The strain being placed on the NHS through lack of social care could in part by avoided- and the home life of older people improved- by use of assistive technology.
A study by Age UK revealed that social care provision has decreased by 40% in the last decade, whilst the numbers of people needing the service has increased by 15%. Installation of appropriate toilet aids, for example, would reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the need for home care. Even the most advanced equipment would pay for itself in less than six months1.
So says Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of toilet solutions for disabled and elderly people. “According to the Age UK study, over ¼ million people are struggling to carry out the daily task of using the toilet,” elaborates Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager.
“Of course we have a vested interest, but it makes sound sense financially, relieves the pressure on hospital beds and care workers, and has the huge benefit of enabling the person to be in control, as independent as possible, and stay at home, for longer.”
Clos-o-Mat’s solution is investment in toilet assistive technology of an automatic (wash and dry) toilet and/or toilet lifter, neither of which require major alterations to the home.
An automatic toilet looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC, but has in-built douching and drying. Thus there is no need for the carer to manually clean the user after they have toileted, and the level of cleanliness is to a consistent, high standard. It also means the user does not have to wipe clean, eliminating risk of faecal residue from hand: body contact being passed onwards afterwards. And clients with skin conditions- haemorrhoids, piles, bed sores etc- are cleaned without abrasion.
A toilet lifter automatically and gradually lowers and raises the user over the toilet whilst helping them retain their balance maintaining the centre of gravity above the feet. Tilt versions are primarily designed for people with balance issues, enabling them to simply lean against the seat and hold the integral arm supports to operate the unit, whilst vertical lifters are more appropriate for those with limited or no flexion in the hips and knees.
The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic wash/dry (shower) toilet is the only unit of its type developed specifically for disabled and elderly people. Since Clos-o-Mats were first introduced, over 40,000 have been installed, many of which are still in daily use over 30 years after first being fitted. It is also the only automatic shower toilet made in the UK, and supported by in-house installation, commissioning, and after-sales service and maintenance. Aerolet toilet lifts area available for conventional WCs and Clos-o-Mats.
Full details plus technical information, case studies are available on Clos-o-Mat’s website www.clos-o-mat.com