Mobility and Toileting

National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Unstable on the toilet


It's important to help the person you support sit on the toilet correctly because:

  • an incorrect toileting position can make it hard for the person to pass urine or bowel motions.
  • an unstable position can cause the person to fall off the toilet and hurt themselves.

How should a person sit on the toilet?

The diagram below shows you how a person should sit on the toileting.

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Why is it important to sit on the toilet correctly?

It's important because it helps to relax the pelvic floor muscles, which opens the ano-rectal angle and allows the faeces to pass quickly and easily.

How can you help?

Check the person's care plan to make sure that any recommended aids are used. These can include:

  • an over-toilet frame or raised toilet seat
  • a foot stool.

What if the person is unstable on the toilet?

Check the care plan and make sure that you are following it.

  • If the person seems unstable, don't leave them alone on the toilet.
  • Check that they are sitting correctly on the toilet seat. You may need to help them stand up and sit down again to get them into the right position.
  • Check that any toileting aids are being used and are suitable for the person.
  • If the person is still unstable, speak to your supervisor about getting an occupational therapist or physiotherapist to look at what toileting aids may be needed for safety and correct positioning.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.