By: Steve Grande, LIXIL Americas
As we age, even the simplest tasks can become difficult to manage. For seniors residing in assisted living facilities or retirement communities, maintaining personal hygiene is a challenge that can lead to embarrassment and discomfort. This difficulty can affect their overall health and quality of life, which is why senior living residences are always looking for ways to improve the daily living experience of their residents. Fortunately, technology has provided a solution to this problem in the form of electronic bidet seats. These seats have revolutionized the way we use the bathroom, and for seniors, they offer numerous benefits that make daily life much more comfortable.
Electronic bidet seats, which originated in Japan, have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, are toilet seats with integrated bidet functions. They come equipped with a control panel that allows users to customize the temperature, pressure, and position of the water spray for maximum comfort and cleanliness. Some seats also includes a warm air dryer and odor neutralizer, making the experience as seamless and pleasant as possible.
One of the most significant benefits of electronic bidet seats for seniors is improved hygiene. Many seniors struggle with hygiene issues due to limited mobility or other health issues, which can lead to infections, skin irritations, and other problems. Electronic bidet seats provide a more thorough cleaning than traditional toilet paper, which can leave behind bacteria and other contaminants. This thorough cleaning can help prevent infections and other health issues, making seniors feel more comfortable and confident in their hygiene.
Another benefit of electronic bidet seats is increased comfort. Seniors who struggle with mobility or arthritis may find it challenging to clean themselves the traditional way, which can cause pain and discomfort. Electronic bidet seats eliminate the need for wiping, which can help alleviate this discomfort and help increase the user’s dignity by not needing help in the restroom to clean up. Additionally, many electronic bidet seats feature heated seats, which can be particularly beneficial for seniors who are sensitive to sudden temperature changes.
In addition to these practical benefits, electronic bidet seats also offer a level of luxury that is often associated with high-end hotels and spas. For seniors who may have limited mobility or live with chronic pain, the warm water and heated seat can provide a soothing and therapeutic experience that is unmatched by traditional toilets.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of electronic bidet seats in senior living residences is increased independence. Many seniors struggle with tasks that were once simple, such as using the toilet. This loss of independence can be frustrating and embarrassing, particularly for seniors who value their privacy. Electronic bidet seats can help seniors maintain their independence by providing them with a tool that makes using the toilet easier and more hygienic. This increased independence can help seniors maintain their dignity and self-esteem, which can have a positive impact on their overall well-being.
While we have discussed these very human benefits, electronic bidet seats can also save senior living residences money. Traditional toilet paper can be expensive, particularly if residents require specialized or medical-grade paper. Electronic bidet seats eliminate the need for toilet paper, which can significantly reduce a residence’s annual budget. Additionally, electronic bidet seats can help prevent plumbing issues caused by flushing toilet paper, which can be particularly problematic in older buildings.
Of course, as with any new technology, there are some potential downsides to electronic bidet seats. For example, some seniors may be resistant to using a bidet seat, particularly if they are unfamiliar with the technology. Additionally, electronic bidet seats can be costly, particularly if they are not covered by insurance. With their popularity in the western world growing, we have seen prices drop considerably on electronic bidet seats from even a few years ago. However, many senior living residences have found that the benefits of electronic bidet seats outweigh the potential downsides, particularly when it comes to improving residents’ overall health and well-being. It costs very little to include power outlets at the toilet area in the design and build stage of these projects and retro-fitting existing projects can be done with a simple inspection by a plumber or electrician.
In conclusion, electronic bidet seats are an innovative and beneficial technology for senior living residences. These seats provide numerous benefits, including improved hygiene, increased comfort, and increased independence for seniors. Additionally, electronic bidet seats can save residences money and prevent plumbing issues caused by traditional toilet paper. While there may be some downsides to using electronic bidet seats, many senior living residences have found that the benefits to their residents outweigh the potential drawbacks. Overall, electronic bidet seats are a valuable tool for improving the daily living experience of seniors in senior living residences.