Bedside Commodes - Yuma Regional First Health Medical Supply

By: Yuma Regional First Health Medical Supply  09-12-2011
Keywords: General Information, Home Medical, Commodes

General Information 

Bedside commodes provide bedside toilet facilities for individuals who cannot easily and safety get to the bathroom.  Commodes come in a variety of different styles.  Selecting the appropriate model depends upon the physical limitations of the user and where it will be used.

The most commonly used models are the following:

  • Basic models with fixed arms

  • Drop-arm or removable-arm models

  • Over-the-toilet models

  • Concealed models

As in all home medical equipment, proper set up and usage is essential to achieve maximum benefit from the product.

Basic Models

Basic models provide toilet facilities for a large group of users who are ambulatory but cannot climb stairs or walk any distance to get to the bathroom.  Users of these models must be able to sit, stand, and turn on their own.

A basic bedside commode has seat height adjustment capability to facilitate safe sitting down on and rising from the seat.  The two back legs of the commode can be set slightly higher than the two front legs to create a sloping for individuals who have difficulty bending at the hip.  Seat height is adjusted by pressing the spring-tension buttons on the legs and sliding the legs in or out to the desired length.


  • Make sure that the buttons pop back out and lock securely into the selected hole.

Drop-Arm Models

Drop-arm commodes, as the name implies, enable non-ambulatory users to make lateral or sliding transfer to and from a bed, chair, wheelchair, etc.  Seat height adjustment on drop-arm commodes is the same as that for the basic model.  Set the seat height at the same level as the bed, wheelchair, etc., from or to which the user will transfer.

Over-Toilet Models

Over-the-toilet commodes are available in either basic or drop-arm versions.  The unique capability of the over-the-toilet model is that it provides toilet facilities at bedside, and it be positioned over a regular bathroom toilet to facilitate getting up and down.  Over-the-toilet models can be kept in the bathroom during the day and at the bedside at night.

Simply removing the container and replacing it with the splashguard, furnished for that purpose, accomplishes changing the configuration from bedside to over-the-toilet.  Raise the cover and seat of the regular bathroom toilet before placing the over-the-toilet unit into position.  Seat height adjustment on over-the-toilet commodes is the same as that for the basic and drop-arm models.

Concealed Models

Though the seat height is somewhat higher on a concealed commode than on the standard bathroom toilet, height adjustability is sacrificed for a more attractive appearance (hence, concealed commodes are sometimes called “residential” and “furniture” commodes).  They function as a commode but do not look like one.  These models were designed for those individuals with less severe mobility restrictions.


  • Bedside commodes are relatively light in weight and are not anchored to the floor like the conventional bathroom toilet.  Any significant horizontal force can cause the commode to slide on the floor or tip over.  For all models it is important that force be exerted directly downward when getting up or down or transferring to and from the seat.
If you have received instructions from your physician or therapist that differ in any way from the above information, follow those instructions explicitly.  If you experience any functional problems with this product, discontinue use and call your First Health Medical Supply office for assistance.

Keywords: Bedside Commodes, Commodes, General Information, Height Adjustment, Home Medical,

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