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Portable toilet system

Portable toilet system
Toilet system adds flexibility to caregiving home

When Carl Pearson's ailing mother could no longer live alone safely, he and his wife, Rita, brought her to their home in Dallas so they could care for her. Wanting to preserve his mother's independence and protect the couple's privacy, Pearson converted a billiard room in the remodeled garage into a bedroom suite.

Initially, he thought the arrangement would work well, but soon the walking distance to use the bathroom inside the house became difficult and too risky. "My mother had dementia," said Pearson, explaining she could get lost easily, even in a small area.

The billiard room had been plumbed for a sink, but installation of a conventional bathroom was impossible because of plumbing restrictions. Out of concern for his mother's welfare, Pearson put in a portable toilet, assuming it was his only option.

"For four months, I cleaned and emptied a porta-potty two or three times daily," he said.

Then Pearson learned about a Saniflo macerating toilet while doing research on the Internet: "I knew someone had the solution to our problem."

Macerating technology is relatively new to the United States, introduced in the late 1990s. But the French parent company of SFA Saniflo actually developed its line of macerating systems in Europe more than 50 years ago.

Although the Saniflo product looks like a conventional toilet, there is one big difference: A macerating toilet can be positioned virtually anywhere.

That's because the system is installed directly on top of any finished floor, so there is no need for excavation to put in a drain line, even in a basement or a garage. The above-floor technology uses a rotating cutting blade to convert waste and toilet paper into a slurry that is flushed through narrow-diameter piping into the sewer or septic system.

Without the need to dig up floors or tear out walls, a homeowner can add a spare bathroom quickly and cost-effectively: A new bathroom can be up and running in about half a day. With this kind of installation flexibility the choice of location is up to the homeowner, not the plumber.

"It fit the bill perfectly and gave us the ability to put a toilet where we never could have one otherwise," Pearson said of the Saniflo unit he installed in the garage suite. Placing a bathroom right inside his mother's bedroom greatly improved her safety and quality of life. "She had her privacy, and we never had any problems with the toilet," he said. Meanwhile, Pearson's days of emptying the portable toilet by hand were happily behind him.

The simplified installation makes removal a snap, too, if desired. After his mother died several years later, Pearson decided to restore the bedroom suite to the original billiards getaway. He removed the Saniflo toilet and ended up giving it to a neighbor.

For the Pearsons and other caregivers of an older adult or a person with medical needs, the flexibility to add a spare bathroom virtually anywhere in the house can be more than just a convenience - it can also be a lifesaver.

For more information about Saniflo, call 800-571-8191 or visit ARA