Whether you are a senior trying to maintain independence or you are simply trying to help your elderly loved one remain in their home in comfort, the bathroom is often a focus when it comes to easy accessibility. Although raised toilets, walk-in showers, and support rails help provide a lot of accessibility as one ages, the actual function of using the toilet can still be a challenge. Fortunately, a bidet is an option that can help an elderly person maintain their independence and dignity.

How Bidets Work

A bidet consists of little more than a spray wand that uses water to clean up after you use the toilet. You won't have to use toilet paper, which can be difficult for those suffering from arthritis and other mobility conditions. More advanced models may heat the water to a comfortable temperature, or they may even include an air dryer. The spray wand sits inside the toilet bowl. There are aftermarket models available to fit most toilets, including the tall toilets that are often preferred by those with mobility issues.

Benefits For Senior Care

There are many benefits when it comes to bidet use, especially for those that prefer to age in place in their own homes. These benefits include:

  1. Improved hygiene: Since one no longer has to struggle to use toilet paper, they can be assured that everything is hygienic after toilet use.
  2. Less irritation: Bathroom habits change as one ages due to diet, health, and medication. In some cases, more frequent use is necessary, which can lead to irritation from the toilet paper. This is not a concern with a bidet.
  3. Infection prevention: Urinary tract infection (UTI) risk can become greater as one ages and hygiene becomes more difficult. A bidet solves this issue by preventing the spread of UTI-causing bacteria.
  4. Increased safety: The toilet is considered a major fall risk for those with mobility issues. With a bidet, you will no longer have to twist or bend after using the toilet, which will greatly reduce the risk of falling off the toilet.

Installation Basics

You must purchase a bidet that is made to fit your toilet. Any standard bidet will typically work on standard toilets, but if you have a tall ADA-approved toilet, you will need to purchase a tall bidet toilet seat to ensure the spray is aimed as it should be.

The bidet is installed inline with the clean water supply into the toilet, so it's as simple as hooking it up and affixing it to the toilet bowl. Models that supply warm water will need to be hooked into the nearest warm water supply line, and those with a drying fan will need an electrical supply.

Contact a bidet supplier to learn more about your options, such as tall bidet toilet seats.