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My Mom does not understand bathroom hygiene anymore which has made her prone to infections. It is hard to tell with her when she does have an infection and with her hygiene so poor she might as well take antiobiotics indefinitely which I know we cannot do. She wears 2 pads but probably should be wearing something like Depends. Her dementia is pretty advanced. I need something to deal with this situation and just have no ideas but one. I am wondering what everyone might think regarding a bidet for her. It is lighted, the water is warm and it has a dryer. I have never used one nor actually have I seen one except for a picture. Do you think it would confuse her even more? Do you think it would scare her? Have any of you ever had one for your elderly parent with dementia? Thanks in advance for any help!

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We use a bidet toilet seat, Toto brand. Installed when my husband who has Alzheimer’s, began using way too much TP to try and clean himself. Our toilet was stopping up regularly.

Installing the bidet seat has been a huge help. He is now clean following a bowel movement, TP usage is way down by both of us.

Initially, simple instructions were posted on the wall to help him remember. He now uses the bidet every time and rarely has a problem.

Please know, an electrical outlet must be installed next to your toilet. And the outlet should be a GFI due to proximity to water/plumbing. This isn’t difficult to have done, but will be required.

Plus, the model we purchased heats the seat, heats the water which cleans you, the air flow for drying you is temperature controlled and the seat lid automatically raises when you walk toward the toilet, and lowers after you get up. Yes, more expensive, but has been well worth it with his being clean, no more backed up toilets, and considerably less TP being purchased.

As he primary caregiver, one less stress on me too.
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Reply to RoamingRotarian
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cwillie Nov 10, 2021
Wow, you got the luxury model!! I'm glad to see that it has worked for you, we don't often get testimonials. from people who have actual real life experience.
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As an RN, let me share what we do with our patients:
1 - She will do better with a toileting schedule. Basically she is helped to the toilet every 2 hours while she is awake to use the toilet.

2 - Every time she goes to the toilet, she should have her pad changed and have perineal care (cleansing of her bottom and female parts). Either the bidet or a couple of squirt bottles with warm water and warm soapy water can work. If she soils herself with feces, she may need somebody to actually wipe her bottom.

3 - Wiping her bottom parts should always from front to back.

4 - Since your mom has issues with wiping and keeping clean, try the bidet. You will need to be the one to "push the button" and make sure she stays seated until the cycle is completed.

5 - Try some of the pretty Depends type incontinence "pull up panties" for women. Put an overnight pad into it for night time and probably a heavy flow pad for daytime. They rip at the sides if she is incontinent of bowel.
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Reply to Taarna
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Ricky6 Nov 11, 2021
I agree with everything that Taama said. I have one additional suggestion. I assume mom is covered by Medicare or other insurance. If so, have her doctor prescribe a Get-U-Up lift from Invacare with a sling that would wrap around mom’s back and under her arms. With the lift you could raise mom from the bed or toilet commode and she would be safely supported for cleaning and changing her diaper or pads.
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If her Dementia is advanced, are you not cleaning her up? I hated the job but did it because otherwise Mom made a mess. I used Huggies to really get her clean. They are big and thick. I would also change to pull ups. Try to get her to the bathroom every 2 hrs. If she is regular, then take her at that time everyday.

I am sure you will be told a bidet will be a good thing.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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peace4all Nov 7, 2021
Her dementia is pretty advanced but she still wants to do things she thinks she can do. I am trying to help her maintain some privacy and dignity because somehow she is aware of privacy and independence. When I help her with her shower I will hand her the wash cloth to wash her lady parts and she will go from the back directly to the front no matter what order I try to get her to do, no matter how many times I give her a separate wash cloth for each part, no matter how simple and firmly I tell her how, etc. Toilet same way when I am in there with her. And she has had some bouts of bad diarrhea before she makes it to the bathroom and I use huggies also at that time. I have tried to explain the huggies...
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With dementia, you can't 'explain' anything anymore, nothing registers! You just have to do things FOR your mother now, especially since infections are becoming regular and you see that she's wiping herself/washing herself incorrectly. You can hire someone to bathe your mom; they are often more cooperative with a hired aide than they are with a daughter. The aide will wash her properly and the washcloth matter will no longer be an issue. Like JoAnn said, you'll need to clean her up at the toilet, even if she protests that she 'can do it by herself', which she obviously cannot. A bidet may or may not be a good idea; all you can do is try it. RoamingRotarian has a great testimony to share, so if it were me, I'd try it rather than go thru the grueling task of using pre moistened Huggies wipes each & every time there's a BM. If it doesn't work out, you can use the bidet yourself; it sounds wonderful!

Wishing you the best of luck with a difficult situation!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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My Mom has a bidet in her NH bathroom. At first she had to be helped with it but now does well with the bidet. She does not have dementia. She is in NH with CHF, other cardiac problems. blind and deaf.
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Reply to OuterBanks74
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I have a bidet like that in my Mom's bathroom. I am the one who has to push the buttons. She doesn't remember it's there or understands how to use it. However, when I push the button (after the little jump from the spray hitting her) she loves it.
It also helps relax her bottom when she is a little constipated.
I have one in my bathroom and I love it but it's a manual sprayer and cold. It would never be a good idea for her.
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Reply to Cashew
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Your wrote: "Her dementia is pretty advanced."

You can certainly install a bidet and help her use it. But be prepared to uninstall it and return it back to the store. I did just that. My plan was to use it to clean my mother after #1 and #2, but the water pressure from the bidet was too weak to do much cleaning especially after a bowel movement in her diaper. I had to use the handheld shower head which was long enough and close enough to the toilet and put the spray pressure on high to clean her.
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Reply to polarbear
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peace4all: Unfortunately, since you state that your mother has advanced dementia, she has moved well past the "feminine pad" stage and now requires Depends/adult diapers. Imho, a bidet, quite likely, will not be of much help.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I bought a bidet seat for my mom with Alzheimer's because she no longer wiped properly and was having UTI's. I still have to go with her when she has a bowel movement to work the bidet but it has been great. She gets clean and no UTI's.
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Reply to Romehelper
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Yes. A light-up bidet with a dryer will confuse her even more. If she's far gone with dementia to the point where she isn't even wiping her own a$$, then it's time for actual Depends diapers and a live-in caregiver or care facility placement.
Most bidets are not powerful enough to clean an adult who has crapped in a diaper. The way to successfully acomplish that is with good, old-fashioned soap and water.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Katefalc Jan 8, 2022
I as a nurse disagree. If she has someone to assist with it the bidet she is referring to is AMAZING
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