Going to the bathroom becomes more challenging with age
On average, people use the toilet 7 times a day. It’s one of the most basic activities of daily living and is a common reason for older adults to start losing independence.
Stiffness, weakness, pain, frailty, balance issues, and cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s or dementia can make going to the bathroom difficult or dangerous. A simple product that can help seniors be more independent in the bathroom is a bidet.
What is a bidet?
Bidets are a hands-free way to wash the perineal area, usually after a bowel movement. A wand under the toilet bowl sprays a small stream of clean water to cleanse the area. They’re more common in Europe and Asia, but are gaining popularity in the U.S.
With a bidet, your older adult won’t have to bend and twist to wipe their behind. The bidet will do the clean up and they’ll just need to pat the area dry. It’s hygienic and gentle on senior’s delicate skin.
How much does a bidet cost and how do you install it?
The bidets we’re talking about aren’t the expensive freestanding ones. Many bidets are made to fit on standard toilets and are in the $40 price range.
These types of bidets can be easily attached (and detached) and don’t require any special plumbing. They use the same clean water feed that goes into the toilet tank. If you want to get a little fancier, there are bidets with warm water spray, but those are more expensive and often require electricity or a separate hookup to the sink’s hot water supply.
This 3 minute video shows exactly how to install one of these types of bidets on a standard toilet.
Benefits of bidets for seniors
When older adults start losing the strength, flexibility, and balance needed to safely use the toilet, each trip can become a dangerous and exhausting challenge. This could lead to poor hygiene, potential urinary tract infections, or even falls.
With 90% of U.S. seniors wanting to remain in their own homes as they age, it’s important to find ways to help them be more independent while also increasing safely.
Bidets help by:
- Improving hygiene by removing the struggle of wiping
- Reducing urinary tract infection (UTI) risk through improved hygiene
- Protecting delicate skin – no more wiping with paper
- Reducing fall risk – no more bending or twisting to clean up, saves strength for safe sitting and standing
- Making seniors more willing to go to the bathroom because it’s no longer a chore
For less independent older adults or those with incontinence, a bidet makes it much easier for you keep those essential parts clean without having to convince them to take a shower or bath.
2 common bidet options
This $40 model from Luxe Bidet is highly rated on Amazon by over 3,600 people and easily attaches to a standard toilet.
Raised toilet seat
Some older adults use a raised toilet seat to make it easier to sit down on and stand up. Most of the bidets that are made to attach to standard toilets aren’t recommended for use with raised toilet seats.
Bio Bidet is a company that makes a bidet that works with their raised toilet seat. It’s $500, so it’s quite expensive. But it might be worth it if it allows your older adult to be more independent and live at home longer.
You might also consider calling bidet companies with less expensive standard models to see if they have any that would work with a raised toilet seat or they could suggest ways to make it work.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team