May 1, 2015

Toilet Bidets, Revisited

Hygiene after defecating is something most American adults prefer to handle privately, discreetly, and independently. But it's a difficult challenge -- physically and emotionally -- for many elderly or disabled seniors.

Several months ago, I wrote about toilet bidets:
For older adults, a bidet toilet could mean the difference between independence and dependence upon help. Toilet bidets are easy to use, hygienic, gentle on the skin, and good for the environment.
I later got an email from a reader. "Bill" has been caring for his 91-year-old father, who now lives in Bill's house after spending a month in a rehabilitation hospice after a fall. Bill said they'd just been visited by a nurse's aide who specializes in helping aged and handicapped people deal with bathroom issues. She said Bill's dad was suffering from hemorrhoids because he wasn't cleaning himself properly.

Bill told her he had been reading about toilet bidets, but she knew nothing about them. Her unfamiliarity reinforced my impression that most Americans know next to nothing about bidets.

When Bill talked with his father about installing a toilet bidet attachment, his dad wasn't comfortable at first with the idea of using his hand instead of toilet paper. Bill suggested that bidet cleaning would involve the same manual procedure his dad -- like everyone else --uses in the shower. His dad then raised some concerns about using cold water and drying off later.

Bill's email prompted me to do some additional research. I found a good discussion about toilet bidets on a website that offers help to people transitioning from rehab to home. The site includes this video:


The attachment I use is very simple and basic, but several basic types of bidets are available:

  • freestanding for soaking or jet spray, 
  • attachable bidets that replace toilet seats on existing toilets, 
  • attachments to existing toilets and toilet seats, and 
  • portable bidets.

The Home Solution people agree with my choice, the attachable bidet, because "they don't take up more room in the bathroom, don't require transfer back and forth between toilet and bidet, and have features that provide independence."

If you decide to try an attachable bidet, check whether you have a rounded or  elongated toilet and be sure the bidet you select will fit that toilet. The Blue Bidet that I bought was initially attached to a rounded toilet seat. But it is still worked when I replaced that toilet with one that had a higher, elongated seat.

There are many other feature choices, including:

  • location of controls, 
  • size of controls, 
  • remote or attached controls,
  • number of wands, 
  • air dryer no air dryer, 
  • heated seats, and 
  • wand self-cleaning features. 

I'm happy with the dial control I have. I adjust it to give a higher pressure spray initially, then a lower pressure for the hand cleaning. (I sense that my kids will be giggling or cringing as they read these details.)

Some toilet bidets even offer dual nozzles that can provide feminine cleansing in addition to anal cleansing.

For me, simple and cheap won out. The cold water doesn't bother me. I have no compunctions about using a washcloth for drying, which strikes me as no different than using a towel after showering.

7 comments:

Sydney said...

Hi John:

this is not just very helpful but also underlines how far behind the rest of the world the USA is when it comes to the human body! In most European countries the separate bidet is common and in many countries in Africa and Asia, including south Asia, the spray bidet attachment is commonplace.

We are in the process here in London of replacing our separate bidet with a shower spray attachment, located next to the toilet - in our case with a thermostat so that we can use warm water. It takes up less space and is very easy to use.

In many countries around the world, this essential hygiene tool is actually fitted inside the toilet bowl rim.

My experience of the USA is that people have been taught, directly or by example,to be frightened of the human body - hence the outrage over Janet Jackson's nipple, which generated far more heat than the Iraq war. In most European countries it would have gone unnoticed...

So let's hope America can catch up with more ancient Civilisations, such as India, and learn how to clean our bodies simply and effectively - and even talk about it ( though not over dinner please!)

Anonymous said...

I can only recommend the bidet route. I was in Japan for two weeks. On day 2 I came down with ameobas and pretty much slept on the bathmat on the bathroom floor. Had it not been for the delux toyo toilet seat, they would have had to hospitalize me.

John Schappi said...

This coming to you from Cortona, a Tuscan hill town. The apartment we rented for two weeks has, of course, the separate toilet and bidet found throughout Europe. For this old man with Parkinson's, my bidet attachment on the toilet is easier and safer to use than the separate bidet here. Being able to adjust the water temp on the free-standing bidet is a nice feature, though.

John Schappi said...

This coming to you from Cortona, a Tuscan hill town. The apartment we rented for two weeks has, of course, the separate toilet and bidet found throughout Europe. For this old man with Parkinson's, my bidet attachment on the toilet is easier and safer to use than the separate bidet here. Being able to adjust the water temp on the free-standing bidet is a nice feature, though.

John Schappi said...

This coming to you from Cortona, a Tuscan hill town. The apartment we rented for two weeks has, of course, the separate toilet and bidet found throughout Europe. For this old man with Parkinson's, my bidet attachment on the toilet is easier and safer to use than the separate bidet here. Being able to adjust the water temp on the free-standing bidet is a nice feature, though.

stip Disabled said...

In order to make the right choice before buying a bidet you hould know:
There are two main bidet types:
1. The old fashioned standalone bidet.
2. The attachable or add-ons to toilet bowl bidets.
The second one has two basic subtypes:
a. Those producing OBLIQUE water jet.
b. Those producing VERTICAL water jet.

The above distinction is necessary, as it is informing at first glance about what type would be appropriate for different situations and different ailments. f.e people with hemorrhoids, or blinds, need always the more effective in cleaning up vertical water jet. The same it applies for women after childbirth, as their near by wounds make imperative a very exact and steady water jet, etc. Cost of this type varies from 30 to 2000 dls.
The number 2 type has many other variations relating mechanical or electronically handling, or offering more services, as warm water, air drying, music etc.

stip Disabled said...

Information for dissolving confusion about bidets.
“There are two main bidet types:
1. The old fashioned standalone bidet with vertical water jet.
2. The attachable or add-on to toilet bowl bidet.
The second one has two basic subtypes:
a. Those producing oblique water jet.
b. Those producing vertical water jet.

The above distinction is necessary, as it is informing at first glance about what type would be appropriate for different situations and different ailments. f.e people with mobility problems, hemorrhoids, blinds, elderly, need always the more effective in cleaning up vertical water jet, specially the elderly using elevated toilet. The same it applies for women after childbirth, as their nearby wounds make imperative a very exact and steady water jet, or people in general that seek for a 100% effective cleaning, etc. Cost of this type varies from 30 to 2000 dls.
The number 2 type has many other variations relating mechanical or electronically
handling, or offering more services, as warm water, air drying, music etc.”

“For those that look for a cheap, durable, 100% effective, easily installed and easily used apparatus, whose VERTICAL well targeted water jet in very restricted area does not allow somebody to feel the water coldness, (think of your finger in cold water compared with whole hand), never wetting clothes, the answer is the add-on bidetdisabled.com KO BIDET. SEARCH BEFORE DECIDING.“

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