What is a bedside commode? A bedside commode is a movable toilet that does not use running water. It looks like a chair with a toilet seat and has a bucket or container underneath. This container can be removed for cleaning after the commode is used. A commode can be used beside the bed if you cannot get to the bathroom. The commode may have wheels so that it can be rolled away when it is not needed. The wheels should be locked when you are using the commode, to prevent the chair from moving.
Why do I need to use a bedside commode? You may need to use a commode if you need to stay in bed most of the time. A commode is useful if you are weak or unsteady. If you are at risk of falling, a commode may be safer for you than walking to the bathroom. You may need to use a commode if you feel short of breath when walking to the bathroom.
How to use a bedside commode:
Preventing an injury: Ask your caregiver for more information about how to get out of bed safely when you are weak, or when someone is helping you. Learning the right way to move to the commode will help keep you and those helping you safe from injury.
Helping a person use the commode:
If you are helping a person get to the commode, gather the following items before moving him. Put the items where they can be easily reached.
- Disposable gloves.
- Toilet paper.
- Container with warm water.
Put the commode beside the person's bed and do the following:
- Lock the wheels of the commode.
- Make sure the container is under the seat.
- Put a small amount of water in the container before it is used. This makes it easier to clean the container later.
- Help the person out of bed and onto the commode.
- Fasten the seatbelt around the person if one is available and needed for safety reasons.
- When the person is safely sitting on the commode, leave him alone if it is safe to do so. Leave a bell close by so he can ring it when he is done using the commode.
When the person is done using the commode:
- Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
- Help the person to stand.
- If the person needs help cleaning himself, first wipe the person's bottom using toilet paper. Then, wash his bottom with a washcloth, soap, and warm water. Gently towel dry.
- If the person cleaned himself after using the commode, help him to wash and dry his hands.
- Help the person back to bed.
- Remove the container and take it to the bathroom. Put the toilet seat up and empty the container into the toilet.
- Clean the container with a toilet brush, germ-killing cleanser, and water. Rinse well and put the container back under the commode. Remove your gloves and throw them away.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.