How to Use Commodes

Originally, the term commode referred to any kind of low furniture on legs, but today commodes are generally portable toilet chairs that rest on four legs.
Commodes are used when people have difficulties using a toilet.Commodes are used when people have difficulties using a toilet.
Disabled and elderly people often have difficulty using standard toilets. A toilet's lack of hand rails and general inaccessibility of most bathrooms may necessitate the use of a commode. For many, using a commode for the first time can be daunting and asking for help can be intimidating. Fortunately, if you take some time to educate yourself, selecting and using a commode is simple.

Step 1

Consider which type of commode is right for your situation. A number of commodes are built to accommodate every situation. Some are essentially elevated seats that are built to rest over an existing toilet seat while others are bedpans with a seat and surrounding frame that can be placed near a bed. Some can be used for both purposes. Websites such as can help you find the right commode for your situation.

Step 2

Purchase a commode. Either ask a health care professional to refer you to a retailer, or use a website such as Selfcare.

Step 3

Find a good location for the commode. If you don't plan to put the commode in the bathroom, select an easily accessible location such as next to the person's bed. Place necessary sanitation products, such as a bowl of warm water, towels and toilet paper within easy reach of the commode.

Step 4

Lock the wheels of the commode to prevent it from rolling away.

Step 5

Fill the container with a small amount of water for sanitation purposes and ensure that everything is in place.

Step 6

Use the handlebars to stabilize yourself and lift yourself on and off the seat.

Step 7

Help the patient sit on the commode if they have trouble doing it alone. Once the person is sitting down, leave the room so he or she has privacy. Give the person a bell so that they can indicate when they are finished. Help clean the person if they need it. Use disposable gloves while doing this.

Things You Will Need

  • Bowl of warm water
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Bell
  • Disposable gloves

About the Author

James Stuart began his professional writing career in 2010. He traveled through Asia, Europe, and North America, and has recently returned from Japan, where he worked as a freelance editor for several English language publications. He looks forward to using his travel experience in his writing. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from the University of Toronto.