Understanding how to help a loved one with mobility issues or that may be confined to a bed a majority of the time is an issue to take seriously and to make active efforts at providing relief and privacy for. We want to allow these individuals to remain with some sense of self-pride if it’s still possible.
Often, Seniors refuse the idea of using a caregiver to help assist them to the bathroom. This is when a commode chair can come in handy. In this post we will cover commodes and standard specifications to be on the look for.
Outside of that, we need an understanding of when they are commonly used, and some tips to using them correctly. This knowledge could go a long way towards providing relief for a loved one in these difficult situations.
That’s the goal of this post here today. I want to cover when to consider a commode for a loved one or yourself and go over some helpful tips that can make the process that much easier for you.
The Bedside Portable Toilet [The Commode]
A bedside commode is nothing more than a moveable toilet. However, this form of a bathroom or chair, unfortunately, does not come with any water hooked up. This means that any defecations or bodily waste will be disposed into a pan beneath the commode.
This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. It does require some proper handling and proper steps to be taken to actively help an individual who uses a commode on a frequent basis.
In most circumstances, a commode is going to be placed next to a bed for someone who is confined to a bed most of the time or even if they are confined to a bed close to permanently.
The idea behind a commode is simple. The individual who needs it can’t use their own strength or mobility to take themselves to the restroom. A transfer to the commode chair instead of walking the full distance to the bathroom is a much easier task to complete than helping this individual walk to the bathroom. Additionally, making a trip to the bathroom could cause injuries and you run the risk of a fall taking place.
If you read the post that we linked to above, you will notice that commodes serve a high purpose mainly because seniors can often be stubborn when asking for assistance using the restroom.
Some seniors won’t inform a caregiver that they need assistance using the restroom or they feel embarrassed to mention that to the caregivers.
Commodes Can Help Remedy This Issue
Having a bedside commode can eliminate this issue. Primarily if the individual can assist themselves in the commode without assistance (although rare and some assistance will be needed)
An individual could still be weak or unsteady on their feet, but if the commode is placed near the bed, many seniors or individuals with these mobility issues are still capable of putting themselves into a comfortable position to use the restroom with only a small amount of assistance from a caregiver to make the transfer from the bed and onto the commode chair.
A commode is always going to be a safe alternative compared to the risk of a fall on the way to the restroom.
A question still always remains when it comes to the use of commodes. How do you help or assist someone when using a commode? How do you stay prepared?
Common Tips to Use When Helping an Individual Use A Commode
These are a few tips you can put in place that will have you more prepared to help an individual use a commode safely and cleanly.
First, make sure you have the proper supplies gathered and have plenty on standby. Having these ready and having enough will have you ready to help anytime the situation arises.
• Warm Water (With a Container)
• Toilet Paper or Wet Wipes
• Disposable Gloves
Why Do I Need All These Supplies When Using Commodes?
Well, we already touched on this briefly, but a commode is again, nothing more than portable or toilet that remains bedside with no running water. When someone with mobility issues does use a commode, you need to clean up the waste that is a product of using the “restroom.”
The supplies listed above are going to make this task easy. The bed pans need to be emptied, and the waste that comes from defection needs to be cleaned off the container after use.
Don’t just leave the pan and forget to clean it thoroughly.
This could result in not only odor emitting from the room but also run the risk of developing harmful bacteria’s and other airborne viruses that are a common result from defection or human waste.
It doesn’t take anything special outside of the items listed above. Soap and hot water are entirely adequate to do a good job cleaning the pan but be sure to wear the disposable gloves mentioned previously.
Other Helpful Hints for Aiding Someone Using a Commode
A few other helpful hints will help you become a pro with a commode even faster. First, be sure that the wheels are always locked on the commode before transferring someone into the chair.
If the wheels are not locked, you could run into further issues with the commode sliding or moving out from beneath them.
Okay, now this is a big one. Always make sure the container or PAN is Under the chair. If you don’t the entire purpose of the commode is defeated, and you could have an unpleasant mess to clean up on carpet or another flooring inside the home.
In addition, always have a small amount of water already placed in the pan. A dry pan or container is much more difficult to clean properly after use compared to allowing the pan to remain dry before use.
Also, make sure to assist the individual out of bed into the commode. In some circumstances, the individual may be capable of getting into the commode without assistance, but most of the time, you will need to assist them with this part of the process.
Lastly, if the person is not capable of getting in or out of the commode on their own, be sure to stick around for safety. If you can’t do this or they request privacy, be sure to have some form of a bell or ringer to allow them to hit when finished or in case of emergency.
Follow These Steps to Get the Most Use Out of Your Commode
If you follow these steps, you can ensure that you get the most use of your commode and that you help someone correctly. Commodes are a fantastic assistive device for seniors and can help individuals with limited mobility still use the restroom in a traditional sense.
What’re your thoughts on commodes? Do you have any other helpful tips to add to this list? Be sure to drop a comment below.