Bidets enhance the functionality of a bathroom especially for those Aging in Place.
If the thought of a bidet has you imagining squatting over a porcelain bowl with your legs quivering, it’s time to introduce you to the modernized version of this fabulous toilet hygiene device. Traditional, older bidets were a separate unit from the actual toilet. Today, the bidet is usually built into or attached to a toilet, and you sit on it just as you would a toilet seat.
Benefits of bidets for Aging in Place
Bidets are loaded with Aging in Place friendly features to help an older person maintain better hygiene and decrease the need for another person to help.
Bidets can also help to reduce the discomfort of hemorrhoids, which are more common with age.
If you have a sore shoulder, limited arm range of motion, hand arthritis or a large frame that makes it difficult to reach where you need to, a bidet can dramatically improve your everyday toileting hygiene.
The most expensive bidets are ones built into the toilet. But there are also many reasonably priced bidets that can be attached to your existing toilet. Installation can even be a DIY project.
Bidets are also eco friendly because they reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the need for toilet paper.
Bidets have many option choices
We usually feel colder as we get older because our skin thins, fat near the surface lessens, and circulation decreases. Blood-thinning medications used to treat a variety of problems also contribute to feeling cold.
Although this may seem like a luxury, a heated bidet seat may be more of a necessity. When you are trying to relax to use the toilet, feeling warm rather than cold can also help you to relax.
Adjustable water temperature
Some bidets have adjustable water temperatures, which will make the experience more pleasant and relaxing.
Water jets and nozzles with adjustable pressure and positions
Adjustable jets and nozzles that can be directed where most useful is a nice feature. Water pressure adjustability will help to achieve better cleaning.
The thought of needing to air dry or use toilet paper is eliminated in a model that has an air dryer.
Some models have a carbon filtration system to eliminate odors. Others have a fragrance dispenser to mask smells.
A self-opening and closing lid is more sanitary because it does not need to be touched. It also eliminates the need to manipulate the seat if you have strength or coordination difficulties.
Having an automatic sensor toilet bowl light is convenient, especially when you need to use the toilet during the night.
A remote control rather than an attached control panel can make using the bidet easier. Some models are corded and others wireless.
You don’t need to worry about the cleanliness of the water jets in a model where the nozzles retract and self-clean.
Electric vs non-electric
Most models use electricity, which requires a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) near the toilet. Non-electric bidets use water pressure instead of electricity to operate.
When you are planning a bathroom remodel, always consider including a GFCI outlet near the toilet so a bidet can be installed now or in the future.
Bidets enhance all bathrooms, not just those Aging in Place
Everyone could benefit from a bidet, so, surprisingly, they aren’t more popular. I have seen bidets in only a few of my patients’ homes, but there are so many others who would really benefit from them as well. I am beginning to see bidet seats advertised in the big warehouse stores, so perhaps their popularity is growing in the US.
Since bidets come in a variety of price points, there is one that will fit your budget. And if you feel like treating yourself to a little everyday luxury, buy one with some of the extra special features mentioned above.
I highly recommend that you consider a bidet as an affordable option for your bathroom, especially if you are planning to Age in Place. Being able to perform optimal toilet hygiene by yourself for as long as possible is extremely important to maintain your independence, dignity, and quality of life.