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Best Bidet Seats for ALS Care

The symptoms of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) can make restroom trips more challenging for caregivers and individuals with ALS alike, from getting up and down off the toilet, to stimulating a bowel movement, to getting clean after a bowel movement is complete.  In addition, the loss of privacy that results from needing hands-on assistance to wipe and maneuver only add to the frustration that many with ALS experience when using the bathroom. Below, we explain the ways in which bidet seats help manage ALS symptoms, followed by recommendations for specific bidet seats that are well-suited to ALS care along with other bathroom assistance products designed to improve your overall experience.

bio-bidet-bb-2000-nozzle.jpgAddressing Bowel Control Difficulties

When dealing with loss of muscle control, it's not uncommon to see issues with bowel control.  This might result in long periods of time without a bowel movement or constipation. It might also mean that bowel movements happen unexpectedly. Fortunately bidet seats can help with each of these possibilities.

Stimulating A Bowel Movement

Many bidet seats come with features specifically designed to get bowel movements started, including enema wash functions and pulse (massage) spray options. While enema washes are specifically designed to address constipation, the powerful spray stream they use to loosen stool can cause discomfort for individuals with ALS. On the other hand, pulse washing (also known as massage washing), soothes sensitive areas and gently encourages stubborn bowel movements by quickly alternating the pressure of the water stream to create a relaxing, massage sensation. For maximum effectiveness, setting the wash water set to warm  during pulse washing can also help stimulate a bowel movement

Lack of Bowel Control

In addition to causing constipation, ALS can also lead to accidental bowel movements. While Depends help prepare for these unexpected moments, cleaning up afterwards presents a separate challenge. Bidet seats help with this as well, but picking a seat with high water flow is key because a higher water flow means a faster and more efficient wash. You'll also want to consider a seat that offers a nozzle oscillation option, which moves the nozzle back and forth during the wash cycle, or a wide spray option, as both of these features increase cleansing coverage.

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Warm Air Dryers

Most high end electric bidet seats on the market today not only come with water heaters, but also offer warm air dryers that completely eliminate the need for toilet paper.  These warm air dryers are not powerful enough to dry in under a minute or two, but many find that having a hands-free bathroom experience from start to finish is worth the extra few minutes that they require.  

Wireless Remote Controls

Many bidet seat can be operated by remote control, which is especially helpful for those with mobility and dexterity limitations, and remotes allow bidet seats to be used even after ALS progresses to the point at which it is difficult to move limbs at all. Purchasing a bidet seat with a large remote control and mounting the remote near the floor can also be helpful as this allows the bidet seat to be controlled with a foot. Because bidet seat remotes rely on infrared signals, the remote does need to be operated from within the bathroom, but installing it near the door allows it to be operated by a caretaker while still providing privacy for the bidet seat user.

Bidet Compatible Risers

Bathroom safety is essential but not always easy. Fortunately, some risers and arms work very well with bidet seats, and grab bars are also worth considering depending on the distance between toilet and the bathroom walls These safety measures not only decrease the distance one needs to move in order to use the restroom, but they also provide extra stability while transferring from a wheelchair or walker to the toilet and back again. 

Insurance

When it comes to bidet seats and ALS, every insurance claim is going to look a bit different.  As a general rule, however, we find that the best way to have insurance cover a bidet seat purchase is to start with giving us a call. During this call, we'll provide personalized feedback about which seats and products may be best for you and gather some general information that will enable us to process a payment from the insurance company. Next, using the bidet seat information we discuss, you'll request a prescription from your doctor and submit it to your insurance company. Once the insurance company approves the purchase, they will need to call us to finalize the transaction. Just keep in mind that talking to us at the start of this process enables you to choose the best seat for your needs, equips you with the information your physician needs to provide a prescription, and ensures that we have the proper information on file to process a payment from the insurance company when they reach out.

Choosing a Bidet Seat

With so many options to choose from, deciding which bidet seat is right for you can be daunting! Below, we highlight a few seats that are especially well suited to managing ALS symptoms. As always, we'd be more than happy to provide personalized feedback on which seat is best for your needs, so don't hesitate to give us a call with any questions.

