A portable toilet is a necessity for many. This is because bathrooms are slippery and any visit to the toilet can be dangerous for a senior. As you know, many people become more frail and lose mobility as they age. 

    Home Improvements That Can Help Older Adults Remain Functional

    People with limited mobility have a hard time eating, bathing, and getting dressed. They can’t even use the bathroom on their own. The good news is there are a few things you can do to make the restroom safer for your parent, spouse, or friend. Begin by removing anything they could trip over between their bed and the bathroom — shoes, trash cans, plants, dog bowls, etc. 

    There must also be enough room for them to go through with a walker. Be sure there’s a light they can easily turn on in case they need to get up at night. 

    We all might eventually need a portable toilet- especially if our mobility problems worsen and the simple act of getting from bed to the toilet seat becomes a real struggle. Not only that, it would be embarrassing not to be able to make it in time. It’s a delicate matter few of us care or even admit, but we must deal with it.

    Is the Standard Portable Toilet for You?

    Portable toilets are a great solution in the situations mentioned above. A standard pportable toilet can be conveniently placed by the bed to enable quick access- especially when the caregivers are away running errands. A portable bathroom helps prevent falls and injuries, common in aging people. You may not be aware of it, but most accidents happen when people shower or go to the bathroom.

    What To Look For in a Portable Restroom

    Any portable toilet should have a fixed arm for support when sitting and standing. Weight capacity varies, but a flushing toilet should hold at least 300 pounds. All portable restrooms are different, and some accommodate more, while others accommodate less. Thus, selecting the right weight capacity will prevent their collapse.

    Truly portable toilet units should have wheels to move them wherever you need them. Keep in mind that most seniors are unable to move them on their own.

    blue portable toilet with a roll of toilet paper

    The Best Portable Toilet Height

    Seniors have difficulty getting up. Their legs become weaker as they age. This is why proper height is important when choosing your portable toilet. Ideally, a standard portable restroom should be the right height for seniors- no less than 16 inches high but no more than 20. Their feet must touch the floor while sitting.

    Bedpans vs Portable Toilets

    A bedpan might be a better solution in some instances, such as when a senior has difficulty sitting down.

    Bedpans

    As a caregiver, you must decide the kind of bedpan your senior needs. There are different kinds, but you can find one that’ll suit their needs.

    The standard bedpan is the most common. It looks like a regular toilet seat and is about 4 inches thick. It’s meant to fit beneath the user to deposit human waste. The design of the bedpan should keep it from leaking out. Fortunately for seniors, most can use a standard portable toilet, even those with limited mobility.

    A fracture bedpan is wedge-shaped and one of the ends is shallower. It makes it easier to slide underneath a user with mobility problems such as fractured bones, hence the name. This is because a fracture bedpan requires less movement on the part of the patient.

    Urinal bedpans have a cylinder shape and can remain upright. This portable unit is appropriate for male and female urination, although men are the most common users.

    As with any portable toilet, make sure you have a washcloth, soap, gloves, and toilet paper handy. It’s also advisable to use absorbent bed padding when using a bedpan.

    The Advantages of a Potty Seat for Seniors 

    A potty seat is way better than a regular toilet in many ways. 

    Speedy Access

    You can place a potty wherever the user may need it at any given time. That includes relocating it as you seem fit. Some set it up by the bed while others keep it in the parlor. Some people even switch it around during the day. This is great because the user can get to it fast and consistently.

    Arm Support

    Sitting on the toilet and then standing are the hardest parts for a senior when they go to the bathroom. A customized one can make it easier. You can solve the problem by installing some handlebars. Or, add extra height and support by placing a raised toilet seat with handles. It’s very easy to install, just slide it right over the top and tighten it. The user can now use them to support themselves while doing their business.

    metal bedpan

    Autonomy

    A raised potty seat allows older people to remain autonomous and maintain their dignity. Most people feel youthful at the most fundamental level and want to be as independent as they can. A safe flushable toilet adds to their confidence in carrying on with their daily tasks.

    Safety

    As we mentioned above, getting to the restroom in one piece can be quite a feat for an aging person. Choosing the right toilet seat, installing handles, and adding antislip mats will make a huge difference in the life of a person with limited mobility.

