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Caregiving: Using a Bedside Commode (Toilet)

Table of Contents


Overview

A bedside commode is a portable toilet. When someone can't make it to the bathroom but is able to get out of bed, it can be a safe way to use the toilet. The doctor may recommend a bedside commode after a surgery or if someone has had some health problems that make it difficult to get to the bathroom.

Encourage the person you're caring for to use the commode on a regular schedule as much as possible. For example, they may try to use it every 2 to 4 hours. Keeping a regular schedule may help people who have problems with incontinence (controlling urine).

If you are helping someone use a bedside commode, try to be relaxed. If you are calm and don't seem embarrassed, the person may feel more comfortable.

Helping someone use a bedside commode

It helps to keep the commode close to the person's bed. Place it where it will be easy to get to but not in the way, such as against the wall. Keep the area near the commode free from clutter.

Make sure you have all of the supplies you need, such as toilet paper and a washcloth or wet wipes. Wash and dry your hands well before you get started, and have gloves available in case you need to help with wiping.

Make sure the person you're caring for is wearing non-slip shoes or slippers. It may also be helpful for them to wear clothes that are easy to take off.

You may need to help with the transfer from a bed or chair onto the commode. Here are some tips:

After the person is done using the commode:


Credits for Caregiving: Using a Bedside Commode (Toilet)

Current as of: March 27, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Gayle E. Stauffer, RN - Registered Nurse


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