Solving Toileting needs at home

Solving Toileting needs at home

It is one of our basic needs. When it becomes a difficult or impossible task it can play havoc with your independence, privacy and self-esteem.  Here are some tips that have helped me to keep the personal things personal.

Having difficulty standing up from the toilet is often the first indications for me a flare is on its way. I sit down only to find that standing is now out of the question. The first time this happened I dissolved into a puddle of tears, calling my husband to come rescue me.

1) The height of the toilet.

While you are able to purchase toilets that are slightly higher off the ground than average, unless you're installing a new bathroom this may not be an option. Rather buy a raised toilet seat. This will limit the amount of effort required by the large muscles in your legs to stand. If you have children at home you can also remove the raised seat to allow them easy access. Make sure that it sits securely on your toilet seat. There is nothing worse than being caught off balance by another obstacle in the middle of the night. Seats are priced from R300 - R1000 at local pharmacies.

2) Grab rails:

Getting all your muscles to work together to stand may also help. Having a secure 'artificial helping hand' to grab onto will reduce the effort needed to stand. Rails also assist in a more stable stand and support while pulling up necessary clothes.  You can purchase and self-install rails in your own home making this a cost-effective option. We have tiles in our bathroom. I managed to find grab rails for under R100 from a local pharmacy that uses suction cups to stick to the wall. No mess no fuss, but not as strong as one nailed into the wall.

3) Needed items close by:

We have all had that dreaded moment when the toilet paper roll runs to an end! Hopefully, someone is close by to assist, however it is always better to be safe than sorry. Try having a few spare rolls in the bathroom even if you need to conceal them in a cupboard or holder next to the toilet. For ladies, keep items needed during menstruation easy to access. A disposal unit should also be close by.  

4) Non-slip mats:

Spills (and sometimes explosions) will happen. While it’s essential to keep hygiene a priority safety comes first. Make sure if you have a mat that is non-slip. There's not a more embarring moment than having to call for help with your pants halfway down because you landed on the floor after slipping in your own mess.

5) Hygiene is essential:

For some, the muscles needed to 'twist and wipe' may seem impossible to activate. A Long handled reacher can provide some assistance but is often a struggle to use. Biodegradable wet wipes may provide some extra cleaning. For some timing may be the essential key. Make sure to empty your bowls during a time of day you feel the strongest. While this may not work in an emergency, getting into a regular routine will assist in the long run. At first, if you need prompt your body by using approved medication from your Neurologist.

This is not an easy topic and often seen as taboo to talk about. Try to be open with those living with you and ask for the support you need.

Do you have any other great solutions or adaptations? Let me know in the comments below.

For Helpful hints for personal care in the shower click here


  1. This is great information! I have learned to adapt over the years. However, the reach handle is ingenious! That can be one of the hardest things for me at times.

    1. Glad you found it useful❤ adapting and finding your best fit is the way to go!

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  2. These are some great tips! It is quite a sensitive subject, but you've covered it very well. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Alwyas a pleasure. Hooe that will help and educate others.

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