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Dealing with a ‘life-changing’ consequence of diabetes

Latest statistics are showing 20 diabetes sufferers per day are now having a limb amputated as a consequence of their illness- and the figure is rising with the growing prevalence of the disease.

Neil McCarthy

Almost four million people in Britain have diabetes- a figure predicted to increase by 25% in the next twenty years. Amputation is an outcome that has a life-changing impact- even to the extent of routine activities such as using the bathroom.

Closomat is championing the use of assistive technology to minimise amputees’ reliance on care support, backed up by some of its clients.

“We know from experience that technology to help deal with daily life isn’t always considered when someone has an amputation,” explains Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “There is, understandably, focus on provision of a prosthesis. We want to help there be a more holistic approach to someone’s life after amputation, in a way that enables them to function, independently and with dignity, to be in control. We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, it’s one thing we do more than any other ‘activity’, so it is a key area to address.  

Neil McCarthy has had both his legs amputated above the knee because of his diabetes. He explains: “I would fall off the loo if I tried to wipe myself. My wife would have to help. However much you love someone, it’s not nice having to help them go to the toilet and wipe them afterwards.”

His Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC. Built-in washing & drying eliminates the need to wipe clean, as the toilet does it instead. The addition of fold-down arms gives him further support and stability. “It’s given me back my independence,” says Neil.

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