First Place Pick

Dignity Solutions Cascade 3000

Price: $899

(Contact us for better pricing)

 

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Pros: 

  • Sittable lid supports up to 330 lbs (seat also supports up to 330 lbs)

  • Versatile design fits most one and two-piece toilets

  • High quality stainless steel nozzles 

  • Adjustable water temperature, water pressure, seat temperature and nozzle position

  • Oscillating spray option

  • Instant water heating system provides unlimited warm wash water (there may be some subtle temperature variations)

  • Specially designed one button wash and dry -- only seat on the market offering a 1 minute wash followed by a 3 minute dry

  • Child mode (selection button located on the seat itself, not on remote)
  • Silver Nano Technology sterilizes the water used for washing and for rinsing the seat's nozzles after each use

  • Built-in deodorizer

  • LED Nightlight
  • Warm air dryer with adjustable temperature eliminates the need for wiping with toilet paper

  • Choose between a large remote (default option) or small remote

  • 4 year full warranty

  • Comes in Elongated and Round sizes

  • Available in white

Cons:

  • Premium price (contact us for better pricing)

  • Nozzles cannot be replaced at home

  • No pulse spray option

  • No enema function 

  • Water flow rate of 0.185 gallons per minute is lower than the Bio Bidet BB-1000 (below), which translates to a somewhat less powerful and efficient wash stream

 

You might choose this seat if: 

  • You want to be able to sit on the lid due to bathroom configuration, to complete personal hygiene tasks, or for any other reason

  • You would benefit from a larger remote with raised buttons due dexterity or mobility limitations

  • Nozzle and seat hygiene is a top priority for you-- the Cascade 3000's interior tubing and nozzles are coated in a silver nano-solution that keep water sterile as it passes through the unit

  • You want unlimited warm water for washing 

  • The seat needs to fit on a round toilet seat or a toilet with a French curve design - the Cascade 3000 comes in both round and elongated seat sizes and will fit on many French curve toilets
  • You will likely rely on the one button wash and dry feature regularly -- the Cascade 3000's one button wash/dry option provides the longest cycle of any seat on the market for a comprehensive cleansing and drying experience 

Why This is Our First Place

The Cascade 3000 provides a range of great features that leave you exceptionally clean, all while enhancing bathroom comfort and convenience. It offers two remote options, one of which is a large remote with raised, easy to navigate buttons that are especially helpful for anyone with mobility limitations, or for users who plan to operate the remote with their feet. The one button wash and dry feature also simplifies the process of getting clean and is a great fit for those looking to minimize the amount of button-pressing required to achieve a thorough cleansing and drying.

While the Cascade 3000 offers a variety of features that are great for those with ALS, there are a few areas where it doesn't quite match up to our second and third place choices. Unlike the BB-2000 and BB-1000, it doesn't offer pulse or enema washing, meaning it's not as well-suited for addressing frequent constipation. In addition, its water flow rate of 0.185 gallons per minute is also lower than that of the BB-2000 and BB-1000 (0.32 gallons per minute), so it's not quite as quick or efficient in getting users clean after an accident. However, we've ranked it first because the size of the remote/buttons makes it significantly more accessible to users with limited mobility than the other two units, especially for those who will be using their feet to operate it.

Design Features

The Cascade 3000's sleek design makes it one of the most versatile bidet seats on the market. It is designed to fit on most one and two-piece toilets, including many with a difficult-to-fit French curve design, and it's available in both round and elongated seat sizes. While most most bidets come with lids that cannot safely support the weight of an adult, the Cascade 3000 comes with a sittable lid that can safely support up to 330 lbs. This is an especially great feature to have for anyone who's accustomed to sitting on the toilet lid for activities like getting dressed, performing personal hygiene tasks, or helping someone bathe.

