Help your patients plan with accessible toilet tools

Small changes to a patient’s routine can have a big impact to the management of incontinence. For many patients, this can begin with altering physical barriers and daily routine.  

Physical barriers

  • Remove any clutter in the pathway to the toilet and illuminate the toilet pathway and area overnight.
  • If someone is struggling with incontinence, be sure that he or she is dressed in clothing that can be undone or removed with ease.
  • Avoid ties and buttons – especially with young children or someone with a physical or cognitive disability.
  • It's important that the toilet is at the correct height to ensure that feet are firmly placed on the ground and that it is easy to get on and off the toilet seat.
  • If necessary, install handrails for safety and accessibility.
  • Ensure that the toilet is well lit, warm, clean and free of foul odours.

Routine factors

  • Routine is important in all aspects of life – and maintaining continence is no exception! In some cases, an individual may not recognise the need to use the toilet. 
  • Having a daily routine for meals, exercise and using the toilet will help avoid instances of incontinence. 
  • Keep a diary of when the person has the urge to urinate (or is incontinent), and encourage him or her to visit the toilet at those times.
  • Be aware of the individual’s habits and body language. If you notice an increased amount of fidgeting, that may be a sign that a toilet break is needed.  

Alternatives to toilets

If toilet accessibility continues to be an obstacle, consider purchasing a commode or hand-held urinal. A commode is a chair with a built-in toilet pan that can be placed wherever necessary. Hand-held urinals are bottlelike urine collection devices that can be used by both men and women.

Source: Victorian Continence Resource Centre

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National Public Toilet Map

The Department of Health maintains the National Public Toilet Map, which enables a search by location, address and postcode. The map can also help with trip planning by identifying public toilet locations along the journey and can be download as an iPhone app.

For more information, click here