Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Toilets and basins

Rica, a UK consumer research charity, carried out user research with a range of bath boards and bath seats.

This information here is to advice on making bathing easier and help you choose useful products. Rica does not sell products. Search online by product name to find suppliers.

Toilets

If you have difficulty bending down, you may find that your toilet is too low.

Some options that may help:

  • a taller loo. From £275
  • a plumber could fit a plinth under your existing toilet. £40 - £84
  • a raised toilet seat - some come with arm supports. £12 - £100
  • a loo that adjusts in height  - using electricity or water pressure
  • boost toilet seats. From £79.99
  • toilet seats with a spring that help you sit and get up

If your grip makes using a flush difficult, consider:

  • flushing levers that require less strength. From £18
  • push buttons, used by hand or foot. From £12
  • a remote control, which you can put wherever you find easiest

A few other products that might also be useful:

  • toilet seats designed to give you more support or help bowel movement
  • seat cushions, which are warmer than a hard seat. From £12
  • backrests that fit behind the loo. From £30
  • if you find it hard to clean yourself after using the toilet, a toilet/bidet combination will wash and dry you (from around £300, plus plumbing and wiring).

Washbasins

You may need the basin to be fixed at a height that suits you. Basins that fix to the wall can be put at any height; basins with adjusting heights cost from £1,700. Other things to consider:

  • basins designed for wheelchair users stick out further to give your knees more room
  • look for a basin  with wide, flat sides if you need arm support
  • some basins have taps and plug controls near the front, so you don't have to reach far 
  • make sure hot pipes are fitted out of the way or are lagged (insulated) to avoid burns

Taps

If your tap is hard to turn, you can get levers or easy-grip knobs that fit over the top (£5 - £10). Before you buy, check there's enough space around the tap for the lever to turn fully.

You can also get taps with easy-to-use features from £50 - such as taps with smaller levers, taps you just have to flick, push-button taps, automatic taps (from £100) and taps you operate with your knee or foot.

 

Last updated: August 2016


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