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Bidets for People with Dementia
People with dementia often have difficulty maintaining good self-care and personal hygiene. Losses and changes in memory, language, behavior, emotional expression and cognition interfere with everyday life and can create difficult situations for both patient and caregiver. Bidets for dementia patients can alleviate concerns over independence, mobility, hygiene and maintaining positive patient-caregiver relationships.
What Are Bidets?
A bidet is a device that sprays water to clean the perineal area after going to the bathroom. Modern bidets are installed as toilet attachments to your existing toilet and require no extra space in your bathroom, as opposed to the traditional freestanding unit.
This means you can use the bidet while sitting on the toilet; no need to stand and move over to another separate bathroom fixture.
Bidets help Dementia Patients with Hygiene
Bidets have been proven to be healthier and gentler than toilet paper. Washing with clean water ensures better hygiene. It spreads fewer germs because it doesn’t smear faecal matter around, but rather cleans it off the patient’s body altogether.
Bidets reduce hygienic risks like infections, skin irritation or tears that are especially common for people with dementia. They also allow people to stay cleaner and more comfortable between their bath days.
Requiring assistance in the bathroom represents a particularly acute loss of independence and dignity for dementia patients. Many people refuse help with personal hygiene routines because they feel embarrassed and don’t want to give up their privacy.
Using a bidet may allow patients to live in their own homes longer and enjoy more moments of privacy. Patients may also be less afraid of going to the bathroom if they don’t dread the experience. Bidets are easy to use and offer a simple way to maintain cleanliness.
Using toilet paper after a bathroom visit can be challenging to patients with mobility issues. Wiping could be difficult, painful or even cause someone to fall.
Bidets turn on and off with the push of a button. Some include remote controls. And some bidets, like the electric bidet toilet seat, have warm-air dryers that dry the undercarriage without patients ever having to reach or stand.
Not needing to wipe means patients with mobility concerns can remain more independent during private moments.
Bidets Improve Patient-Caregiver Relationships
Assistance in the bathroom isn’t only difficult for the patient. Caregivers are also affected by the awkwardness of those intimate, personal-care moments.
Remote controls allow the caregiver to operate the bidet at a distance, giving the patient some important personal space.
Electric bidets won’t flood the bathroom; they automatically turn off if someone jumps off the toilet.
Portable bidets can help a caregiver more safely clean the patient, without having to directly touch fecal matter.
Features like these allow both patient and caregiver to be more hygienic and can be a tool that will help foster a positive patient-caregiver relationship.
Respectful Patient Care
Bathroom visits are a part of everyday life for everyone. It’s important to ensure that this normal, intimate activity doesn’t turn into a dreaded daily chore. Bidets are one way to considerably improve a dementia patient’s overall quality of life.
Bidets for Dementia Patients References
- “What Is Dementia?” Alzheimer’s Association: ALZ.org
- “Bidets for Seniors Improve Hygiene and Independence.” Dailycaring.com