Does anyone have any advice for me, any way to prevent the toilet destruction? He just cracked his third one, water everywhere. I had hoped that the raised seat, with arms, would prevent this, after the first two disasters, so I stopped turning off the water to the toilet at night. My mistake. It's really upsetting. Is there a toilet out there that can take a hit from a falling man? He's not an especially big man, but he just tips back and smashes the water tank to bits. My plumber hasn't been able to suggest anything, but then this has been a steady income stream (ha) for him!

I just can't stand any more of this. I'm at my wits end.

No sleep for me tonight.

44 Replies

  • O I'm so sorry EC,

    We are on our 4th, well the plumber told me to replace it which will then be our 5th. I do know you can order just the tank, not the whole toilet, at about half the cost. I put an over the toilet towel rack ...over the toilet. It juts out just enough for It to be hit first....the plumber said I should brace it in front of tank with a metal strap attached to the legs of the rack across the tank....a strap would absorb more of the energy and not hurt B as much as a bar would. For now though B is able to grab on to the towel rack (which is anchored to the wall) when urinating . and again, it gets hit before the tank does when B sits down!

    Oh and if you just replace the tank; you can do it yourself! just place holes to holes and screw in the bolts. and the innards come with instructions....

    I also was made a ware again of the razor sharpness of porcelain when its broken and wet. I think you can also get fancy coat like things for your tank which would prevent a little bit, your husband getting cut!I was just telling amilazy of the many uses of my bathroom towels...I'm sure you are experiencing the same? I'm sorry

    I do not think they make toilets out of anything different than the breakable, sharp porcelain.....Maybe that is a thing we need to the PVC toilet.....most of todays houses are plummed with PVC piping why not a toilet of the same composition! It's light , It's strong , It's durable....and its affordable! hmmmmm

    Goodluck ,

    don't forget to turn off the water....I do the same thing! Turn it on in the morning for our constitutionals and back off most of the day!


  • Thanks, Mrs. Birke! Good advice. It's reassuring to know I'm not alone, too! Yes, we've replaced the tanks before, although once he broke the bowl, as well. It IS sharp, that porcelain. I thought about taking the second one apart with a sledge hammer, which would be satisfying and would save the $25 disposal fee, but thought better of that, just in time. The water damage is the worst, and the loss of sleep as I mop and moan...poor me!

    I'll be glad to tell my sweetheart he doesn't hold the record for broken toilets. He will be happier for that. Thanks again. Love, ec

  • I have started buying beach towels on clearance 3.00 gets alot dry!

    :) AVB

  • C only broke one toilet but did go through six wooden toilet seats before I gave in and bought plastic. He also broke a commode. And the answer to when does all the toilet hassle stop is when the incontinence truly sets in. Not such a good alternative.

  • Right. I will count my blessings for now!

  • We broke one and replaced it with a high Australian toilet. The tank sits much further back . Also have hand rails that fasten across the back of the toilet. Had it for years now and it is still going strong. I might add that R sits on the toilet now is not able to stand long enough and balance. I line up the wheelchair to his walker and he than stands up backs up to the toilet.

  • Well I am fortunate I guess. he is incontinent and still uses the toilet! Wears depends and still leaves puddles of pee from the toilet to the bathroom door, across the carpet in the hall, and into his bedroom.:)

    I'm sick right now and not very patient at all. Ugh.

  • It's only natural how you are feeling. When you feel guilty, think of the number of good things you do. I'm sure you will find that there are many more than the odd moan. X

  • Our water tank was built into the wall last time they placed a new toilet (and the seat is raised too, and an armrest). But that would be an expensive rebuild. Ugh, so much to think about!

  • I can see the advantage now to those medieval towers with soaring walls of stone six feet thick and a seat over a hole straight down. Must have been a bit bracing on a windy day, but nothing to break!

  • Oh that must work well. Can you get at it when needed?

  • Yes, as far as I can see. And they've not had to, touch wood!

  • From very early on I escorted C to the toilet many times a night and helped lower him onto the seat, not before he managed to break several seats but thankfully no systerns. The flush on the toilet upstairs is set on the front of the systern, to the side and C had a permanently bruised back where he had crashed against it so by helping to lower him, getting him to lean forward instead of crashing back, the bruise dissappeared. I persuaded him to use a bottle quite early on, thinking he could use it alone, wrong! The other reason I escorted him was the falls. I ended up being woken up to pick him up anyway and then he did the dramatic dive from the top to the bottom of the stairs. As I noted every time I got up with him, I was given night carers as soon as CHC was awarded. As mentioned by Pattz, there will be a time when toilets won't be broken. Unfortunately, that brings other problems.


  • Hi, I will put my semi professional hat on here. You can get cisterns that fit into units, a bit like kitchen fittings. You have a special toilet, "back to wall" . We have a raised height one. I am presuming you can get this across the pond! Could help, at least he won't break the cistern!

    Another thing you could try, is a special rail that goes across the cistern, it has a cushioned back. That should cushion the fall against the cistern and protect his back.