    Water

    It’s important to conserve water, and portable toilets are a great way to do so. As opposed to a flushable toilet, all you need to do is empty and clean them. 

    How to Choose the Right PortaPotty

    Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting an alternative toilet for your senior.

    Consider the Style

    The bench toilet and others that feature a drop armrest are better for users with limited mobility who completely depend on others, and the fixed arm toilet chairs are a common choice for seniors who are still able to move.

    The 3-in-1 toilet is multifunctional and designed for use over an existing toilet. It also works as a shower chair. Measure the width of your shower or bathtub to ensure the toilet will fit if you want to use it as a shower chair.

    Weight Capacity

    The load capacity of this kind of toilet seat varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Most regular ones hold about 300 pounds max. Heavier people might want to opt for a bariatric style as these can hold a little over 900 pounds. Selecting the right one for the user’s weight will keep them safer, as it won’t collapse. 

    Features

    A portable toilet comes with many features like drop arms that make it easier to get on and off by holding on to them. Others also have adjustable legs to set the height according to the person’s needs. Other features like a removable back allow you to move the chair around the house and place it close to the user. The wheels allow seniors to move it on their own.

    The standard fixed arm, drop arm, and bench commode are all excellent choices for a bedside potty seat. Seniors who are active and would like to use it outside should opt for a bench style, a 3 in 1, or an armless toilet.

    Our Top Portable Toilet Picks

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Camco 41549 PortaPotty

    This versatile five-gallon toilet is perfect for camping and hunting trips as well as any other outdoor activities. It’s lightweight and easy to use. It comes with a seat and lid attachment that snaps onto the rim of the bucket, which has a smooth interior for easy waste disposal and subsequent cleaning. It also features a carry handle. 

    The lid and the seat are durable and made of blue UV-resistant polypropylene. The product is 13.4 x 16.1 x 13.8 inches and weighs 4 pounds.

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    White Thetford Corp PortaPotty 92306 

    This potty is available in white polypropylene and its overall dimensions are 17.7 x 15.2 x 17.6 inches. It weighs 13.45 pounds. The potty is quite versatile. It’s perfect as an RV toilet and for boats, trucks, vans, and medical care facilities. It’s also a fantastic camping toilet.

    This stylish elongated porta potty is smooth and has an extra-large bowl. You can power flush it thanks to a battery. It’s simple to use and clean and comes with an ergonomic handle, a tissue holder, and a tank level indicator. Not only that, it has a fixed valve to contain smells and you can flush the holding tank with no backsplashes. You can also attach it to the floor.

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    10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Camco 41541 Compact Travel Potty

    This product is great for camping, RVs, sailboats other outdoor activities. The potty is 14 x 16 x 15.5 inches and made of polyethylene. It’s only available in white, has a 5.3-gallon capacity and a 2.5-gallon flush tank.

    Furthermore, the slide valve safeguards against smells and overflow. It comes with side hooks to secure the tank.

    How Physical Activity Can Prevent Major Mobility Disability

    Regular activity improves your physical performance. Not only that, it can prevent a major mobility disability in older age. The mere act of walking 15 minutes a day can keep you in good shape. If you’re like the rest of us, you spend at least 5 hours a day seated at work.

    Unfortunately, doing so for long periods of time has negative effects on your body. Thus, it’s important to reduce your daily sitting time. You can do so by doing a daily number of brief sit-to-stand transitions. A lack of physical activity often leads to loss of mobility as you age. People who spend a lot of time sitting should worry about their future health and take immediate action.

    Ways to Promote Mobility in Aging Adults

    Being able to move around painlessly helps seniors enjoy their lives and be independent. You may think that you either use it or lose it, but there are ways to maintain or restore it. 

    Rearrange the Furniture to Remove Obstacles

    Clear plenty of space at home. You may also want to install railings and ramps. It’ll make it easier for seniors to move around their homes. Impaired vision is also the cause of some mobility issues, so verify the lighting and change it if you have to.

    Walking Aids for Better Balance

    Mobility aids can help you restore movement, but don’t overuse them, as you could become too dependent on them. For instance, don’t use a wheelchair if a cane will suffice. Instead, opt for one that’ll help overcome your limitations but allow you to stay active and independent.

