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Paperless toilets offer independence--at a price.

Once you shut the bathroom door, what happens next? With MS, it can be difficult or impossible to grip toilet paper and maneuver properly using a conventional toilet. "Paperless" or "hands-free" toilets may offer precious independence.

Bidets are low-mounted, sink-like washing basins used for centuries in Europe. Paperless toilets are a combination of bidet and toilet, and mostA fit onto existing toilets. Higher-end models use warm water jets and air dryers to cleanse and dry, while cost-conscious models use a simple stream of water. Heated seats, foot controls and adjustable water temperature and pressure are other add-ons that can increase both comfort--and cost.

Paperless toilets are just catching on in the United States. In Japan they're already standard for everyone, not just for people with disabilities. Over 70% of Japanese households have one. In a "green" future, they may become more popular in the U.S., as they conserve paper resources.

Starting the search

Following is a round-up of what's available in the U.S. Abledata .com is a good place to comparison shop for costs and features. Make sure to ask questions of whichever company you contact. Can a regular plumber fix the paperless toilet if it breaks or malfunctions? What is the company's return policy? And what happens if the electricity goes out?

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American Bidet offers a range of options: Top-of-the-line "Deluxe Wash 'n' Dry" with hand- or foot-operated remote controls and warm air dryers costs $995, while the "Capri" and "Bidet-O-Matic," which are nonelectric attachments using warm or cold water, cost $175. All products include a handheld cleansing sprayer and have a five-year product warranty. Shipping is $25. The company does have a Web site, bidet.com, but prefers that customers order by phone at 877-981-1111.

Lubidet offers a no-electricity wash accessory, called the ILBB, that fits under most toilet seats. It is operated via a pushable flap that controls water pressure. It retails for $50 plus $9 for shipping. The Denver-based company also offers electric models that can be customized for left- or right-handed people, or operated with foot controls. The cost ranges from $420 to $480, plus $25 shipping. Visit lubidet.com or call 800-582-4338.

The Spaloo Classic fits over an existing toilet. It provides variable water temperature and pressure, a heated seat and adjustable air dryer. It also comes in a junior version that uses cold water and attaches between the toilet and existing seat. The Classic retails for $399 and the junior for $75, plus $20 shipping. Visit Spaloo.com or call 888-772-5662.

Greta M. Herron and Marcella Durand are on the staff of Momentum.

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Title Annotation:Advanced MS
Author:Herron, Greta M.; Durand, Marcella
Publication:Momentum
Date:Sep 22, 2009
Words:434
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