When we bought a brand new home a few years ago, we made sure it was big enough for my elderly parents to be able to move in if necessary. My senior dad had been dealing with Parkinson's Disease for over 10 years and we knew that was probably going to be a necessity down the road. Even if not, they would be over visiting a lot, so we also made sure the bathrooms had grab bars and the living room had a chair he could get in and out of easily.
Since the house was only half built, we had several options available to us. We picked vinyl tile so he wouldn't be hurt if he fell. We picked a tight carpet with no ends to trip him. We made sure the sidewalks were wide enough for a wheelchair. When I asked him if there was anything else we needed to think of, I was surprised by his answer.
He asked that we have an elongated toilet seat in each of the bathrooms. Practically speaking, he knew it was getting harder and harder for him to stand and an elongated toilet seat made it much easier for him when he was in the bathroom. They actually let him be a bit more independent a bit longer. That's a great thing in ANY senior's book. It's also a wonderful thing for those of us taking care of the elderly relatives in our family!!!
Years later, after my sweet dad was safely home in heaven, my senior mom and I moved to a very old home and had to make some small bathroom renovations. We spent lots of fun hours going over various small bathroom designs and really enjoyed ourselves as we made all of our choices. Since we had to put in a new toilet, I did a ton of research to find one that worked effectively in spite of the requirements for low flow toilets. We finally settled on a Toto toilet.
Little did I know that the Toto soft close toilet seat, which came standard with our particular model, would be a wonderful solution to a minor problem for our Sandwich Generation family. With several little grandkids over quite a bit, and most in the process of potty training, the quiet soft close toilet seat never once made the loud crashing sound a normal toilet seat makes when it's dropped. As most of us grandparents know, that loud banging sound is often part and parcel of a grandkids' potty training process. But the Toto soft close toilet seat can't crash down, even if you try! While the clanging of a toilet seat doesn't bother me, it was a true gift for my senior mom not to have to hear that! And, in case you are wondering, we loved the Toto toilet, itself, as well! 🙂
I find it fascinating that two small bathroom designs could make such a big difference for each of my senior parents. But isn't that often the way things go. As my own grandma used to tell me, "good things come in small packages." Whether it's an elongated toilet seat or a soft close toilet seat, it certainly has worked out well for our Sandwich Generation family! How about you? Do you or your elderly parents have a favorite toilet seat that makes life easier. We'd love to hear about it. And we'd love to have you sign up for the FREE SandwichINK Real Estate Info email to keep you up to date on real estate info and resources for the Sandwich Generation.