Often called just a commode, this is a piece of equipment that is typically used by people who have difficulty accessing a standard toilet or bathroom, often through illness, injury or disability.
The commode may have wheels to provide ease of transport from one room to another (this will more than likely be the bathroom) and will always have a flip up/ drop down seat in which to cover the toileting pan or pail that rests underneath.
Commodes can either be quite basic or can be designed to blend in with furnished surroundings, in essence looking just like normal armchair until required for use.
A commode is built to look and feel like a standard 4 legged dining or armchair. However, once the seat is flipped up or removed, there is a frame underneath that enables a toileting pan or pail to be inserted.
Once this pan is inserted, the commode chair is used just as a normal toilet would be. The only difference is that the commode can be used in any room of the house and will require emptying and cleaning after use. This task is often undertaken by a family member or care giver.
Some commodes have wheels which enable the user to be wheeled to and sit over a standard toilet. In this case, the toilet pan would not be required.
Commodes work well for those that are unable to access a standard bathroom or toilet with ease. The use could be short term, as an example for somebody that has just left hospital following surgery or may be required for longer term use. Commodes are often used at night by the elderly to negate the need to walk to the bathroom in the dark and therefore reduce the risk of falls.
Consider whether the commode will be kept in the bathroom, the bedroom or the lounge. This decision will ultimately influence your choice in the design. You may also want to consider a folding commode chair if storage space is tight.
If the commode is going to remain in the same place every time it is used then wheels are not required. This can however be restrictive for the user and you may find that wheels offer you that little bit more flexibility.
Different designs come with different size and weight limits so it is important to check these on the product specification prior to purchasing.
How much does a commode typically cost?
Commodes for sale can vary greatly in price depending on the specification. A basic fixed size commode toilet chair can be purchased for around £30.
At the opposite end of the scale, a heavy duty wheeled commode can cost over £1000. When looking at commodes for sale, it is important to consider what functionalities are essential versus what are just optional extras.
As an example, somebody who has good postural control will not need a commode that tilts backward in space, thereby reducing the cost significantly.
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