Drive Medical Toilet Safety Frame

Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Erin Brunelle, director of client services at the Center for Assistive Technology at the University at Buffalo. And I'm your host, Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Erin. 

Guest: Thanks for having me. 

Host: It's our pleasure. 

You are right at the hub of where the niftiest things that assist people with disabilities can be found. But before we get into the device du jour, I believe that we should mention that you're here because it's made possible by TRAID. Could you tell people what that is? 

Guest: Sure. So TRAID stands for Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities. So, it's TRAID and it's a New York State funded program. We provide this program to Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming and Genesee counties out in Western New York. And we provide free demonstrations and short-term loans of assistive technology devices. 

Host: Well, that's certainly a very valuable thing to do because oftentimes having the right assistive device can make the difference between being able to live independently and having to go into long term institutional care. So, I believe you have something to tell us about today which should make people feel safer when they're using the appropriate facility. Could you please tell us about your device? 

Guest: Certainly. So, today, I'd like to talk about the Drive Medical Toilet Safety Frame. So of course, using the restroom is one of the most important parts of most lives. It's something that none of us can really get away from and being able to use it independently and safely is important. So, one such adaptation that's always existed is, is toilet rails. One piece that I see very often is toilet rails that are actually mounted to toilet seats. 

The Toilet Safety Frame is something that we do have available for demonstration and loan in our center and what sets this aside from rails that might be actually mounted on to the toilet itself is these are essentially set up and then placed in front of the toilet, so the rails connect directly down. They're put on the floor. And they are very sturdy. What's nice about this is it's going to fit any existing toilet because it's not mounted to the toilet itself. It's essentially a support frame that's placed directly in front of the toilet. 

And it can also be moved away, so if perhaps in a shared household, it's really useful for one person, but not useful for another, or maybe even the opposite of useful for another. Maybe for someone else that gets in their way, this can actually be moved as needed. 

Host: Well, that sounds like a very valuable thing for people to have. Have you carried this for a long time, or is it a recent addition? 

Guest: So, we've had this for a few years now, I think, since we've had it, it's been a favorite among our staff and also the community really because it fits so many toilets and it's also quite stable when we have other frames that might be or other rails, I should say that might be mounted directly to the toilet seat. You know, just like everyone's toilet seat loosens up a bit over time and you have got to retighten it. So do those rails, so ones that are mounted directly on the toilet may not feel as stable, but these ones since they are really robust and they're going right down to the floor, they tend to feel a little more secure for people who are using them. 

Host: Terrific. And this is something that people can make an appointment and go into the Center for Assistive Technology and give it a whirl, is it not? 

Guest: Absolutely. So, we do have these types of equipment and also many others in our inventory that people can come by for a free 30-minute appointment to receive a demonstration of equipment and then also short-term loan options as well. All of our services, whether it's loan seeking or just a return, are by appointment only. I would say we're a small but mighty office, we’re only five people and we might not be there if you stop by without an appointment. So, we wouldn't want to miss you. To make an appointment you can just give us a call at 716-836-1168 or you can also send us an e-mail at 

Host: Thanks so much for being with us, Erin. 

Guest: Thanks Ernie. 

Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Erin Brunelle, director of client services at the Center for Assistive Technology at the University at Buffalo. And I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell.