Patients and elderly people in the household are sometimes so constitutionally fragile that they find it difficult to make a trip to the bathroom! While some households still stick to the wheelchair concept (carrying the disabled person to wherever required) modern developments in patient furniture and equipment designing have yielded better results. A bedside commode is one of them.

bedside commode resembles a seating chair with all the features in it – a backrest, armrests, and a seating capacity designed akin to a toilet seat. This seat is fitted with a bucket or a solid container that is removable. However, this arrangement is not fitted with any supply of running water. Therefore, the bucket needs to be removed for cleaning after each use.

Variants of bedside commodes

1. The 3-in-1 commodes

As the name indicates, these all-in-one commodes can be both used beside the bed at night and in the toilet during the daytime. Being portable, it helps the user travel to the bathroom and use the toilet with the help of accessories like a 'safety frame' or a 'toilet seat raiser'. So, why are these termed as ‘3-n-1’ products? That is because this product is not only a bedside commode but also at the same time a toilet seat raiser a well as a toilet safety frame!

2. The Drop-Arm Commodes

Drop-arms make transfer easier. Transferring from the wheelchair or bed becomes easier because when the arm is lowered, the patient no longer needs to maneuver around the arm (to be in the seated position). However, patients walking to a bedside commode or getting seated onto it with self-help would find a standard chair more comfortable. That’s natural, as it helps in balancing!

3. Padded commodes

Buyers often tend to drift away from this choice as they feel that cleaning the padded rims will be a tough accomplishment. But, it's not! Padded commodes are manufactured with such materials that are easy to clean. They deliver patients with extra comfort. This keeps them from soiling the bathroom or the rims of the commode too!

Steps to using a bedside commode:

There are certain things to be kept in mind while helping someone to use a patient's commode. It only makes the job easier and safer too!

• Lock the wheels of the chair while helping the patient to sit on it

• Don’t forget to put a little amount of water in the bucket beneath the seat; it makes cleaning much easier

• While cleaning the bucket, a germ-killing solution or disinfectant must be used along with the toilet brush

• Preferably, execute the entire job using a pair of disposable hand-gloves; once you are done, throw them away!

Which bedside commode would you choose?

The choice of patient commodes not only rests upon the comfort of the user but also upon its user-friendliness. For instance, most of the commode variants discussed above might come with a 'folding' feature. This adds to the portability of the product. Since a bedside commode is used within the patient's bedroom, it is important to keep it clean. You should also be able to shift its location as and when required. That's because your patient's bedroom will have visitors dropping in anytime!

Ease of use may further include products like 'commode liners'. They are composed of absorbent material (on the backside) to be able to solidify wastes quickly. This helps in the easy disposal of wastes. Technology has therefore contributed immensely in making patient commodes more and more convenient for both the patient and the caregiver.