essential and will probably get more demanding.

best wishes
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Reply to Bdette144
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You can get a high riser for your toilet so she can sit on it. they are relatively inexpensive and you can find them on Amazon and most pharmacies. Her doctor can give her a prescription for one.

To help her up and down the stairs, use some sort of belt (they also have them in pharmacies) that you put around her waist and help her get up. It takes a little strength. My friend who is a nurse practitioner uses one for her mother.

You can call up rehab places and speak with one of the rehab specialist to get more ideas.
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Reply to btorres
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It can be a lot to change around just for a visit but, mom would be able to visit more if your able to make changes. I had no idea how much I would have to do when my mom came to visit. She ended up staying with me! I would say, visit them first and see how mom gets around. That would give you a clear idea of what you’ll have to do and what changes you’ll have to make. Area rugs would have to be removed for one. They’re a fall hazard. Flat non-slip bath mats are best. The chairs alone have to be high enough for mom to get up (19-20inches from floor to seat. She may need a chair with arms. My mom can’t pull herself up to the dinner table. I had to purchase a rolling table like they use in hospitals. Best thing would be to visit them and see or ask dad what he thinks you’ll need. It will cost a bit to setup. Someone also mentioned having someone stay with mom. Dad may need a caregivers break if he’s the only one caring for mom. You just have to have someone that cares as much as he does.
Good Luck!
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Reply to Eunice1210
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Could your mother handle the 2 steps if they were ramped? In my city, there are some equipment exchanges where disabled people can borrow/rent/buy used equipment (I'm not sure of the options). Perhaps you could borrow or inexpensively purchase a portable ramp? There is a product called the Toilevetor that attaches permanently to the base of the toilet to raise the height. It can be purchased from Amazon and from some disability product companies for about $94.00. It does have to be installed, perhaps professionally, but when you're done you have a permanent improvement to your house. I've read positive things about it.
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Reply to caroli1
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Check with the local hospital if they have something they can loan you for the toilet seat and a possible ramp - often at no charge. Check it out. Good luck.
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Reply to Riley2166
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I can think of only one answer - take pictures of your home and then go and visit them. I too am disabled and cannot use a low toilet - impossible to get up again and I've had disasters trying - impossible. And I must have railings to hold on to so I check before I go any place. I don't know of any answers. Can someone stay with your mother while your father visits?
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Reply to Riley2166
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There are risers you can put on the toilet.
There are also bedside commodes and you can remove the "bucket" and place the framework over the toilet. This will give her the seat, the height she needs as well as support when she stands.
A small ramp could be built to go over the stairs, they can be removed when not needed and it could be moved from one set of stairs to another.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Bedside commode.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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You a get a bedside commode ...
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Reply to Agingcare1926
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You can buy or borrow temporary metal ramps and perhaps wheel them up on a transport chair. The ramps come in various sizes and can be removed and stored. A bedside commode with bucket removed can be temporarily placed over a regular toilet, as another poster mentioned before. I had to get very creative in devising ways to get my mom in and out of places.
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Reply to Katie22
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So you go visit them! Problem solved! Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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Do you have a local Lion’s Club loan closet? Ours has both those things you can borrow. No cost!

Presently we are borrowing a cane and transport wheel chair.

DL
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Reply to Dlievense
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See if CVS has toilet-risers. They are usually white heavy plastic and are inserted into the top of an open toilet. Look at the many variety of ramps with or without hand rails available on AMAZON.COM. Toilet risers are also sold on Amazon.com. Good luck.
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Reply to modo332
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Take a bedside commode and place it over the toilet and remove the bucket underneath it. You can adjust the height of the commode so that the seat is higher than the actual toilet seat.
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Reply to Audvich
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If you have nextdoor.com, sign up, then post a request online. We are members in our neighborhood. People are not only helpful with recommendations but we give stuff away free that we no longer need. Who knows - someone in your neighborhood may have something they no longer need or there may be someone out there willing to help at low or no cost. Also. I believe Honda is running a 'help our neighbors' campaign. You might try them to sign up for their help.
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Reply to CarolGinger
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Just an FYI - the recommend ratio of a ramp is 12" of length for every 1" of height, that would mean an average 2 step (14" rise) ramp would be prohibitively long, even doubling the slope or supposing the steps are only half height it would mean a 7' length.
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Reply to cwillie
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Contact your local area agency on aging and/or your local city hall. There may be some programs that could help at low or no cost, possibly volunteers who would help in making a ramp of some kind, or adding a railing. Can your parents help contribute to the cost of doing this? You can also get a raised toilet seat to temporarily put on one toilet in your home for when she visits. There also may be some respite programs for caregivers so that your mom would not be left alone if dad was able to visit.
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Reply to gdaughter
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Totally understandable.
Home depot has inexpensive wheelchair ramps for doors. High toilet seats can be paid for with medicare/medicaid within some medical supply stores.
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Reply to vmetoyer
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Our local thrift store chain always has a bunch of home care and adaptive things for really cheap. I've always been able to find an acceptable commode or walker or whatever there when we have needed one, for just a few bucks. You might check thrift stores, and also ask anybody such as your local hospice provider(s), senior center, home nursing association. If you do an internet search for "mobility products," "senior health products," etc. you might find something more affordable than you think that could make the stairs possible. Just a thought.
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Reply to InItForGood
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Some of the things you need to buy for the age of a person. Medicare or Medicaid might be able to supply you with the toilet risers. I am sure the same thing goes for the steps.
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Reply to Manson
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You might consider purchasing toilet risers. They come in different heights. Does your mom have a walker to help with steps?
These are considerations I had to take with my mother. They have helped.
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Reply to GRP1953
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As much as you probably do not want it, a quick-cheap fix is a portable potty chair. You can adjust the height and put it anywhere. Even if your only problem was toilet being too low, you can place the potty chair over the toilet to have higher seating.