    Proper Nutrition

    Obesity is often overlooked as a cause of limited mobility in aging people. For one, the excess weight means there’s too much pressure on the joints. This makes it hard to walk. Talk to your physician so they can help you design a weight loss diet. For the most part, you need to avoid industrially processed foods. Stick to meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    Regular Physical Activity

    A senior with limited mobility should do gentle exercises like swimming and walking. These help increase balance and enhance coordination. They should dance if they can. Of course, they may need help when doing this at home. 

    Healthline Recommends a Five-Move Mobility Routine for Anyone Over 40

    Everyone should worry about not being able to move in the future due to injuries or achy joints and muscles. Thus, you need to pay attention to it and maintain your body in good shape to keep it running. Pulled muscles and decreased activation often lead to weakness and tears. Back pain in the knees and neck is also due to compensating for poor posture.

    It’s never too late to get it back. So, get to it! It won’t just help prevent injury and pain in the future but keep you active at an older age. Mobility is essential to your quality of life, don’t ever forget it.

    1. Segmented Cat-Cow

    Start on all fours with the tops of your feet pressed into the ground. Then, tuck your tailbone under and push your spine toward the ceiling, like a cat. Next, lengthen your neck so that your ears come down by your biceps. Move slowly into cow position with your belly dropped toward the floor and draw your shoulders away from your ears while looking up to the ceiling.

    Repeat at least five times.

    2. Around the World

    Start in a standing position with your knees slightly bent. Then, punch your arms up toward the sky as high as you can. Next, side bend to the left, squeezing all the muscles on the left side of the body. Then, slowly begin to make your way to the right side of your body until you’re in a side bend on the right side. The goal of this movement is to explore new ranges of motion and to activate the muscles in your spine.

    Do five reps in each direction.

    3. Reverse Snow Angel

    Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at your hips, pushing your hips back, keeping a slight bend in your knee, until your chest is parallel to the ground. Then, with your arms by your side and your palms facing up, extend your shoulders as far as possible. Move your arms as if you’re making a snow angel. To do that, first, bring your hands behind your back as far as possible. Then, push your palms to the ceiling as high as you can go again. Finally, flip your palms down to the ground, squeeze your shoulder blades, and return to the starting position. 

    Do five reps if possible.

    white portable toilet in a room

    4. Hip Flow

    Start on all fours. Place one leg directly out to the side. Drive your heel into the ground and think about flexing your inner thigh muscle. Keep this muscle flexed as you shift your hips backward as far as possible without arching or bending your spine. Then, hold here for five seconds before returning to the starting position. 

    Do 10 reps per side.

    5. Hamstring End Range Isometric

    Begin in a half-kneeling position holding onto an object or wall with your front knee extended. Push your hips back until you stretch out your front leg’s hamstring as much as possible. From there, lean forward to the point where you feel a point of stretch in your hamstring. At this point of the stretch, contract your hamstring muscle as hard as you can for 10 seconds by driving your heel into the ground. Then, try to lift your front heel off the ground, with your leg still straight, by flexing your quad as hard as you can for 10 seconds.

    Switch sides and repeat each leg three times.

    Our Top Picks

    1. Camco Portable Toilet with Seat and Cover, 5 Gallons, Blue (41549)
    2. Camco Portable Toilet with Seat and Cover, 5 Gallons, Blue (41549)
      $30.09
      Buy Now

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    3. Porta Potti 92306 White Thetford Corp
    4. Porta Potti 92306 White Thetford Corp
      $148.60
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      10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT
    5. Portable Toilet, 5.3 gal (Eng/Fr)
    6. Portable Toilet, 5.3 gal (Eng/Fr)
      $115.13
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      10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    Independence and autonomy

    Not being able to move around as you grow older is worrisome. This is because it’ll be hard to continue with your daily life and maintain your independence.

    In fact, walking is critical for proper body functioning and for remaining autonomous. Not being able to do so can increase falls and make it harder to lead an active life. Unfortunately, there comes a time when you can no longer be at home on your own. The possibility of illness skyrockets. This can lead to a poorer quality of life due to disability and hospitalization.

    Researchers continue to focus on research aimed at maintaining independence in old age. They seek ways to improve physical function following hospitalization- ones that could enable older adults to recover, be independent, and avoid institutional care. May they succeed.

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