Wash & Dry Features

The Cascade 3000 features an instant water heater that generates unlimited warm wash water, an oscillating wash option that soothes tender areas, and a built in warm air dryer that gets you dry without needing to wipe with toilet paper. For added convenience and ease of use, the Cascade 3000 comes with an auto wash mode that initiates a standard wash and dry cycle at the touch of a button, which is perfect for quick cleansing or for users who feel overwhelmed  navigating the remote. It's worth noting that the Cascade 3000 offers the longest auto wash/dry of any seat on the market, making it the best choice for thorough cleansing and drying at the touch of a button. The built-in LED nightlight illuminates the toilet bowl to make nighttime restroom trips safer and easier, and the automatic deodorizer gets rid of offensive bathroom odors. 

Remote & Controls

The Cascade 3000 comes with two remote options, so users can choose what suits their needs best. The large remote comes with easy-to-navigate, raised buttons that are helpful for visually impaired users, those who have difficulty with fine motor tasks, or anyone planning to use their feet to operate the remote. A small remote with flat buttons and a display screen is also available.  

 

Second Place Pick

Bio Bidet BB-1000

Price: $499

(Contact us for better Pricing)

 

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Pros:

  • Adjustable water temperature, water pressure, seat temperature and nozzle position

  • Nozzles can be easily replaced at home

  • Warm air dryer eliminates the need for wiping

  • Strong water flow rate of 0.32 gallons per minute results in a faster and more efficient wash compared to seats with a lower flow rate

  • Powerful enema wash

  • Oscillating wash option

  • Pulse wash option quickly alternates water pressure for a soothing, massaging sensation

  • Built-in deodorizer

  • High quality construction, with a long life span

  • Large remote with easy to press buttons

  • Remote can be mounted anywhere on the wall to be used by feet if needed

  • Elongated and round sizes
  • 3 year limited warranty -- can be upgraded to 6 years for a fee

Cons:

  • Tank water heating system provides limited warm water (approx 1 min to 1.5 mins)

  • Plastic nozzles -- less desirable material compared to the Cascade 3000's stainless steel nozzles

  • No nozzle sterilization system

  • Cannot sit on lid

  • No one button wash and dry

  • No LED nightlight

  • No sittable lid

  • No child mode

  • Cannot fit on toilets with a French curve design

You might choose this seat if:

  • You find normal size buttons difficult to operate

  • You are looking for a more affordable option

  • You plan to operate the bidet with your feet

  • You want a long lasting unit (the BB-1000 and Cascade 3000 have similar lifespans)

  • You experience incontinence or frequent constipation

Why the Bio Bidet BB-1000 is our second place pick:

The BB-1000 is a great bidet seat that's designed to skyrocket bathroom comfort and convenience. The BB-1000's easy to operate panel style remote with large buttons and warm air dryer make it a wonderful option for anyone with limited mobility, and it features stronger water flow and pressure than the Cascade 3000. This translates into a quicker and more effective cleansing experience that's perfect for getting clean after an accident. The pulse and enema wash features are great for addressing constipation, with the former providing a gentle option for stimulating a bowel movement and the latter providing a firm water stream that helps loosen stool. It's also less expensive than our first two picks, making it a budget friendly option. 

The main downside to the BB-1000 is that it doesn't offer quite as many features as our first and third place choices. For example, the BB-1000 comes with a tank water heater that provides limited warm water (versus unlimited warm water), has plastic nozzles (versus higher quality stainless steel nozzles), and doesn't feature a sittable lid, nightlight, or one-button wash and dry. However, since loss of mobility is one of the key symptoms of ALS, and many with ALS rely on their feet to operate the remote, we feel that the BB-1000's large remote/buttons is notable enough to land it in second place ahead of the more feature-packed BB-2000.

Wash & Dry Features

The BB-1000 comes equipped with Bio Bidet’s patented enema wash with Vortex Technology that sprays a strong stream of water into the rectum to loosen stubborn stool and stimulate bowel movements. While this makes it a natural choice for individuals who experience frequent constipation, it may be too intense for those with ALS. The good news is that the BB-1000's soothing pulse wash creates a gentle massaging sensation that helps stimulate bowel movements while relaxing tender tissue.

