Are you caring for a loved one with Alzheimers? Is your loved one finding it embarassing and difficult to maintain his or her dignity? Are you feeling bashful because you have to cleanse your caree, frankly, wipe his or her butt? Have we got a product for you!
Ok, that’s not how the ad really reads, but it is how it sounds to me. The ad simply states “Alzheimer’s Bidet.” As ads are meant to do, it caught my attention. I was intrigued so I clicked on it and read about the product. It’s a great idea and has it’s merits, unfortunately, not for sufferers of Alzheimers nor their caregivers. Basically it is a toilet seat, quite overpriced too, I might add, costing anywhere from $499.00 to $699.00 each. The toilet seat has an opening at the back, designed to spritz out warm water, thereby cleansing the person. It comes with tubing that gets attached to the main water line, using a T-joint. There are a couple of ways of operating the cleansing system. One is by stepping on knobs located by the feet. This allows privacy because the person does it by him/herself. The other way, is by a remote control that is located outside the bathroom and operated by the caregiver. What a wonderful idea! It is a surefire way of maintaining dignity, or is it? There are challenges with both of these. First of all, by the time an elder has Alzheimers to the point that they need to be cleaned and wiped, that person is not going to comprehend pressing on knobs by their feet. Secondly, as a former caregiver, I would not leave my caree alone in the bathroom with a strange contraption. Thirdly, how the heck does a caregiver know when to operate a remote control from outside the bathroom? How does the caregiver know when the person has been cleansed? Forthly, can you imagine an elder person who has Alzheimers sitting on a toilet seat and having water flush out on its own? That would shock me, Last but not least, when a person is suffering from Alzheimers to the point where he or she isn’t able to wipe properly, that person is most likely incontinent and wearing diapers (incontinence underpants). What good is a bidet for someone wearing diapers?
The company touts that the toilet seat almost takes care of hygiene needs without the need of assisted cleaning and wiping. Almost? It sounds like a good product as a bidet, per se, but to call it an Alzheimers Bidet is deceiving. Caregivers beware! That amount of money is nothing to sneeze at when taking care of someone with Alzheimers, especially if it doesn’t provide relief of any kind.