If you have a sort of private area to place the potty chair, they won't have to climb any stairs. Dump it immediately and there won't be any smells.
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Reply to my2cents
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Spankiedoodle Feb 1, 2020
Or, if you can't dump it immediately then use tablets to disinfect it until you can.
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Any place you could put a commode where they’d have privacy but still he accessible? They aren’t terribly expensive and Medicare might pay due to their mobility issues. Not always fun to clean up but if it means they can visit might be worth it. They can be adjusted to any height and have handles to help get up and down.
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Reply to Dizzerth
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You need 2 persons to help up the steps. Call your local social services to see if they have a medical donation closet. Call other towns as well. Ask for a commode. You just have to take the bucket off and raise the legs to an appropriate height over the toilet.
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Reply to MACinCT
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JoAnn29 Feb 1, 2020
There are splash guards that take the place of the bucket. A lot easier to keep toilet clean.
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I purchased on eBay a raised toilet charge and by husband built a ramp with 2x4 and plywood. Temporary and cheap
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Reply to Mkrace
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Thanks for all of the ideas! Dad wants to visit, but won’t leave Mom. Mom would like to come, but the toilets and the steps are holding her back. I might just have to accept it, but feel like my Dad is disappointed because just before they moved closer he said that he was “looking forward to having a nice steak cooked on the grill” by my hubby at our house!
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Reply to LauraDaniel
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I recommend a riser that has long bolts used in place of the ones already there. The toilet seat sits on top. This way anyone can use it. I bought one on the internet that was hinged for easy cleaning. Think it cost $40. I worked for a Visiting Nurse Assoc. which provided used Durable equipment. Those risers that just sit on the toilet we found our elderly clients were not comfortable with. They aren't stable. Any riser u buy u need to know how the toilet is shaped, round or oval so u get the correct riser. We also suggested putting commodes over the toilet using a splash guard.

I would see Medicare will pay for any of these ideas. Commodes are covered. If not Medicare, some supplimentals pay for durable equipment. Maybe your Dad can get a riser or Commode. Even though he or Mom is not using them they are being used for them.

I agree, a railing should not cost alot. Maybe Dad would pay to have it done.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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there are lots of raised seat options that require no installation and are not expensive. The steps are the deal breaker. But 2 people could likely help her up the steps especially if using a gait belt. If the facility they live in has an option of physical therapy (sometimes they are contracted with an outside agency for services) see if you could arrange a session for assistance with mobility and transfer. They may be able to get this ordered by physician but even if your parents have to pay out of pocket it might be worth it. Your and your husband would set up a time to learn how to do this using stairs at the facility. That is quite a bit of coordination but it would allow her to come visit. Or get a sitter to watch her so your father could come on his own.

We can no longer bring my FIL to our house for holidays. He is no longer able to stand and is completely in a wheelchair so we see him at his facility.
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Reply to dogparkmomma
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If you have a room that doesn't require them to go up any stairs you could put a commode chair in it for them to use, if they feel comfortable with that arrangement.
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Reply to Geaton777
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One quick solution for the bath is a bedside commode frame placed over an existing toilet to provide a higher seat and support arms for a senior. Alternatively, Lowe's has a really good ADA complaint toilet for $129 (often on sale for less) and swapping toilets is a quick and easy job for any plumber so many will do this task for their minimum trip fee. I use the ADA toilet with two grab bar/handrails that attach to the wall and fold down on each side of the toilet. Not having the commode frame legs around the toilet makes it easier to place and use a bath transfer chair.

How high is the distance between the two floor levels? Is there enough hallway to allow a ramp? You need 1 foot per inch of rise for an ADA compliant ramp used with a walker or wheelchair, although many seniors can easily walk up a ramp with only 1 foot per 2-3 inches of rise. Even with a ramp, you really need to install a handrail. Temporary ramps can be constructed of wood with very basic carpenter/handyman skills. There are also aluminium folding ramps available for under $500 new and much less used from yard sales or sites like ebay. One advantage of the folding ramp is the same ramp can serve two purposes. Once at the entrance and then setup inside the home after your parents enter.
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Reply to TNtechie
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