If a disability prevents you from gripping the toilet paper or from reaching down to wipe yourself, the good news is there are a number of great equipment options available today that can help to make this task easier.
6 Helpful Toilet Hygiene Aids
- Long Handled Toilet Aids: This type of toilet hygiene aid is simply a handheld device, which includes a long handle and a gripper for clasping the toilet paper. There are devices designed specifically for this task. Alternatively, some people opt to use long handled tongs, like those that are oftentimes used for cooking on a grill.
- Bidet Toilet Combo: In the past, bidets and toilets were always separate bathroom fixtures. Nowadays, toilets exist that dual as both a toilet and bidet, blending these two concepts neatly into a single bathroom fixture. With the push of a button, a wand emerges from inside the toilet and releases a steady stream of water, making it possible to cleanse after using the toilet without needing to use toilet paper.
- Bidet Toilet Seat: Instead of replacing your toilet with an entirely new one, a more cost-effective solution is to simply remove the “toilet seat” and replace it with one that is specially equipped with bidet features (aka washlet). At the press of a button, a steady stream of water does the cleaning for you. No wiping necessary.
- Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment: Another alternative to forgo replacing your toilet or your toilet seat with a new one, is a special bidet attachment that can be added underneath your existing toilet seat. It includes on/off controls and a wand that releases a steady stream of water upon demand.
- Handheld Bidet Sprayer: Handheld sprayers function like a water hose. They have a long hose, a nozzle, and a trigger or button that you squeeze to turn the water on and off. They are designed to attach to either the toilet tank or a nearby sink. In order to use a handheld sprayer, at a minimum, you must have the skills to lean forward far enough to reach both your hand and the sprayer down into the toilet, as well as the strength and coordination to squeeze the trigger and direct the water upwards.
- Portable Hygiene Aid: Do you need a solution to help with toilet hygiene when you are out in public? There are some long handled toilet-hygiene products available that can be disassembled into smaller pieces and placed in a carrying case for easy transport. There are also some portable bidets, which include a nozzle attached to a small bottle (or rubber bladder) designed to hold the water. Simply fill the bottle at the sink, then squeeze the bottle and a steady stream of water is released to help cleanse the genitals and anus.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Toilet Hygiene Aid
When choosing which toilet hygiene aid is right for you, make sure to take the following things into consideration.
- Type of Controls: Some toilet hygiene aids are operated by continuously squeezing a lever-style handle, while others are operated by pushing a button or turning a dial. The latter type tends to be easier for persons with poor grip strength.
- Location of Controls: Make sure you to take into account whether you will be able to reach and manage the controls. Some toilet hygiene aids have the controls attached to the unit itself, some are fixed to one side of the toilet seat, while others are equipped with a wireless remote control that can be held in the hand or attached to a wall.
- Cold/Warm Water: Some models of bidet toilet seats, bidet toilet attachments and handheld bidet sprayers only offer a cold-water option for rinsing. If the idea of being doused with cold water early in the morning (especially on a cold winter day) doesn’t sound pleasant, then seek one of the models offering a warm water option as well.
- Warm Water Supply: If you select bidet equipment that offers warm water, be aware that some models are designed to be hooked to the hot water supply of a nearby sink and others are designed to be hooked to a nearby electrical outlet. If you do not already have an electrical outlet near to your toilet, an electrician can usually install one fairly easily.
- Size/Shape of Toilet Bowl: If you are considering either a bidet-style toilet seat or one of the bidet toilet attachments, make sure the model you select is compatible with the size and shape of your toilet bowl (i.e. round or elongated toilet bowl).
- Non-returnable: Once you buy it, you own it! Government regulations do not allow these types of products to be returned unless it is still sealed in the original packaging.
Cost of Toilet Hygiene Aids
The average cost ranges for toilet hygiene aids can be found below. The cost of toilet hygiene aids can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on what you want or need. The higher the price, typically the more options that are included with the product, such as hot water versus cold, a heated seat, an air dryer to dry the genitals after rinsing, and so on.
- Long Handled Toilet Hygiene Aids: $8—$60
- Portable Hygiene Aids: $15—$60
- Handheld Bidet Sprayers: $20—$50
- Bidet Toilet Seat Attachments: $25—$60
- Bidet Toilet Seats: $100—$600
- Toilet With Integrated Bidet Features: $1,500—$2,000
The Homeability Advice™
Understandably nobody wants to ask a spouse, son, daughter or caregiver to assist with toilet hygiene. All of the products described above have potential to restore your independence in the private task of toilet hygiene. The right one for your individual needs will depend on your physical skills, architectural features in your bathroom and your personal preferences.
In general, if you have difficulty with grasping items, sitting balance, or bending forward, we recommend to avoid the handheld models, such as the long-handled toilet hygiene aids and the handheld sprayers because these types all require you to be able to hold the device, lean forward (or sideways), and reach down into the toilet while operating the equipment. Instead, consider a bidet-style toilet seat, one of the bidet toilet attachments, or a toilet with integrated bidet features. With these types you only need to turn a dial or push a button and the equipment does the rest.
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