Best Tips in Using a Bedside Commode

Using or navigating the bathroom can be challenging, especially for people recovering from accidents, illnesses, or surgeries.

A bedside commode can be of great help, offering people with limited mobility a certain level of independence and dignity in doing toileting tasks.

Also referred to as portable toilets, bedside commodes provide a convenient toileting solution that offers both the users and caregivers peace of mind.

To help you and the user feel more comfortable and relaxed, we have prepared some best tips on the proper use of the commode.

Always Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can be beneficial to both the patient and the caregiver. In planning ahead, remember to do these two things.

First, make sure that you place the commode close to the user’s bed, where it will be easy to access. Secondly, make sure that the surrounding area of the commode is free from clutter so that the user can easily navigate his way to the equipment.

As part of planning ahead, make sure to do these things beforehand:

  • Stack up all the needed supplies, including gloves, toilet papers, and wet wipes.
  • Clean and dry your hands thoroughly.
  • Wear gloves if necessary.
  • Make sure that the user is wearing non-slippery footwear and clothes that are easy to remove.
  • Lock the wheels of the commode.

Tips in Transferring from the Bed to the Commode

Here are some tips to remember when helping the patient from the bed onto the commode.

  • Assist the patient to lean forward before standing. If needed, help the patient to stand up.
  • Assist the patient to turn slowly and step back to sit on the commode.
  • Make sure that the patient doesn’t lose balance when sitting down. If the patient is a male, it is advisable that they sit while using the commode.

Things to Do After Using a Bedside Commode

Here are the things to do once the patient has finished using the commode:

  • If needed, help the patient wipe themselves using wet wipes or toilet paper. If the patient is a female, make sure to wipe both the front and back area.
  • Make sure to put on gloves when helping the patient in cleaning.
  • After the patient uses the commode, dispose of the content directly to the toilet and safely clean the bucket using a toilet brush and cleaner. Use a disposable towel and a disinfectant to disinfect the bucket and let it dry before returning it to the commode.


Bedside commodes are ideally used by people with mobility issues and before it becomes too difficult or dangerous for them to walk to and use the bathroom on their own.

An occupational therapist may instruct you to buy a commode when they think it could be helpful for you or your loved one.

And to make sure that the commodes are functional, safe, and comfortable for the user, remember these best tips when using this bathroom equipment.

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