Would a self-managed bedside commode be useful?

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Years ago, my family, particularly my youngest sister, changed our lives so that my Mom could age at home. As a result of that experience, we figured out a way to power up the traditional bedside commode: we added a battery, a transfer board that also serves as a commode arm, and a way for the user to raise and lower the commode so that they can get themselves on and off.
I've been having a heck of a time getting home medical equipment companies to take this seriously. They want to see that there is a market.

The idea is that my Mom would have gotten herself on and off; we would still have had to empty the bucket, but we would not have had to always be there "just in case." She would have been happier with not being so dependent, and we would have welcomed the greater ability to schedule, rather than have to "be there." For example, my sister would not have had to hurry home from work every day, she would have been able to be more relaxed.

Would like to know what this community thinks? Is there a market for this type of product?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Yes . I believe there is a market for this type of product. If this product was available for home use there would have been less anxiety for our Mom and
her children . Mom could get herself on and off this commode type without
having to worry that one of her children was not there to assist her.
Mom could be more independent instead of dependent on someone being there.
I cannot understand why home care companies cannot appreciate the need for such a patient-friendly product. I have had many elderly relatives who have hated the problems associated with the usual bedpan devices out there on the market...they are cumbersome and often messy! There has been no innovations in this area in decades. Using such a device would make bedbound individuals more independent and increase their self-esteem.
Top Answer
Before we reinvent the wheel we have to examine exactly what is meant by "need" when it comes to "majority" and we all know more than 50% makes up the majority and in this case we are talking about elderly people. Can the majority of elderly use a product like this?

I could be wrong here but it sounds to me that there are steps needed to be taken to get oneself on and off a transfer board to electronically lower oneself onto a commode. Many elderly with or without dementia in my opinion would still have problems remembering or become confused with exactly how to use this board and process especially in the midst of "nature screaming".

I am a caregiver of an 87 year old father who has a lift-chair in the living room and he has problems with a simple forward and backward toggle switch. I can just imagine using the system you describe and see him landing on the floor bucket and all!

The lift-chair in full up-right position allows him to basically just walk away from the chair but do know more often than not he neglects to put the chair up and struggles to get out of the chair using up all his energies? I often repeatedly have to remind him how the chair works and its purpose.

To me one would have to be alert, aware, and mobile enough to used this product by themselves. So you have to ask yourself "are the majority of elders alert, aware, and mobile enough to use it?" From my experiences and observations the answer to all three would be ... "well, not really."

You whole idea sounds good but I can understand the manufacturers repose on such a venture.
Frankly, we'll probably have to wait for the Chinese to develop it; perhaps they already have one. With their large population they probably have already identified the need unless their traditional extended families mean there is always someone handy to help, thus obviating the need for it.
Actually it sounds more on the line of robotics and in that case it would be the Japanese. They have been doing extensive research and development of robotics when it comes to products for the elderly.
Just read Caregiverson's response: As the originator of this question, I acknowledge that this product is not for everyone, Caregiverson, your description of your Dad's interaction with his LiftChair is heartbreaking, an example of the need for evaluation of abilty to benefit from any of the new technology currently under development to assist people in aging at home. Unfortunately, the challenges presented by Dementia, which appears to effect about 5 percent to 8 percent of all people over the age of 65, doubling every five years above that age so that It is estimated that as many as half of people 85 or older suffer from dementia (Cleveland Clinic), are hard to overcome, as evidenced by your experience. However, just as the powerwheelchair has brought new-found independence to so many, that leaves a still-sizable population that could benefit from this product. Just as CMS is now insisting on a medical evaluation of a patient to be eligible for a power wheelchair, that same evaluation could cover elibgibility for this innovation.
Aaaagh- forget the Chinese. I invented a product to help my relatives with bed transfers (Friendly Beds) and also have a commode product (think of it as a "liftchair for the toilet"). I am developing other products as well to keep the elderly/disabled safe and at home. I am supposed to keep quiet but have to let people know there are new products out there that could help keep people safe (caregivers too). Check out "Friendly Beds" at AbleData (also a lot of other assistive items there).
Yes. There is a need for all these types of products. I personally would enjoy a raised ( high up) chaise lounge...chaise longue.(Fr.) The bedside commode is as important as the walker and the cane. The raised potty is also necessary for regular trips to the bathroom. The elderly pop. is increasing..... baby boomers who are now 48 to 66 will need these products very soon.

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