We have worked with AARP for years and have had the privilege to participate in several of their regional and national programs. Early this year they conducted an online seminar where the participants were encouraged to ask us questions regarding home modifications and remodeling. We have compiled the questions and our answers in this series, hoping that this will help get you started thinking about your accessibility options.
This week we will discuss: Are Add-on Bidets easy to use and effective?
Very popular in Europe and internationally, bidets have been growing in popularity in the US for many years. They work great for everyone and are especially helpful if you are having challenges with toilet hygiene for any reason. They are becoming well received by older adult households as well.
Originally, they were only available as an additional fixture in a bathroom. You can still get free-standing bidets. These days, you can also get bidet add-ons that replace the toilet seat and lid - so you don’t have to remodel your bathroom or replace your toilet.
Add-on bidet seats work best with an electrical outlet located near (preferably behind) the toilet so that you can plug it in to warm the water. Otherwise, you’ll have to use an extension cord, which may get in the way and be a tripping hazard if you are not careful in how you secure it to the floor/baseboard.
You will need to specify one that fits the size and shape of your particular bowl.
If you are handy you can even install it yourself. You’ll need to remove the existing toilet seat then install the bidet seat. The trickiest part will be to make the connection to your water supply, which may require a trip to the hardware store for the right connection.
A plumber or handyman can also do the installation.