Follow
Share

My 95 year old mother with dementia is "rocking" the toilet from the floor bolts. When she moves to get up (and yes, she has a bar to grab on the wall next to the toilet) or move forward so I can clean her, she waddles back and forth so now the toilet is no longer connected correctly. Plumber will need to do some special welding of the flange and ring, and put a heavier-duty toilet in, $800 bill to fix!!! Has anyone ever had this happen? How did you solve it? What kind of toilet do you think would work best? It's the only bathroom, and considering that my bathroom looks more and more like a hospital toilet, I am not adding more crazy contraptions.

Find Care & Housing
I'm saying this kindly - if you feel as though you no longer have a place in your own home maybe it is time to consider other options for her care. Care-giving at home isn't easy, and you shouldn't have to continue until you've reached your breaking point.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to cwillie
Report

Is your mother very heavy? I only ask because I can't imagine being able to "rock" a properly installed toilet off it's supports. One solution might be to add an inexpensive toilet seat riser so she can get to her feet more easily, or to place a commode (with splash guard) over the toilet.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to cwillie
Report

My husband was provided with a bench that had a hole in the center and rails on both sides. He did not sit on the toilet itself but on the bench. If you had that for Mom, she could rock all she wants and not affect the commode. And honey, come see my house. I have “contraptions” in every room. But if it keeps my hubby safe and comfortable, I don’t kvetch.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

No No No don't pay this guy $800. My husband is a plumber, so I know that is way too much. When the toilet moves, it simply means the bolts are loose and the wax seal is no longer doing its job. Unless this goes on for a long time and causes leakage between the lino and the sub floor, this is no $800 job.
The toilet can be pulled and a new wax seal installed for about $75.00. There is probably nothing wrong with the toilet, it will be reinstalled with new bolts. Then get her a higher toilet seat https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/essential-medical-elongated-toilet-seat-riser/ID=prod6095622-product?ext=msnKBM_PLA_-_Home_Medical&kpid=sku6085958&sst=c3ff841e-19b0-403b-bc7d-f2a0e39c78b2&msclkid=43437f05ff2019afed7323060129621f
Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to callen3x
Report
Jasmina Dec 2, 2018
- i thought 800 sounds crazy high in price too, but that could have included a new toilet.
(2)
Report
You could use one of those commode seats that you can just put overtop of the toilet. It moves out of the way for others to use the toilet normally. Then, your mom isn't sitting on the toilet at all and she has the arms of the commode to help with positioning.

If your mom is 95, I'm guessing you're 65 or better. It sounds like you're doing a lot of very hands-on, physical caregiving. Maybe it's time for AL for mom. Don't risk your own body. If mom shifts her weight suddenly or you twist your body in an awkward way, you're in for a long recovery and maybe never getting back to full function. You'll be no good to her and you won't be able to have any of the long, happy senior years your mom has had.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to IsntEasy
Report
vicky64 Dec 2, 2018
Very good answer, IsntEasy, I concur that we do no good for our loved ones if we hurt ourselves!!  I found that being caregiver when the folks were in AL was all I could handle and there are 4 of us. Please take care of yourself and your own health!!!  Mom will adjust well, and you will start to get your life back, emotionally and physically, too!  God Bless!
(2)
Report
I am stifled by all the bars, chairs, contraptions, etc. that go with taking care of her. Not to mention the stair chair gizmo that was $10K and looks ugly. As someone who has fought cancer twice, and I have chosen to live alone and in the most beautiful surroundings I can muster for years- my house now looks like the local hospital. When I read you comments about plastic toilet chairs with bars and wood frames, I want to cry. It the only bathroom and so we have to share it.
OK, so I know I am supposed to not care as long as she is happy and safe. But my surroundings have always affected my temperament and mood--I need a calm, quiet, beautiful house. Am I going to have to go back on antidepressants to get by? Maybe it's time to move her to a facility.
But thank you all for trying to help me.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Jackie22806
Report
PiperLee Dec 2, 2018
I think it is time if you have to resolve to antidepressants to cope..Find a place that is as close to you so you can be an advocate for her by seeing she is getting the best care and watch her meds carefully...Nursing homes aren't perfect but there are times when they are needed. At 95 I think that is time for you to make a decision. I took care of my Mom for 6yrs then I could no longer do it. We all want to do our best taking care of our loved ones but not att the point of frustration...Take Care of yourselve so you can be there for your Mom...Good Luck God Bless
(8)
Report
See 2 more replies
Jackie, You You have been given a lot of good advice here. I am not as old as your mother, I'm only 90, but I can certainly empathize with your situation because as stroke victim, I face the same problem every day. I don't know about the $800 fee that you've been quoted as sounds high to me, but I'm not a plumber and I don't see why welding is necessary. The thing that worries me is the fact that the situation you have it is possible that water is leaking into the floorboards that are used to anchor toilet. If those floorboards begin to rot the whole thing might pull up regardless of what, reinforcing steel is used to hook into the screws., I would use some 1/8" (or as thick as will fit under the floor board) stainless steel . for the on either side use the original sizes as a gauge but do not use brass, use stainless the same goes for the washer piece that goes on top you will be limited to the size, but the bigger gauge you can use the better off you'll be. I'm concerned that rocking back and forth could eventually crack or break the porcelain of the toilet. That could cause your mother to actually fall on the floor. That rocking should as you know be eliminated. Ideally, your mothers arms and legs should be the primary tools to get her up off the toilet.

The bars that she grabs onto should be placed at the right distance and the right angle. In some cases you might want to stick two bars, parallel to one another to allow her pull herself up, one step at a time. I have three bars in one bathroom Two directly in front of me and one on my weak side. In another bathroom, I have only one bar and that one is on my strong side. Your mother has to be there to work with you to determine the exact position and angle that works best for her.
Fixing the rocking toilet is only necessary maintenance. It will not help her to stand. Proper installation of the grab bars will mitigate your mother's problem of going from a sitting position to a standing position.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Hobo90
Report

Medicare will provide a bedside commode. You can place this over the commode as cwillie suggested. It has arms and makes it easier to get up and down. It's also good to sit in the shower as a bath aid. You will need a doctors prescription.
On the expense. The commode in my aunts bath began to leak around the base, like the seal was broken. A plumber was called who wanted to charge $400 to reinstall two commodes. Her commodes weren't worn. This was not replacing the commodes but there was a "flange" discussion. We had him fix the seal while I thought about the repair.
Meanwhile, Aunt was stuffing the commode with tissue and causing additional problems, I was referred to a different plumber by the city who came for this problem. Cleaned all the lines, did the flange work and adjusted a sink all for $250. I would get a second opinion before paying $800. That might be a good price but it doesn't hurt to shop it.
You aren't going to be able to get you mom to stop rocking. I'd try to get one of the options recommended to assist her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

I have been facing this problem now for several years but fortunately as I get stronger and have more rails installed it is easier to manage.
What I would love to have is one of the trapeze bars they use in hospitals over the bath tub.
I can get in and lie down for a good soak but trying to get out is the fight of my life so I only tried that once. So the tub is out and that leaves the shower. I am too unsteady on my feet to just stand there snd soap up so my solution has been to sit on a shower chair with an hand held shower so I have a sponge shower but at least I can get washed and do it independently.
I won't go into the public toilet fiasco.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Veronica91
Report

Depending on the age and use or abuse it is entirely possible to wear out a toilet flange. Since the base is smaller than the bowl applying weight to one side over a period of years will slowly wear things out. It is only held in place by two brass bolts through the flange. I have seen more than one with broken flanges.
Your plumber may be talking about one with a wider base to increase stability.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to OldSailor
Report

See All Answers
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter