Bidets: A Great Way to Retain Privacy for Someone with a Debilitating Condition

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
One of the most difficult things about losing function either from a disease, a trauma, or just plain aging is losing privacy and dignity with personal care.  Toileting in particular is a very private and personal part of life that is difficult to cope with needing someone to help carry out basic hygiene involved with toileting, even someone close to you.

A bidet is an excellent way to allow for privacy and good hygiene when function is lost.  Bidets are common place in many countries but have never been popular in the United States.  So what is a bidet?

The wikipedia definition of a bidet is as follows:

Bidets are primarily used to wash and clean the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. They may also be used to clean any other part of the body such as feet. Despite appearing similar to a toilet, it would be more accurate to compare it to the washbasin or bathtub. Bidets once served as a practical way for couples to prepare themselves before sex, as well as to rinse themselves afterward. 
Practically speaking, the bidet allow the individual who is able to use a standard toilet to retain independence in cleaning without having someone else to assist with clean-up.

There are basically two bidet options:
  1.  Add-on bidet is the most popular bidet choice because installation is less involved and often less costly.  The add-on bidets are electrically powered and are used with existing toilets.  Installation is not difficult and many manufacturers websites have how-to videos.
2.  Combined toilet/bidets are more involved and require replacing the existing toilet with a combination toilet/bidet.  The bidet/combination toilet combines the features of a standard toilet and an automatic bidet, providing a warm water douche and a steam of warm air for drying.

Costs: Funding for any of these units may be a problem. 
  1. Portable hand held bidets are less than $100.00 each, but are really only meant for travel. 
  2. Add-on bidets are around $200.00 each or less, not including installation costs.
  3. Toilet/bidet units cost upwards of $1000.00.  
For people with debilitating conditions, and aging is one of them, bidets offer independence and dignity which improves quality of life more than can be expressed.

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