When It’s Time to Get a Commode

When It’s Time to Get a Commode

Here are some things you didn’t know about why a bedside commode may or may not be right for your elderly parent.

I have recently been asked by someone who takes care of an elderly parent if I thought a bedside commode would help her mom. Her mom was fairly independent and lived by herself. However there were times in the middle of the night when she would wake to go to the bathroom and it made her daughter a little nervous. Now, let me explain the pros and cons of using a bedside commode and what I would recommend.

We all know that a bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the house for a senior. Getting on and off the toilet (without a raised toilet seat or toilet rails) can be very scary and the likelihood of falling is very high. There’s not a lot of room to maneuver, so if a senior usually uses a walker or rollator, they might not have enough room to use it properly, thus leaving them to rely on the sink and walls for support. In addition, a bathroom can easily become slippery, thus making it more unsafe. For all these reasons, a bedside commode might keep elderly parents safer.

However, there are some concerns that come with having a commode next to the bed. At night when the room is dark, a bedside commode stands as an obstacle right on the side of the bed. We want to make sure no one trips or bumps into the commode. One way to address this potential issue is to keep a small light or nightlight on throughout the night so that it is clearly visible. However, for those who have a hard time sleeping if there is a light on, a commode may be too dangerous to keep near the bed. Another concern is that most people don’t want their bedroom looking like a hospital room. Even if the commode will be useful and convenient, some seniors may resist to having medical equipment in their room, just as they might be hesitant to get a hospital bed or a lift.

A bedside commode isn’t the right solution for everyone. How will the patient adapt to it? Will they have an easy time getting on and off? For some people, getting the right bathroom safety equipment is a better choice.

Once you decide to get a commode, there are still more things to consider. Do you need a steel commode or an aluminum commode – and do you need a padded seat, or do you prefer one without? Can you benefit from drop down arms or not? These questions must be answered based on your unique circumstances.

Therefore, I would recommend having a nurse or a medical professional come down to the house to assess the situation and make a professional recommendation. When you are concerned for the safety of an elderly parent or loved one, there is too much at stake to make mistakes. So do everyone a favor and get professional advice from someone who is aware of your individual situation.


Disclaimer: No information presented on this website or in this commode guide is medical advice or intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician. All information on this website concerning medical conditions is from publicly available sources.

By | 2019-03-04T13:47:01+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Guides|Comments Off on When It’s Time to Get a Commode