Commodes Provide Handicap Accessibility and Privacy

Commodes are useful for people who are unable to walk long distances to use the restroom. A commode is a portable toilet that can be placed next to a person’s bed.

They are significantly higher than an average toilet, making them easier to get off and on. Commodes are perfect for somebody that is put on bed rest or may have trouble standing for long periods of time. A commode placed near a bed in a room allows a person to use their bathroom in private.

commode-arm-handlesAt first glance, a commode looks like a chair with handles and a toilet bowl but there are many differences. The handles on both sides allow for extra stability when standing up or sitting down similar to some elevated plastic toilet seats. These arm handles can be lowered when not in use or locked into place when necessary. The chair back provides more support than a regular toilet. Most commodes have lids as well. The container is removable for easier cleaning and disposing. Some commodes have wheels, making it convenient to move when not in use. The wheels should be locked when near a bed for use. Some commodes may have seat belts. These are great for people who are very weak, and may slide off the chair.

Tip: Before using your commode, it is helpful to add just a small amount of water to the container. The liquid in the container will help to make it easier to clean.

Handicap Commodes

commode-with-wheelsHandicap commodes are a form of medical equipment that acts like a porta potty with security rails or like a potty wheelchair. They are perfect for someone who recently had surgery and needs the bathroom to be as close as possible. There are several different types of commodes available.

Bedside Commodes

There are the stand alone commodes that can be put near the bedside called bedside commodes. They shorten the bathroom trip during the night or in the morning. With a commode bucket and lid to cover the waste, they can be placed nearby the bed and emptied later. Bedside commodes can also reduce the accidents that occur when dealing with incontinence.

There are also commodes that fit over a standard toilet, but the seat is much higher, and commodes that are multi functional and can be used in the shower. Shower commodes are very useful for caregivers who need to help wash their patients. It provides an easy roll in and out access while allowing the patients to remain comfortably seated. There are also shower wheelchairs built like a wheelchair with a potty area that can be exposed to harsh water environments.

Commodes can come in a regular size or wide for larger people. There are tall bedside commodes that can be adjusted from 16 inches to 22 inches high.

Commode chairs are pre-assembled, and should not require any tools. There may be some unfolding but should be relatively simple. You will need to install the plastic catch container. This should easily be able to slide off and on, or dropped in. There are some commodes that fold up for ease in storage. With all these choices and models, a commode is probably one of the best and cost effective handicapped equipment out there.

Buy Recommended Commodes

  • Commode Toilet Chair – A simple toilet commode that can be placed bedside or in needed areas. Private commodes comes attached with a lid and easily removable bucket. The legs are adjustable and can be made as tall as 22 inches high.
  • Padded Commode with Wheels and Legrests – This commode can be used as a wheelchair to transport people. Perfect for post surgery patients.
  • Extra Large Bariatric Commode Chairs – This commode chair is built for weight. It can support up to 1000 lbs and will handle obese and overweight patients. The arms of the commode can also be drop down arms making for easy transfers. The seat width is 3 feet long.
  • Oversized Heavy Duty Bariatric Drop Arm Bedside Commode Chair – This is a much more affordable bariatric chair and supports up to 650lbs. These are perfect commodes for large people. The backrests and armrests are padded for your comfort.
  • Bedside Commode Chairs – These are commodes that come with a strong frame, easy to clean toilet lids, and removable back rails. Has 300lb weight capacity.
  • Wide Handicap Commodes – These are wide bariatric commodes that provide ample leg and thigh room for the larger individual.
  • Portable Camping Commodes – Are you traveling and need portable commodes to take to the road? Consider camping commodes that come with a sturdy seat and can be folded up when not in use. The folding potty is lightweight and can be easily placed in the trunk of a car. Users have reported that the camping commode seat can support up to 350lbs.

Does Medicare Cover Commodes?

Commodes are covered by Medicare if deemed medically necessary. Some other insurance programs may cover the cost as well, if they are referred by a doctor. To purchase a commode they are relatively low cost. Some commodes start around $40.00. Depending on the size, brand, and features commodes can cost up to $400.00 or more. You may also be able to rent a commode from a medical equipment company.

