The Toilet Tweak That Can Keep an Older Adult Clean


One of the biggest challenges that seniors face with toileting is safely and effectively cleaning themselves after toileting. Compared to wipes and toilet paper, a toilet bidet can offer a safer and more efficient way to freshen up after toileting.


While commonplace in bathrooms across Europe and Asia, bidets are not very common in the United States. Instead, Americans prefer to use toilet paper and wet wipes to cleanse themselves. However, individuals are beginning to see the appeal of the bidet, especially seniors. Seniors are finding that bidets offer a safer, more efficient method of cleansing.


It is important to note that traditional freestanding bidets take up a lot of bathroom space and some seniors would likely struggle to transfer from the toilet to the freestanding bidet.

The better option is the toilet bidet, which attaches to the existing toilet in your home and requires no remodeling, plumbing work or additional space.


In simple terms, the attachment is a small wand underneath the toilet seat that moves into position and sprays water to cleanse. There are many retail options, each with different features. Simpler electric models allow for adjustable water temperature and pressure, while more expensive cleansing seats offer features like a nightlight function, a heated air dryer. Simple versions can be purchased for less than $40.


As people get older, maneuvering around to wipe and wash becomes surprisingly difficult. For some seniors, the difficulty can even lead to a harmful fall off the toilet. For seniors, a bidet toilet could mean the difference between independence and needing assistance with toileting.


If your loved one refuses help with personal care because it entails a loss of privacy and often dignity, consider the benefits of a bidet attachment. Without one, inadequate wiping can mean poor personal hygiene, which can lead to an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin breakdown and irritation. A bidet can offer prompt and thorough cleansing. Even if you must assist your loved one with toileting regardless, a bidet can make the delicate task much easier. While it may take some practice to get the hang of using a bidet seat or attachment, it can be easier and more hygienic than assisting with toilet paper or wet wipes.