They may be able to clean themselves, but they might need assistance, for example needing you to pass the toilet paper.
If they are unable to clean themselves you may need to help. Then clean them with toilet paper, followed by wet wipes if needed.
If your friend or family member does have an accident, reassure them, and clean it up quickly for the sake of their dignity and also because damp skin can become sore, leading to pressure ulcers (bed sores).
back to top This information is not intended to replace any advice from health or social care professionals.
Depending on what’s available in your area, it may be possible for a professional (eg a healthcare assistant) to help with your friend or family member’s personal care.
You can also ask the district nurse or healthcare assistant to be there to support you the first time you help your friend or family member with the toilet.
Your friend or family member may be anxious about accidentally wetting the bed, or they may suffer from incontinence.
The district nurse will be able to give information on the best hygiene products to get and how to manage incontinence.
But if it makes either of you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, speak to the GP or district nurse.
You can get a commode screen to place around it for privacy.
A toilet seat in a bright colour can be useful if your friend or family member has poor eye sight or dementia. They may need to use a bedpan instead of getting out of bed to use the commode or toilet.
While your friend or family member is using the toilet or commode, give them some privacy.
Ask them to tell you when they’ve finished and they’re ready for your help again.