Help getting to the toilet

Let’s yarn about this

Cover picture

Help getting to the toilet

Maybe someone in your mob has trouble getting to the toilet. They could be slow to move, can’t move or can’t think right.

Sickness can cause problems with walking, moving hands or legs, talking, remembering, or with the brain not working right.

Some of these sicknesses are:

  • too much grog
  • stroke, or heart problems
  • diabetes, cancer or very old age, or
  • car accidents, bad eyesight or a disability.

Problems for some people trying to use the toilet:

  • there is no one to help them
  • they can’t get off their bed or chair
  • they can’t move their hands or legs
  • their clothes are hard to get on and off
  • they can’t feel when they need to go to the toilet
  • they can’t find the toilet
  • there are crooked or broken floors, so that people fall
  • the toilet is too high or too low to get onto and be comfortable
  • there is no hand-rail to help in the toilet, or
  • there is not enough light.
No zips or buttons

How to help:

  • choose clothing that is easy to get on and off
  • use a walking stick or a walking frame
  • make sure the toilet is not too high or too low
  • have good lighting to stop falls
  • have a sign to show where the toilet is
  • get rails to hold onto in the toilet
  • clear the way to the toilet
  • have one or two people to help, and
  • take the person to the toilet often, so they don’t wet their pants.
Helping someone to the toilet

After food, help the person to the toilet or remind them to go to the toilet. A poo often comes soon after eating.

A commode (chair toilet), a special bottle/urinal (for men) or bucket are good to have beside the bed.

If a person can’t ask you to go to the toilet, watch them for signs that they want to go. They might look worried or start walking around. They might get angry or try to get up from their chair.

Pee bottle and toilet chair

Talk to your health worker, nurse or doctor

Who can help?

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service
  • Health workers
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • National Continence Helpline Freecall™ 1800 33 00 66
Talk about your problem
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This series of brochures has been developed by the Continence Foundation of Australia and funded under
the Australian Government’s National Continence Management Strategy.

Indigenous artwork created by Georgina Altona and Warwick Keen.
Other illustrations by JAT Illustrational and Fusebox Design.

© 2010