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Learning About How to Use a Urinal

Man using urinal in bed

Using a urinal: Overview

If the person you're caring for is not able to leave their bed to use the toilet, they may need to use a urinal. A urinal is a container used to collect urine and is made for either male or female anatomy. But some people might find it easier to use a bedpan.

If you are helping someone with a urinal, try to be relaxed. If you are calm and don't seem embarrassed, the person may feel more comfortable.

How can you help someone use a urinal?

Start by gathering supplies. You will need a urinal, gloves, and toilet paper or wet wipes. Make sure you have a place to set the urinal aside while you help with wiping or getting dressed.

Wash and dry your hands well, and put on gloves. Have the person you're caring for lower or unzip their pants. Offer help if needed.

Helping someone use a urinal

  • Ask the person to position the urinal so urine will flow into it. If needed, help them spread their legs and position the urinal.
  • If possible, cover the person with a sheet or blanket for privacy. If you can leave them alone safely, leave the room to give more privacy.
  • If the person needs help, hold the urinal in place while they urinate.
  • When the person is done urinating, carefully remove the urinal.

After the person uses the urinal

  • Help the person wipe if needed. If wiping the vulva, be sure to wipe from front to back.
  • If you used a wet wipe or a face cloth, dry the area between the person's legs after wiping.
  • Empty the urinal into the toilet.
  • Rinse and wash the urinal using a disinfectant diluted with water. Dry the urinal or let it air-dry.
  • Take off your gloves and throw them away.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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