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How to Use a Bedside Commode

Photo of a bedside commodeWhat 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 or feel short of breath when walking to the bathroom.

Items needed when using a bedside commode: disposable gloves, toilet paper, container with warm water, soap, washcloth, and towel

Helping a person use the commode:

  1. Put the commode beside the person's bed.
  2. Make sure the container is under the seat.
  3. Put a small amount of water in the container before it is used. This makes it easier to clean later.
  4. Fasten the seatbelt around the person, if one is available and needed, for safety reasons.
  5. When the person is safely sitting on the commode, leave them alone if it is safe to do so. Leave a bell close by so they can ring when done.

When the person is done using the commode:

  1. Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
  2. Help the person to stand.
  3. If the person needs help cleaning themself, first wipe the person's bottom using toilet paper. Then, wash their bottom with a washcloth using soap and warm water. Gently towel dry.
  4. If the person cleaned himself, help them wash and dry their hands.
  5. Help the person back to bed.
  6. Remove the container and take it to the bathroom. Put the toilet seat up and empty the container into the toilet.
  7. 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.