Case study - how equipment helped Mr Edwards

Mr Edwards

Mr Edwards lives with his wife in a flat which has a large combined toilet and bathroom. He has osteoarthritis in his knees and is becoming frailer. He is holding onto the sink to get up from the toilet and it is at risk of coming off the wall. He is finding getting to the toilet at night time a problem, as it is not close to his bedroom.

His concerns

Mr Edwards is a private man and was reluctant to discuss the problems he was having getting to the toilet and managing standing up from the toilet. The toilet had no adjacent walls to fit grab rails and he didn't know what to do to overcome the problem. He was also concerned about waking his wife several times at night when he went to the toilet and about falling.

The solution

His son contacted Age UK (previously Age concern and Help the Aged) for advice as he was concerned about how his dad was managing with toileting and other areas of his daily life. They suggested he contacted social services for an assessment by an Occupational Therapist. The Occupational Therapist assessed how Mr Edwards was managing at home, including how he was standing from the toilet and discussed alternatives to going to the toilet at night. She agreed to:

  • provide a toilet surround frame which helped Mr Edwards stand up easier.
  • provide a chemical toilet with armrests and backrest and details of the local emptying service and
  • provide information about an urinal which he could purchase for use indoors or when travelling.
She suggested he went to the GP to investigate the number of times he was going to the toilet particularly at night.

Why were these pieces of equipment chosen?

The toilet surround frame helped Mr Edwards when standing up and sitting down from the toilet. The chemical commode removed the need for Mr Edwards to walk to the toilet at night, the chemical reduce the frequency the commode requires emptying. The commode's armrests provide Mr Edwards with a support to push up from when standing up from the commode. The urinal he purchased is light and easy to manage and he can use it discreetly when he visits his son.

The outcome

Mr Edwards, found the toilet surround frame made standing from the toilet easier and he felt much safer. Mrs Edwards was still able to manage the toilet and it could be moved out of the way if other members of their family visit. Mr Edward's son was relieved and felt that having the chemical toilet in the bedroom reduced the risk of his father falling when going to the bathroom. The GP gave Mr Edwards some medication which reduced the number of trips to the toilet at night.

To view the equipment solutions, please click on the product images below.

For further information you may wish to read our advice on:
- Occupational therapy assessments
- Equipment provision through local authorities and direct payments,
- Toilet height
- Toilet rails
- Sitting and standing from the toilet
- AskSARA's toilet section.
AskSARA is the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)'s free online self-assessment tool. If you choose its 'Sitting and standing from the toilet section' AskSARA will ask you questions related to the use of your toilet and then offer relevant advice, product suggestions and supplier details.