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Adapting to realise vision of optimum independence

A vision of creating a better world for children with severe and complex needs is being realised – right through to their personal hygiene.

Treloar College

The Treloar Trust has completed Vision Treloar’s, a £20m project to create one, nationally recognised, educational and residential centre of expertise for young people, on a single campus.

The vision has extended through all aspects of the students’ lives – including appropriate equipping of the independent living skills flats purpose-designed to enable them to be independent. Thus, 11 Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry toilets have been fitted in some of the flats.

Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Palma Vita has in-built facilities which automatically wash and dry the user after toileting. Therefore the user does not have to manually clean – or be cleaned by a carer, and achieves a consistent, high level of cleanliness/personal hygiene when going to the toilet. Unlike similar toilets, the Closomat can be personalised – at initial installation and later – to individual needs: over 150,000 permutations of operating mechanisms, support systems, seats, douches, height adjustability exist.

Treloar’s Facilities Manager Chloe Stoneham explained, “Treloar’s offers much more than a formal education; it adopts a holistic approach to ensure the needs of the whole child can be met on site, and assists them in a longer term programme to take control of their lives and maximising their independence. It enables them to do more for themselves. “The training programmes undertaken by students in these flats prepare them for the transition to adulthood, and for many, towards their goal of living in their own homes, independently. The Closomat toilets help ensure our students have the ability to maximise their independence with personal hygiene, promoting increased dignity and privacy – important to all, but especially valued by the young people approaching adulthood.”

Treloar’s Head Occupational Therapist Victoria Pitt added, “We have found the Closomats easier to use, and more
compatible with a wider range of shower chairs. We have almost 160 students here, all with individual requirements, so we need equipment to be as adaptable as possible. The Closomats are user-friendly, not too complicated and can be adjusted to suit individual needs – for example controls can be adapted to the person using them. In our experience, Closomats are often the equipment used by students at home”.

The Closomats fitted at Treloar’s mean that now over 50,000 are in place across the UK, in individual’s homes, specialist and mainstream schools, care establishments and public venues. Many are in daily use 30+ years after first being installed.

Total Hygiene, which manufactures Closomats, in the UK, has over 50 years’ experience in delivering personal hygiene solutions. The company has developed a range of equipment and support services that today meets every need, including height adjustable basins, changing tables and the brand-leading, top-selling ‘wash and dry’ toilet, the Closomat Palma Vita.

Uniquely, the products are backed up by in-house support, from assessment of requirements, design of an accessible bathroom or washroom to legislative and budgetary requirements, installation and commissioning of equipment, and lifetime maintenance. Full details of equipment are available here.

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