As mentioned above, warm air drying is an extremely valuable function to have on a bidet seat, especially if you find it difficult to wipe, and the BB-1000 features a warm air dryer with adjustable settings that dramatically reduces or even eliminates the need for wiping with toilet paper.

Remote and Controls

The BB-1000's large, panel style remote with generous buttons and intuitive layout makes it a great option if you have dexterity difficulties or plan to operate the remote with your feat. In addition, the remote is wireless and can be mounted to the wall for convenience.

 

Third Place Pick 

Bio Bidet BB-2000

Price: $699

(Contact us for better pricing)

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Pros: 

  • Mid range price point

  • Seat supports up to 400 lbs

  • Enema Wash

  • Higher rate of water flow - 0.32 gallons per minute

  • High quality, easy-to-replace stainless steel nozzles

  • Adjustable water temperature, water pressure, seat temperature and nozzle position

  • Pulse (massage) spray option

  • Oscillating spray option

  • Hybrid water heater provides unlimited, consistent temperature warm water

  • One button wash and dry

  • Child mode

  • Built-in deodorizer

  • LED Nightlight

  • Warm air dryer with adjustable temperature 

  • Three remote color options: white, black or beige
  • 3 year full warranty - can upgrade to a 6 year full warranty

  • Available in white or beige

Cons: 

  • Cannot sit on lid

  • No water sterilization system

  • Only one remote style/size available

  • Shorter one button wash than the Cascade 3000

  • Not available in round seat sizes (elongated only) 

You may choose this seat if:

  • You're looking for luxury bidet features without paying premium prices

  • You have incontinence issues or would otherwise benefit from a higher water flow rate that ensures faster cleansing

  • You need a seat that is specifically designed to help alleviate constipation - the BB-2000's enema wash function is intended to help loosen stool and stimulate the bowels
  • You are looking for a seat with a pulsating spray option that quickly varies the water pressure for a soothing massage sensation

  • You want to be able to change the unit's nozzles out themselves should they become clogged or corroded versus sending the seat to Bio Bidet for servicing

  • You need a beige seat and/or want options for the remote color

Why This is Our Third Place Pick

The BB-2000 is ideal for anyone requiring extra assistance in the bathroom as it offers a range of great features that provide a thorough cleansing experience while enhancing bathroom independence.

Wash & Dry Features

Unlike the many bidet seats on the market that provide limited warm wash water, and/or inconsistent water temperature, the Bio Bidet BB-2000 uses an advanced, hybrid water heater to generate unlimited, consistent warm water. With a water flow of 0.32 gallons of water per minute, the BB-2000 uses over 3 times the standard 0.1 gallons per minute found on most bidet seats, making it easy to get clean after an accident. In addition, the BB-2000 is designed to help stimulate the bowels and provide relief from constipation. Research shows that cold toilet seats cause people to tense up after sitting down, but the BB-2000 solves this by offering a heated seat that can be precisely configured according to personal preference. Other features the BB-2000 offers that encourage a healthy bowel movement include massage and oscillating washes, as well as a powerful enema wash. This high performing seat also allows users to save their favorite settings for easy, personalized operation at the touch of a button. Once the wash is competed, follow it up with a heated dry from the seat's warm air dryer, or simply dab dry with a sheet or two of toilet paper. This is again an ideal option for anyone with mobility, strength or dexterity limitations that finds wiping difficult.

Remote & Controls

The BB-2000 comes with an intuitive wireless remote that can be placed inside of a wall mount, or slid out of the mount to be hand held for convenience. This remote is designed with easy to use icon buttons and a large screen display for choosing your desired options. Though the remote only comes in one size, it is available in three color choices: white, beige or black. One potential downside to the remote, however, is that the BB-2000's remote/remote buttons are quite a bit smaller than the remotes that come with the Cascade 3000 and BB-1000. The smaller size can pose a notable challenge for individuals with significant mobility limitations, especially if you'll be relying on your feet to operate it.

 


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