One man’s solution to dealing with a life-changing accident
If you ask Karl van Gool which fixture in his home he values more than any other, he’d say it was his toilet.
“The independence it has given me! I can go to the loo without my wife having to help me. It’s the most wonderful thing we have had put into our home,” he says.
Karl is referring to his Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry (automatic bidet) WC, installed at the family’s Halesowen home at his request. Looking like, and capable of being used as a conventional toilet, the Closomat has built-in washing and drying, so if preferred or required, the user doesn’t have to wipe- or be wiped clean- with toilet tissue. The Closomat is only one of several daily living aids at the family’s bungalow, purpose-built for disabled habitation.
“I was visiting a friend, in part through my involvement with the local Disability in Action group, and he had one. I thought it was a brilliant piece of kit, so asked if we could have one too. It’s beautiful,” he says. “Now I can ‘go’ on my own.”
Karl became disabled in 1989, after he had an accident a work. He slipped a disc as a result, then during medical treatment, a needle was incorrectly inserted into his back, damaging the nerves. As a result, he can no longer stand.
The family was already used to disability: his son Matthew is undiagnosed but has symptoms similar to cerebral ataxia. The family was told when Matthew was a baby that he wouldn’t survive beyond his fifth birthday. He is now 30, blind, with no lower limb feeling and limited upper limb sensation.
“We all use the Closomat. My wife has to help Matthew get on and off, but that’s all she needs to do now. It’s made her life so much nicer,” adds Karl.
The Closomat Palma Vita is Britain’s biggest-selling wash & dry toilet. It delivers the best wash & dry performance available, and, uniquely, is the only unit of its kind with full, in-house sales and service support, provided nationally via its Manchester headquarters and manufacturing facility.
Also uniquely, the Closomat can be tailored to individual requirements, at initial installation and retrospectively, so it can adapt to each person’s needs as they change with time. The Palma Vita is complimented by the wall-hung Lima Vita, height-adjustable Lima Lifter, and a raft of additional assistive technology to enable people to address their personal hygiene with optimum independence and dignity.
Family-owned, Closomat is the longest-established provider of wash & dry toilets in the UK, and the only one that manufactures in Britain. It is also unique in its provision, in-house, of design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance. Details of the Closomat’s assistive toilet care offerings, including ‘how it works’ videos etc, plus further case studies from real-life users, can be found on Closomat’s website www.clos-o-mat.com.