Angela Hamarich, a lawyer in New York City's Financial District, travels abroad regularly. One thing she hasn't gotten used to, she tells SmartPlanet, is the presence of bidet's in foreign bathrooms.
"They seem almost mythical to me," she tells SmartPlanet, "in a fancy way."
For three months she lived a Yokohama apartment outfitted with a bidet toilet, but she never felt compelled to use the bidet options, she says.
Bidets have long been a foreign notion to most Americans, an odd-seeming way of cleaning one's privates.
However, the New York Times reports that bidet toilets, which offer a warmed stream of water over the perineal area, are gaining popularity in the U.S. market.
"As people get older and frailer, it’s harder for them to do good personal hygiene, particularly if they have arthritis. They can’t maneuver around [to wipe or wash themselves effectively]."
Bidets eliminate the need to make these difficult motions, and may reduce an elderly person's chances of falling on hard slippery bathroom floors. They can also reduce falls by allowing a person to clean their lower body without getting in a shower.
Beside preventing falls, bidets can also help guard against infections. Urinary tract infections happen more regularly in post-menopausal women, and they're the most common reason older people have to visit hospitals. Urinary bacteria also plagues the elderly, and bidet use could reduce the need to take antibiotics that come with harmful side effects.
[via The New York Times]
Photo: Rick Bradley/Flickr