Home Safety: Raised Toilet Seats

An elevated toilet seat eases joint strain and reduces workload when lowering onto and raising up from the toilet.

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Helpful Highlights

  • Traditional toilet bowl heights are 14 - 16 inches from the ground.  Taller toilets (ADA compliant) are 17 - 19 inches from the ground.
  • Depending on the height of the toilet bowl, fastening or freestanding raised toilet seats can increase toilet bowl height by 2 - 7 inches.
  • Raised toilet seats can be purchased from most drug and department stores, durable medical equipment suppliers and online.
  • Easy to install and, when installed properly, are very secure.  They universally fit round or elongated toilet bowls.

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For loved ones with limited joint mobility due to pain, stiffness, or swelling, or who have muscle weakness, the motions of sitting down and standing up can be daunting.  The lower the sitting surface, the greater the degree of difficulty, and the toilet is a sitting surface.  For our loved ones who have older bathroom fixtures, toilets can be especially low.  Without assistance, our loved one kind of falls onto the toilet when sitting. This motion can cause injury, particularly if they are not centered when they land.  It can also damage the toilet, resulting in broken toilet seats, tank and toilet bowl separation, cracks, and leaks.

Raised Toilet Seats ease the workload associated with lowering onto and raising up from the toilet.  They are beneficial for those with pain or limited mobility in their hips and/or knees, as they reduce joint flexion and demand on associated muscles.  Someone with joint and muscle challenges may dread the thought, or very real threat, of not being able to get off the toilet once they've sat down.  A raised toilet seat, combined with a nearby grab bar, allow many with mobility challenges to continue toileting independently.  Though they also help you in assisting them.  Some raised toilet seats attach directly to the toilet, while others are designed to be positioned over the toilet (easier to remove and replace).  Like grab bars and handrails, there are many styles and configurations.

SAFETY: To determine the raised toilet seat height needed, measuring from the floor, subtract the height of the top of the toilet bowl from from the height of the back of the knee.  The difference determines how high to raise the seat.

21 inches from floor to back of knee (minus) 15 inches from floor to top of toilet bowl

21 - 15 = 6

6 inches of raised toilet seat height needed

The cost of a raised toilet seat may be partially or wholly covered by your loved one’s health plan.

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