- Written by Mark Sadler
The ‘hidden’ impact of diabetes
More than 20 people a day have a limb amputated as a result of diabetes- a figure that is on the increase.
It’s a ‘hidden’ issue of the disease, an issue that is not widely publicised, but which might make some people who may be prone to the disease make those lifestyle changes that could prevent it developing.
Whether the illness was preventable or not, that still means over 7000 people each year have to adapt to a life-changing event, that affects every part of day to day life- even going to the loo.
Imagine if you suddenly found yourself reliant on your family, or a stranger, to help you do things you currently take for granted- making a brew and walking with it through to the lounge to watch TV, taking a shower, going to the toilet. It’s those little things where assistive technology can make a huge difference to someone’s ability to continue to live life, without having to rely on care support.
Most providers of care support think of assistive technology as telecare, but, as its name suggests, it is really any daily living aid that assists.
We know from our daily lives that technology that helps someone be able to go to, and use, the loo on their own is, to them, priceless. It may be anything from a grab rail, through a toilet lifter (the WC equivalent of a riser recliner chair) to a wash & dry (bidet) toilet. Whatever it is, it is still cheaper to provide than covering the cost of a carer going in every day just to help them go to the loo: even the ‘top of the range’ height adjustable wash & dry toilet is paid for within a matter of months when set against the cost of care support. It makes best use of available funds, and delivers better outcomes, as that carer is then freed for other duties where assistive technology can’t assist.
That is good social care value.