Commode chairs aid the elderly and people living with disabilities remain independent, and maintain their dignity (via inconspicuous design).
Whilst it may be easy to think that all commode chairs are the same, this could not be further from the truth. There are multiple factors to consider when looking to purchase a commode chair such as:
- How lightweight and compact is the chair?
- Is the commode chair inconspicuous?
- Is the commode chair height adjustable?
- How comfortable is the commode chair?
- How much support does the commode chair offer?
- Can the commode chair be used in a shower?
In this article, we aim to look at all the above factors, and will attempt to advise on the best commode chairs for the elderly and people living with disabilities.
What is a commode chair?
A commode is a type of chair that is used by someone who has an issue that prevents them from using the toilet easily. Commode chairs are common in hospitals and care homes as a method of transportation to and from the bathroom or shower. Bathrooms can often have slippery and wet surfaces, and a commode chair reduces the need for the user to put themselves at risk by standing or walking.
Checking the size of a commode chair is vitally important. If you are intending to use the commode chair in a bathroom or shower, you’ll need to check the dimensions of the room and ensure that it will fit without taking up too much space. Alternatively, if you’re planning to move the commode chair from room to room regularly, you will want to investigate the width at the door frame and passageways, to ensure that it’s not going to struggle fit through.
There are many older heavier commode chairs still in use today. Despite this, there are plenty of lightweight alternatives that suit individuals looking for easy lifting in confined spaces.
Shower & toilet commodes
Many of our commode chairs double up for both toilet and shower usage. This means that not only can the commode be used over the toilet but can also be wheeled into the shower. Important elements to look out for in shower commodes, is that the materials are corrosion resistant and washable. It is these specialised materials that make a shower commode a much safer and better option than simply placing a non-shower commode in the shower.
If the user is still able to be bathed then you may opt for a commode chair that comes with an ergonomic bathing transfer system. This is where the commode chair has a tilt feature that allows the caregiver to relieve pressure from the user and facilitates transfer into the bath.
There are numerous commode chairs that we offer that allow more practicality and flexibility compared to standard commodes. Our range of folding commodes not only allows for easier and more discreet storage, but also opens up the opportunity for the commode to be used in multiple locations. This could prove helpful for users who are still active and want to travel and have overnight stays in other locations.
Many commode users are self-conscious about having to have a commode chair permanently placed in their home, where it is viewable to guests. As such, there is an increasing trend of styled and discrete commode chairs that look like any other chair. Many discreet commode chairs come with fashionable materials such as woven rattan, or with traditional wooden frames. These chairs can double up as standard armchairs and help conceal the identity of a commode chair to visitors and guests.
The final thing to look out for is whether the commode chair requires tools to adjust the seat or back. Many of our commode chairs have tool-less height-adjustable seats and backrest. This means that it is not inconvenient if there are multiple users, or if you need to regularly move the commode in and out of position. This may be a better choice for individuals where the caregiver might be an elderly partner themselves and may want to avoid additional complication in setting the commode chair’s adjustable features.
Ultimately when it comes down to picking the right commode chair, you should aim to think about all of the above considerations and make sure that the user’s comfort and dignity is at the heart of your decision. Using a commode chair is likely to be stressful enough to the user, so anything that can be done to make the process easier, safer, and more comfortable is of paramount importance.