Review 4

The question on everyone’s lips is what bedpans and urine bottles do you buy? I’m sorry, but it would be top of your list if you were unable to go to the bathroom. But seriously these things are important to those of us limited with mobility and those who are Carers, paid and unpaid.

I’m a man, I feel like I should add, “ooh Betty I’m a man.” As I did love “Some mothers do ‘ave em.” So, I am limited in my knowledge of female toileting needs, I am married though. So, I will try and cover both.

Let me start by saying I have a soft bottom. No, I’m not boasting, it’s a fact that results from spending a lot of time in bed. Therefore, bed pan shape and design are important. Let me take a step back here, if you’re reading this eating your breakfast, you are probably thinking, ‘what am I reading?’ If you are walking along reading on your phone; watch out for that lamp post! If you are reading this at work, what are you doing? Get back to work!

Design; just imagine if your job was designing bed pans. It’s a very valuable job, but not one you are likely to shout about. I digress, as usual. A good design of bedpan has a wide smooth seat with rounded edges, think about a conventional toilet seat. Then think about depth, maybe not something you want to think too deeply about, no pun intended. But you are going to be filling this bedpan and a certain depth is needed for clearance purposes, if you see what I mean. “You feel me?” Is a ‘street’ expression that may be appropriate here. Another consideration is for your poor Carers, how easy is it to clean out. One practical idea is to put a temporary paper lining in before use. Much easier to dispose of. One problem that will decide on the depth of pan you buy is your degree of mobility. The shallower the pan, the easier to roll onto it. At least bedpans are unisex, now onto urine bottles, oh joy.

Here is a well designed bed pan

‘Ten green bottles, hanging on the wall.’ You won’t need ten and they hopefully won’t be green, but a urine bottle hanger is a great idea. I found chromium plated ones on Amazon very reasonably priced for a set of two.

Urine bottle hanger

The bottles themselves take some consideration. Will you only use them in bed, or out and about? If only in bed, then it’s less important that they are totally leak proof when sealed. If out and about, you don’t want them to leak. Also note the cheapest ones have sharp edges around the opening. They can cause nasty scratches, ouch, I know from experience. Most urine bottles these days come with an add on female adaptor. It push-fits in the end, like a shaped funnel. Or you can buy a female only urine bottle. Another consideration might be colour, do you want a see-through bottle? Or would you rather be more discreet if you have visitors or are out and about, you know bright red. Personally if you are a man and out in a wheelchair I recommend Conveens (See my blog ‘Not so public convenience’) If at home a urine bottle hanger enables you to hang the bottle on the side of your bed away from visitors.

Urine bottle with screw top, different colours available and female adaptor
Female urine bottle, no lid
Female urine bottle with lid

I found that trial and error was necessary to get what worked for me. Having stayed in several Nursing homes I also got to try several styles of both.

May your experiences be good ones. It’s a difficult and embarrassing subject. I hope my attempts to lighten it have helped rather than hindered.

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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