    I know this sounds expensive, but I should think you have paid out a pretty penny already!!! Do you have specialist bathroom designers over there? Might be easier to get one of them in to make a suggestion, rather than a plumber!

    Hope you get it sorted quickly! Its expensive, two people in pads!!!!

    Lots of love


  • We were heading in that direction so I purchased a pad to go on the toilet and then strapped it to the toilet lid, takes the impact when G sits heavily or falls against it, has also stopped the bruises she used to get on her back.

  • Get a commode for him

    D x

  • ask them for the one that screws on to toilet they are better

  • Use a wheeled commode chair to position over toilet pan. Or you can position the cistern tank away to the side instead of above or behind him

  • My wife has broken multiple toilet seats over the years. I've found the more expensive plastic ones that will slowly lower when you put them down, has held up better than all the others. She's only cracked one toilet tank, and that was while we were visiting some friends at their cabin at the lake. Oh my, what a mess. Water everywhere. And my wife laying among all the chards of porcelain. As I try to reach down quickly and cut the water off, I cut myself. Now blood is going everywhere and I couldn't tell if it was coming from me or my wife. But she was fine. She usually falls beautifully, except when her head strikes a sharp object, like the corner of a door jam. So far after 6 years with this disease in it's active form, we've made about 8 trips to the emergency room for treatment. Most were for cuts to the back of the head, where the doctor would normally use a stapling gun, but sometimes use sutures. She's had 3 really bad cuts on the face that required sutures.

    As for solving our bathroom problem (or loo as some of you call it), I always take my wife to the toilet and slowly lower her down. But sometimes after she's been sitting there, she decides she can get up on her own ... she can't. She will immediately fall back and whack the toilet tank. Possibly adding some padding around the tank, such as some thick towels, may cushion enough to withstand this abuse.

    What slowed down this problem for a while was a Foley catheter. When having one of those, her urine collects in a bag strapped to the leg and I would walk her to the toilet and empty it while she was standing. She could pee like me. :-) Of course, when it was #2 time, she would have to sit on the toilet. But we stopped using the Foley because it was causing way too many UTI's.

    Well, I guess I've shared enough for now. :-) My daughter always tells me "TMI Dad!".

    Have a great day! Blessings and hugs to all.


  • Oh my goodness. I can't feel sorry for myself anymore! Only one porcelain cut on a pinkie toe so far, but it did add to the fright and the mess the first time. And I had removed all the books and music and pictures from the room below the bathroom, so there wasn't quite the disaster level this go round.

    My guy usually falls beautifully, as you say, and keeps his head up. Not always. Yesterday he fell on me while I was changing the bed pads and pinned my head against the footboard, which might have been funny from a different perspective.

    Never TMI. It all helps! Thanks for sharing, ketchupman. I think you're pretty amazing.


  • Sorry to hear about the constant floods! My solution was the same as others here have said. From the first day I heard a crash and saw the resulting bruise, I used to escort Dad to the bathroom and lower him down onto it by standing in front and holding his hands, taking his weight when he got to that crucial "crash" point! In fact, did the same for all chairs. Later, when he had even less control, I used a commode chair with the commode bowl removed to wheel him into place over the toilet. It ended up invaluable later as it meant I could still shower him everyday too. I just had a local carpenter build a treated wooden ramp and an infill for our recessed shower tray, wheeled him up under.

  • We went through two toilets and about four replacement wax rings. Now, like others have mentioned, I always accompany him and lower him carefully and step out. But not far, he forgets he shouldn't get up by himself. P.S. I'm in reasonably good shape and have done most plumbing myself with some help seating the toilet straight from daughter or friend. By the way, several years ago, the same week the first toilet was smashed, he fell in the shower and put a hole through the fiberglass. That is not a do-it-yourself project.

  • Yes My husband broke two toilets, one after the other, early on in the PSP. The other two were from being too independent or when my son tried to help him. Like most of us with our mates, I (try) to help B everywhere.

  • Thanks, everyone! All very helpful. I've tried almost everything you've all suggested, so I'm reassured that I've not missed anything obvious, and can tell him he's not the only one! I do lower him down, but he insists I leave him, and it was in getting up he fell, although I asked him to call me to help when he was done. He won't (yet) use the wheeled commode we have, and the steel framed one that fits over the toilet doesn't protect the cistern, as the raised seat and arms I had in place didn't.

    I think I may call in the carpenter to build a cabinet to surround the thing. Thanks for being there for me, everyone. What a comfort you are!!

  • Ask the carpenter to put in a grab bar for your loved one to grab to when they get up or stand. My son-in-law put in a very long one. It works as he is getting in and out of the step-in-shower and when he sits and stands on the toilet.

  • We have grab bars everywhere! I am pretty handy with the power drill.

