How to use a commode properly

For many people who find it difficult to get around, simple tasks like going to the toilet can be daunting. Fortunately, people who suffer from problems that affect their mobility can avoid this issue by using a commode in their home.

In this blog, we explain exactly what a commode is before providing a thorough guide on how to use one. 

What is a commode?

A commode is a portable toilet that can be kept in a bedroom or sitting room to help someone that struggles with mobility. Whether caused by a specific condition, incident or simply as the result of age, a commode can make going to the toilet easier for someone that would otherwise find it difficult. With a design that masks the commode as a seat in your home and the option to remove waste seamlessly, it’s easy to see why someone who finds mobility difficult would consider using one.

How does a commode work?

Unlike a traditional bathroom toilet, a commode does not use running water and isn’t connected to your plumbing system. Instead, it has a container underneath for temporarily storing waste after use. The container is concealed and the commode itself is often made to look like a normal chair, removing any unwanted embarrassment that the user could find from having a commode in their home

.It can be moved around to the location that is preferable to the user, and then once it’s been used, the user or someone helping them can empty the container beneath so it’s ready for future use. In some cases, a commode may even have wheels to make transportation easier. However, they often don’t as they’re built to be a stationary piece of furniture that is strong enough to hold the full weight of someone going to the toilet until it’s moved to a different part of the home.

How to use a commode

Whether you’re using one yourself or want to help someone else, it could be beneficial to first understand how you’re supposed to use a commode properly.

Steps for using a commode:

1. Set up the commode near to the bed or sitting area of the person using it. Although you could put it in a different location, it would be advisable to keep it as close to the user as possible, so if they’re bed bound for example, this would be the most sensible place.

2. Ensure that the container is securely fixed beneath the seat. At this point, check that the commode is stable and unlikely to move, fall over or fall apart when used.

3. Pour a small amount of water into the container below the seat. Doing this will add lubrication to the container, making the process of cleaning it easier later on.

4. If the commode has a seatbelt, fasten it around the person using it.

5. When the person using the commode is secure, give them time alone to use it. As long as they’re safely sitting on the commode, don’t feel that they’re at risk and are comfortable to use it, they should be okay to be given privacy. If you want, you can even give them a bell to ring when they’re finished so you don’t come back too soon or leave them waiting too long.

6. After the person has used the commode, you should look to clean it as soon as possible. By cleaning it immediately after, you can prevent the waste from getting stuck in the container, staining it or leaving an unpleasant smell.

7. Before you begin to clean the commode container, put on a pair of disposable gloves, unclip the user’s seatbelt and gently lift them up from the commode. If they need help cleaning up, do this now and have somewhere ready to dispose of the toilet paper or washcloth you use.

8. Move the person away from the commode and safely onto a chair or bed.

9. Disconnect the container from the commode, carefully lift it up and take it to the nearest bathroom. Lift up the toilet seat and empty the contents of the container into the toilet.

10. Use a toilet brush to remove any parts that aren’t immediately moving from the container. You should then use water and an effective cleaning agent to clean out the commode container.

11. Return the container to the commode, reattach it and check that the commode is sturdy. You should then remove your disposable gloves in a way that avoids your bare hand touching the outside of the gloves and throw them away.

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