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Think outside the box to deliver dignity

According to the Commission on Dignity in care for Older People, wellbeing is a fundamental issue on assessing needs. It further maintains that use of technology has huge potential to improve the quality of life, and should be considered, and used, more widely.

Palma Vita Accessible Bathroom

One area that care recipients anecdotally report as affecting their wellbeing is their ability to go to the toilet unaided, or with as little help as possible.

“Would you like a stranger to wipe your bum, or have to wipe a stranger’s bottom?” asks Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Closomat, Britain’s leader in toileting equipment for disabled and elderly people. “Put yourself in that position, and you begin to understand the impact use of assistive technology, that obviates that need, has on someone’s wellbeing, dignity and independence, let alone improved levels of hygiene, consistency of cleanliness.

“The Commission states that whilst technology can’t be used as a substitute in every situation for properly trained and managed staff, access to it for those lacking mobility could enable them to enjoy a more independent life. Equipment such as our toilet lifters, wash & dry toilets enable people to go to the loo with little or no help, when they want, need to. They don’t have to wait until someone can take them, use a commode. They feel in control, independent, more positive.”

Diabetic pensioner Ulem Grant has lost a leg and use of his fingers as a result of his illness. He had his Closomat wash & dry installed under a Disabled Facilities Grant on the advice of his Occupational Therapist, as he was reliant on help to get on and off his conventional WC and was getting frustrated at his inability to flush the toilet on his own.

He says, "It is fantastic, I am over the moon. It was so difficult to go the toilet, but not any more! I can go whenever I want, without having to have help."