A new report1 is recommending that more be done to support the 1 in 4 individuals who are already obese. Simultaneously, one medical device supplier to the sector is advising health professionals to be sure the equipment will withstand weight loadings.
Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s biggest supplier of toilet equipment for disabled users, is increasingly finding its Palma Vita automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilet being specified because similar equipment cannot tolerate the weight stresses of obese users transferring from a wheelchair or just sitting on the seat. And new clients are supporting the company’s findings.
“There is a perception that because something is marketed for the bariatric sector, it can cope with almost any weight,” observes Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat sales director. “It may in a laboratory test withstand a certain weight placed on it under a controlled environment, but that is not the same as daily usage.”
Says Barbara West, who has had her bolt-on wash and dry toilet replaced with a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita, ““The bolt-on unit seat kept breaking; I had three seats in three years! The Clos-o-Mat is lovely. It gives me more independence and I haven’t got to worry as I can go to the toilet whenever I like. And my carer and other visitors can use it too. I wish I’d had the Clos-o-Mat a long time ago!”
Mark Gysling, who bought a Palma Vita for his brother Jody adds, “Jody is a hefty man but like all of us he likes a clean bum!. His size meant it was difficult to reach certain areas of his body. The Clos-o-Mat automatically washes and dries, so personal hygiene is maintained without having to contort the body to use toilet paper.”
The standard Palma Vita is proven up to 190kg/30 stone- 30% more than any competitive product. Clos-o-Mat’s specialist bariatric seat withstands twice that (360kg/58stone). Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Palma Vita has in-built douching and drying, eliminating the need for the physical dexterity/ flexibility required to manually clean with toilet tissue. It also means there is no need for carer to visit to help the user toilet, enhancing the user’s dignity and independence.
Analysis between the cost of installing a Palma Vita in someone’s home and providing a carer to take them to a commode or toilet shows the Palma pays for itself within three months of installation/commissioning, thereby reducing part of the financial burden on health resources.
Clos-o-Mat has over 50 years’ experience in provision of solutions to optimise elderly and disabled people’s dignity when toileting. Over 40,000 Clos-o-Mats have been sold, with many still in daily use 30 years after first being installed. The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita is the biggest-selling automatic toilet in the UK, and the only one not only manufactured in Britain, but fully supported by in-house installation, commissioning and service. It is part of Clos-o-Mat’s range of bathroom adaptation equipment to enable elderly and disabled people to remain as independent, and as dignified, as possible; the range includes a height-adjustable version of the Palma Vita (the Lima Lift), toilet lifters, body driers and height adjustable basins. Full details of its products, service and technical support are available on its website http://www.clos-o-mat.com/