About Durable Medical Equipment: Toilet Accessories

This information will help you decide which type of durable medical equipment will be most helpful for you to use with your toilet. It will also tell you how to use and where to buy durable medical equipment to use with your toilet.

Raised Toilet Seats

A raised toilet seat is placed on top of the existing toilet bowl and is used to raise the height of the toilet. It can help make sitting down and getting up from the toilet easier and safer.

Raised toilet seats come in 3 different heights: 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches. There are 3 common kinds of raised toilet seats:

  • Raised toilet seat (see Figure 1)
  • Raised toilet seat with lock (see Figure 2)
  • Raised toilet seat with arms (see Figure 3)
Figure 1. Raised toilet seat
Figure 2. Raised toilet seat with lock
Figure 3. Raised toilet seat with arms

A raised toilet seat with a lock attaches securely to the toilet bowl. A raised toilet seat with arms allows people to use their upper body to help with sitting or standing.

Raised toilet seats will fit both round and oval shaped toilet bowls.

How to use

To install the raised toilet seat, lift up or completely remove the existing toilet seat and place the raised toilet seat onto the toilet bowl. If the raised toilet seat has a lock, twist the knob to secure it.

Where to buy

You can buy a raised toilet seat at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Home supply stores (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Raised toilet seats aren’t usually covered by insurance plans. However, it’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers.

If your insurance provider covers raised toilet seats, ask your doctor for a prescription. You can submit the prescription to your insurance provider after you purchase the raised toilet seat.

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Commodes

A commode is a type of portable toilet. It isn’t hooked up to any plumbing and doesn’t flush; instead, waste can be caught in a bowl beneath the seat, and the bowl is emptied by hand. Commodes can be useful for people who have trouble moving around. A commode can be placed near the bed or in any room.You can also remove the bowl and place the commode over your toilet. The seat of the commode is higher than your normal toilet seat, so it can make sitting down and standing up easier.

There are 3 common kinds of commodes:

  • Standard commode (see Figure 4)
  • Drop arm commode (see Figure 5)
  • Rolling commode (see Figure 6)
Figure 4. Standard commode
Figure 5. Drop arm commode
Figure 6. Rolling commode

A drop arm commode can be especially helpful for people who aren’t able to stand and who need help moving to and from the commode. The drop arm makes it easier to move to the commode seat from a lying or seated position.

A rolling commode can be useful because it’s easier to move around. It can also be used as a shower chair, as long as there isn’t a big threshold (difference in height) between the bathroom floor and the shower stall. Remember to remove the bowl when using the rolling commode as a shower chair.

How to use

Commodes don’t need to be installed. You or your caregiver can assemble your commode at home. Follow the instructions that come with the commode you choose.

Some people may need help moving to and from their commode. If you need help, be sure to ask your nurse or caregiver.

Where to buy

You can buy a commode at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Commodes aren’t usually covered by insurance plans. However, it’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers.

If your insurance provider covers commodes, ask your doctor for a prescription. You can submit the prescription to your insurance provider after you purchase the commode.

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About Toilet Frames

A toilet frame is placed over your toilet to help give your arm support when getting on or off the toilet seat (see Figure 7). It may be helpful if you need additional support moving on and off the toilet, but you don’t have enough space in your bathroom to place a commode (portable toilet) over your toilet. A toilet frame can also be used if you prefer to use your existing toilet seat rather than a commode.

Figure 7. Toilet with toilet frame

How to use

To use your toilet frame, you will need to attach it to your existing toilet. You or your caregiver can do this using a screwdriver. For more information on how to install your toilet frame, follow the directions that come with the one you choose.

Where to buy

You can buy a toilet frame at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart)
  • Home improvement supply stores (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Toilet frames aren’t usually covered by insurance plans. However, it’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your specific plan covers.

If your insurance provider covers toilet frames, ask your doctor for a prescription. You can submit the prescription to your insurance provider after you purchase the toilet frame.

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