  • EC, I remember those days or rather nights. He did not break toilets but just about everything in the near vicinity. Finally I heard about a urinal cup that is attached to a bag and collects. The bag had a valve so it would not leak or spill. I had a support rail by the bed for him to help him get in and out of bed and we just hung it on there. Once he got the hang of it we both got more sleep. For daytime us (and when he needed to sit down) I found a toilet paper holder that had a support bar attached so he could ease himself down more slowly. Also bought a lumbar support pillow ( with a cover so you could wash it), and placed it on the back of the toilet so it lessened the impact when he sat (or rather crashed back) down. It is also important to have a nightlight. My husband has severe light sensitivity and would never turn the bathroom light on. PSP deprives you of a good portion of your senses so taking away visual cues contributed to his night time disorientation and subsequent falls. He is incontinent now which is a whole other thing. But I do get more sleep. I have decided hair washing is overrated and sleep in underrated:)

    I hope you find some kind of solution soon.

    Take care,

    Jayne GC

  • Thanks, Jayne. We are trying to get some sort of device as you describe, although he uses a urinal jug (we call it his "pissoir") at night. He doesn't have enough control for that to prevent his soaking through his depends plus pad, which he has on all the time, but it does prevent him trying to get to the bathroom at night for peeing. Poor guy, he can't pee when he wants to and can't stop it when he doesn't. Very hard on him. And not great for me, either. I really can't say I'm a fan of being peed on. (Although I understand there may be folks who are.)

    Anyway, the sheath type catheters aren't an option, so I have requested a cup-type through the visiting nurse, who got a scrip from our urologist for it. It's apparently not easily found here. I have said we would pay for it, doesn't need to be covered, but the nurse says she can't consult or help us with it unless it comes from the pharmacy. So we are on hold while they figure that out. So - what kind of urinal cup did you use? Brand name? What did "getting the hang of it" entail? Any information would be great, thanks. Ec

  • My spouse broke 2 toilets. :( I got a bedside commode, removed the bottom, then put it over the toilet. It has worked fine for about 6 months, so far. I am lucky to have family close to fix the broken toilet. I was at my wits end, too.

  • oh! we also put a commode beside the bed for nights of getting up and sitting on toilet for long periods of time.

  • Sigh. If only he would use the commode, it would be great! We have them!

  • :( I'm so sorry. The best of luck with it. Praying for success in your quest.

  • Thanks! I am feeling better about it all, just having your advice.

  • We had our handyman make a piece of wood that would fit between the toilet tank and the wall so when he plops down and back the tank does not move. Painted it white to match the tank or you could paint it to match the wall. Hope this helps.

  • I've been thinking of something along those lines. Glad to know it's a workable solution! Thanks!

  • I feel your pain with this one. At least I can imagine. Charles fell twice with the new toilet, I thought for sure it was gone. So I told him then he will not go to the restroom without my help. This is were the gait belt comes in. It will help you lower him gently onto the toilet and pull him up when he is through. Of course this was also when I decided no more falls. He does nothing without me helping him or someone else. Good luck hope you find a solution.

    Alma xxx

  • I also have bars beside the toilet so that he has something to help lower him. Sorry afterthought.

  • Yep, we have bars, both attached to the seat and to the wall next to the toilet, but it seems that the problem is more when he is moving away after rising, I think.

  • My Dad is far past the point of being capable of getting up in the night by himself to use a toilet, no matter where it's placed. After many middle of the night falls when he was trying to maneuver to the bathroom a few feet away from his bed, his wife and me finally got him to use a jug instead for the last week. It's much better because no falling, as long as he remembers and cooperates which won't be all the time, and I discovered tonight, those jugs aren't leak proof even when capped tightly. He wears the Depends all the time now. As someone else said, he can't pee when he wants and can't stop when he wants. He just recovered from a UTI. Who knew UTI's in the elderly have different symptoms than when we're younger. For one thing, the brain no longer sends signals (as strong) to tell the immune system and t-cells etc to help fight an infection, so there's no fever even with a raging UTI. The main symptoms are FALLING and dementia, like anyone here needs more of either of those things in their lives right.

  • right indeed

  • Hi everyone,

    I can't really add any more to what's already been said, I put a wheeled commode without the pan over our loo and it worked for a while but wasn't great for Keith when he was standing, he kept missing it!

    We have grab rails at each side of the loo quite high up on the walls so it's easier for him to pull himself up and helps me when lowering him.

    I now help him to sit down whatever he needs to do and am finding that does help.

    He still manages to miss now and then resulting in me having to rip the floor covering up!

    He also has the odd fall in there but since we moved the door around to open outwards it's much easier for me to get to him!

    I don't think there's any magical solution really, it's all part and parcel of this rubbish PSP 😔

    Love and hugs to you all....Pat xx

  • Thanks, Pat. It surely helps to know we are not alone in this!

  • I know what you mean, sometimes I feel I am so alone in all of this and nobody really understands what it's like including family, then I turn to this site and am so thankful for it and all the friends that are always there for me no matter what! xx

  • Yes! Just so...its a sanity saver, for sure. I'm so grateful to all of you, and the site administrators, too.

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