Things to Consider When Purchasing a Bedside Commode
If you have mobility issues, you needn’t give up your independent lifestyle. Many assistive products exist that can overcome the challenges of aging and limited mobility such as a bedside commode. Let’s discuss some features that you should look for to help you choose the one that’s best for you.
Dimensions and Specifications
The standard size for a bedside commode is typically around 18 inches wide which is close to that of the average size toilet. You’ll usually see measurements for the inside and outside of the arms along with a figure for depth. Manufacturers will also provide a weight capacity to accommodate any situation.
These products toe the line between portability and stability. Most place this figure around 300 pounds. You’ll also see bariatric models designed for heavier individuals that offer the same benefits.
The descriptions often mention an adjustable height range which gives you some flexibility whether you’re using it as a standalone unit or over a toilet. You can use some products as shower chairs too. Make a note of the total width of the commode if you intend to use it for this purpose to make sure that it fits in your bathtub or stall.
The construction plays a significant role in the usability and functionality. Manufacturers strive to strike a balance between strength and weight. A steel frame offers the advantage of low cost and durability, making it both an affordable and useful solution. However, it is heavy which is an essential consideration for your caregiver and its usability for users who want to use it without assistance.
Aluminum has the best of both worlds being lightweight and sturdy. It also won’t rust so that you’ll get your money’s worth out of your purchase. Whichever you choose a product, make sure that it has a wide stance which will give you more stability to prevent falls and tipping, especially if you opt for a lighter model.
Less expensive models often have plastic seats, armrests, and other features to cut costs. Today’s materials are strong and able to handle the rigors of everyday use. Also, they are easy to clean which makes them a wise option for maintaining sanitary conditions in your home while saving time and effort.
Other things we like to see included is padding on the seat and backrest along with arm supports to make them easier for you or your loved one to use. You’ll also find products with drop or pivotal arms which can make transfers from a bed to the commode more convenient for you and your caregiver.
Pay attention to the construction of the seat too. Cushioning can make it more comfortable, but also consider details such as the size of the opening and its position. The latter, for example, can affect the practicality of a product for a man versus a woman.
Bedside commodes have either caster wheels or rubberized feet on the legs of the item. The latter is a safer option because it is slip-resistant to make you feel safe while using it. We recommend sticking with standard size products so that you can use the commode with accessories such as a splash guard or liners even if you have to buy them from another manufacturer.
By definition, a commode is portable which distinguishes it from a toilet. It’s far easier to move a lightweight model than a bulky one whether it’s you or your caregiver. It’s an essential consideration if you use this product without assistance too. We’d suggest thinking about the ease of storage if you don’t plan on using it all the time.
Products that fold up offer a distinct advantage in this case. It’s also an essential factor for ones that can serve multiple purposes to support your aging in place. It’ll make it more convenient to move from room to room as needed for use in the shower then back beside your bed. It’ll also allow you to take it traveling.
Finally, it’s important to consider the price too. You’ll find that the cost varies widely from under $100 to thousands of dollars for models that have greater versatility. Think about how and where you’re likely to use the product to help you home in on the features that matter most to you. However, that adage about getting what you pay for applies here too.
Don’t be afraid to invest a bit more in a product as fundamental as this one because of the profound effect it can have on your quality of life. We’d also suggest keeping your caregiver in mind as well with matters such as ease of cleaning and usage. Functionality is another vital factor so that you can get more out of your purchase while solving multiple issues with one product.