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Handicap Toilets For Sitting And Transferring

Handicap toilets, with raised toilet seats, toilet transfer benches and accessible grab bars, improve the quality of life for the elderly, post surgical patients and the disabled. These raised handicap toilets for the handicapped allow them to live individually in their homes or retirement communities.

Handicap Toilet Seats For Easier Sitting and Standing

elevated-toilet-seatHandicap accessible toilets can be raised to meet your handicapped needs especially for wheelchair transfer and ease of sitting and standing. Understanding the different parts and properties that make up a perfect toilet environment for the handicapped is important. Some people need to sit on a higher toilet because the lower ones would make toilets virtually impossible to use. They have trouble standing up from a low toilet seat and are unable to bend their knees and hips to those angles. Most raised toilet seats can be easily installed and ready to use in less than 10 minutes. They are great for anyone who recently had hip replacement surgery and was told to limit hip and knee movements at certain angles. Elevated toilet seats are also quite inexpensive and so any household could install one in every bathroom without taking a dent in their wallets. They are also portable toilet seats that the handicapped can take with them to install in hotel rooms and other standard fitting toilets.

Toilet Transfer Benches

transfer-benchWheelchair transfers are aided by transfer benches and boards that create a bridge from your wheelchair to your toilet. These toilets are perfect for wheelchair patients and those need a larger platform to sit. The transfer benches are especially important for anyone with limited upper body strength on wheelchairs. Instead of lifting their bodies to transfer to the toilet, they can slide their body across the board. There are also toilet transfer benches where people can lift and lower the bench onto the toilet bowl.

Recommended Toilet Transfer Benches

Buying toilet transfer benches should not be too complicated. Get one that fits the space of your bathroom and toilet. Standard toilet seat heights are 14 to 15 inches off of a floor. Here are two recommended toilet transfer benches with various benefits.

Toilet to Tub Sliding Transfer Bench

This toilet seat has a height of 19.5 to 24 inches. Supports weights of 350lbs.

Toilet Transfer Bench with Commode Opening

This toilet transfer bench has seat heights that can be adjusted from 17.75 inches to 21.75 inches. Supports weights of 400lbs.

Check out more of elevated toilet seatsshower transfer benches and handicap commodes.

ADA Handicap Toilet Placement

The ADA requirements for the toilet location require the toilet be positioned with a wall or partition to the rear and to one side. The center of the toilet must be between 16 to 18 inches from either wall for wheelchair accessible bathrooms and for ambulatory rooms should be between 17 and 19 inches. These requirements should be met for a right or left handed approach to the transfer.

ADA Handicap-Toilet-Placement

The toilet room should have enough clearance of 60 inches minimum measured perpendicular from the side wall and 56 inches minimum measured perpendicular from the rear wall.


You should consult an ADA guide manual for more detailed information that pertains to your needs. This information is only a short primer into toilet codes and may be inaccurate depending on your company or residential requirements.

ADA Accessible Toilet Grab Bars and Rails

Toilet grab bars can you get on and off the toilet and provide stability and support. For anyone who has had trouble getting off a low toilet seat, a well placed grab bar is fundamental. Grab bars are used throughout the bathroom, like in the shower, with shower grab bars and around hallways. ADA toilet grab bar placement requirements for toilets are as follows,


  • Toilet grab bars should be placed between 33 to 36 inches off the ground.
  • The side wall grab bar should be 42 inches long minimum and not located more than 12 inches from the rear wall and extending 54 inches minimum from the rear wall.
  • The rear wall grab bar shall be 36 inches long minimum and extend from the center-line of the toilet 12 inches minimum on one side and 24 inches minimum on the other side.
  • When buying toilet grab bars or handicap toilets, be sure to take these measurements into consideration if you need to meet the ADA requirements.

Handicap Bidets and Safety Rails

Toilet safety rails or handicap rails for toilets also provide a similar amount of support, however, they are mounted on the sides of the toilet and act like a handrest for a toilet.

Additional options for handicap toilets include adding a handicap bidet to wash the backside. Some people are unable to reach that area with toilet paper or have trouble wiping.

Bidets squirt a jet of water into the genital or anal (butt) regions. Cleansing the area with water will reduce any possible bladder or vaginal infections.

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