There are many needs to consider following the decision to undergo total joint replacement procedures. One of the often-overlooked considerations is the possibility that you may need bathroom assistive devices to help with your recovery. DME (Durable Medical Equipment) is what we in medical field call devices specifically designed to keep you safe in your home while performing everyday tasks after surgery.
For bathrooms, there are many options for DME after a total joint replacement. The right equipment depends on you, your home and your type of surgery. Listed below are some options and information on commonly used bathroom DME to assist with your possible needs.
- Toilet Riser: A toilet riser can be used to provide extra height to your toilet. Different heights are available. The correct height of the toilet riser is dependent on your height and the height of your specific toilet.
- Toilet Riser with Arms: While also adding extra height to your toilet, this device also provides arms to assist with getting on and off the toilet. The width between the arms of the toilet riser also varies to adjust to your specific size/space requirements.
- Toilet Safety Frame: This item provides arms to assist with the process of getting up and down from the toilet. Some fasten to the back of the toilet while others slide in with provided arm supports. These can be used with or without a toilet riser. Some toilet safety frames can be height and width adjustable to accommodate different body types.
- Commode: A commode can be used as a stand-alone commode or can be placed over the toilet. If you plan to use the commode over the toilet, extra room is needed. The benefit of the commode is that it can be mobile, height-adjustable and will provide you with support on both sides to assist with getting on and off.
- Shower Chair: A shower chair allows for the ability to be seated while bathing. Shower chairs can be height adjustable and can come with several arm options. Arm options are based on the type of shower/tub you have.
- Tub Bench: This bench is used with a tub or shower and can be height adjustable. Most likely it will have two legs that sit outside of the tub and two legs inside the tub. The tub bench provides a seat outside the tub to allow one to sit down and pivot, then scoot over into the tub. If your tub/shower has doors, the doors will need to be taken off and curtain placed to allow for the sit-pivot transfer. A tub bench can also be used in the shower for a sit-pivot transfer to avoid stepping over the threshold. The downside to a tub bench is the space needed to use the bench.
Each type of DME has differing weight capacities and specific limitations. It is advised that you research the product specifications before purchasing.
There are many different types of bathroom DME options available to use after a total joint replacement. Every individual will have different needs. It is important to educate yourself so you can prepare both you and your home following surgery.