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What are toileting aids?

What are toileting aids?

Simply put, these are aids and equipment designed to help you with using the toilet or keeping you dry and comfortable if you're living with incontinence. They don't all serve the same purpose, so which toileting aid would be right for you would depend on your unique needs and circumstances.

For example, if you need products to help with incontinence you may be looking at pads and pants, rather than toilet frames. But if you're finding it difficult to get on and off the toilet, a raised toilet seat may be a more suitable starting point. The aim of this guide it to help explain and identify the different types of toileting aid to make it easier for you to find the one you need.

Who might use a toileting aid?

Anyone who needs support with toileting, whether that's help with getting on and off the toilet, an aid to help when using the household toilet isn't feasible, or who is living with incontinence may find it beneficial to use a toileting aid. 

There is no shame in needing to use a toileting aid, whatever your reason for using one. They are there to help you live more independently and take some of the stress out of daily life. 

Who might use a toileting aid?
What are the different types of toileting aid?

What are the different types of toileting aid?

There are a variety of toileting aids and equipment available, including:

  • Commodes
  • Incontinence pads and pants
  • Toilet frames
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Urinals and bedpans
  • Toilet support rails

The range of options mean it can be quite overwhelming to find what's right for you, which is why we've put together some guides to help. 

Commodes
What is a commode?

A commode is a specialist chair that gives you a safe, comfortable place to toilet, which can be incredibly useful if using the household toilet isn't a practical option for you - for example at nighttime. There are a wide range of commode types and styles, from discreet bedroom commodes designed to look like ordinary bedroom furniture and static commodes to wheeled shower commodes that can also be used to help with personal hygiene in the shower as well as for toileting.

    What is a commode?
    Who can use one?

    Anyone can use a commode. They're there to support anyone who has difficulties using a household toilet or who needs a toileting aid close at hand, whether that's due to limited mobility or issues with incontinence. 

    Depending on your need and where it will be used, you can buy incredibly discreet commodes that look just like an ordinary chair to those that are a little more clinical in appearance but perhaps can be wheeled around or folded up to store away as needed.

      Who can use one?
      Buying guide

      Want to learn more about the different types of commodes and what their features are? Read our buying guide to find out everything you need to know about commodes and some of the accessories available with them.

        Buying guide
        Family guide

        There can be a lot involved with choosing a commode and making sure it's maintained properly. If your loved one may find a commode useful to make their daily life easier, take a look at our family guide to get the lowdown on the different types of commode and how best to keep them clean.

          Family guide
          Incontinence aids
          What are they?

          Incontinence aids are aids designed to help support those living with incontinence. These pads and pants are specially designed to help those who are prone to leaks, to help keep them clean, dry, and comfortable. They come in a variety of sizes and types, so you can find the right level of absorbency to meet your needs. You can also get disposable or washable pads for your bed or seats to provide an extra layer of protection, if needed.

            What are they?
            Who can use them?

            Whether it's a temporary condition brought on by childbirth or illness or a more long-term situation, there are incontinence aids available to suit all ages and need, from children through to adults, with some products designed specially for women and others for men. 

            If you are living with incontinence, there are products to help you go about your day with more confidence.

              Who can use them?
              Incontinence: the unspoken subject

              Are you living with incontinence or know someone with the condition and want to learn more about it? See our guide to incontinence for helpful tips and support, including an explanation of some of the different types of incontinence and debunking some common incontinence myths.

              Remember, if you're worried about incontinence, you should speak to your GP as there may be something they can do to help.

                Incontinence: the unspoken subject
                Toilet frames
                What are they?

                Toilet frames are frames that can be positioned around your toilet to help offer you extra support when getting up or sitting down on it. Some toilet frames can be permanently affixed to the floor for extra security, while others can be moved from their position, as required.

                You may also see some toilet frames that include a toilet seat as well, to give further help in making it easier to get on and off the toilet.

                  What are they?
                  Who can use one?

                  If you or a loved one is finding it increasingly difficult to lower down or stand up from the toilet, then you may find a toilet frame useful as it gives you something to hold onto when lowering yourself down and something to push down on when standing up again.

                  If it's the height of your toilet that's also an issue, look for a toilet frame with a toilet seat included, to help reduce the distance you need to raise yourself up or lower yourself down.

                    Who can use one?
                    Raised toilet seats
                    What are they?

                    Raised toilet seats are a useful toileting aid that help to reduce the distance you need to lower yourself down or stand up again when using the toilet. They're usually designed to fit over your existing toilet seat, so before considering a purchase, you need to be clear on whether you have a standard sized toilet seat or one of a different shape e.g. elongated. You'll need to check the product description carefully to make sure that your chosen toilet seat will fit with your existing set-up.

                    Due to the nature of a raised toilet seat, it will prevent the existing toilet seat lid on your toilet from being lowered, however there are versions of this type of toileting aid that come with a lid.

                      What are they?
                      Who can use one?

                      Anyone who finds bending difficult, has limited mobility, or painful joints may benefit from a raised toilet seat. You may also find it useful for a short period of time while recovering from surgery or an injury to your hip, knee, or back.

                        Who can use one?
                        Urinals and bed pans
                        What are they?

                        Urinals and bed pans are handy portable toileting aids that allow you to relieve yourself without the need of using a toilet. This can be incredibly handy both for those who find it difficult to get out of bed or are unable to get out of bed or for people who are travelling and may not have regular access to a standard toilet.

                        Some urinals and bed pans are specifically designed for use by a single gender, others are unisex. Some are suitable only for urine while others may also be suitable for fecal waste, it's important to read the product description carefully to make sure you get one that's right for your needs.

                          What are they?
                          Who can use one?

                          If you or someone you care for are bedbound or find it incredibly difficult to get out of bed, you may find a urinal or bed pan useful to help offer you a way to relieve yourself with minimal disruption.

                          You may also find a urinal useful if you're travelling and won't have consistent or regular access to a toilet.

                            Who can use one?
                            Toilet support rails
                            What are they?

                            Toilet support rails are similar to toilet frames in that they're designed to help give you extra support when getting on and off the toilet. However, unlike toilet frames, toilet support rails can be used on one side only and many styles are affixed to the wall - though there are some that are freestanding which can be moved. 

                              What are they?
                              Who can use one?

                              Anyone who needs help getting on and off the toilet may find a toilet support rail useful. There are a wide variety of designs and styles available, including those that can fold up when not required, which can be handy if multiple people use the same bathroom.

                                Who can use one?

                                Looking for further help and support?

                                Expert Advice Service

                                Helping you to choose the best product for your needs

                                NRS Healthcare have over 130 Occupational therapists nationwide. We work with them, bringing their expertise you to through our Expert Advice Service, so that you can get help and advice on whether the product you're looking to buy is right for your unique needs.

                                Find out more

                                Home Living Consultation Service

                                Working together to keep you independent for longer

                                We work with NRS Healthcare's professional team of Occupational Therapists to undertake these bespoke consultations via a video call in your home. Working with you or a loved one they expertly assess the environment and the goals you/they want to achieve around the home. From making it easier to cook dinner to staying safe while bathing, we want to keep you or a loved one independent and at home for longer.

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