The strain on social care budgets could be eased, and bed-blocking alleviated, by using technology to enable elderly people. And it can deliver more cost-effective use of available resources.
So claims Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s largest manufacturer and toileting assistive technology.
“We almost constantly have reports from Health Services, Care Quality Commission etc about the pressure on social care services, and the lack of nurses, care workers. If it’s a medium to long-term requirement, it is not only more cost-efficient, but better in terms of mental well-being for the recipient, to provide equipment to help them at home rather than further stretch staff resources. Better Outcomes reports have proven tine and again the benefits, but there seems an inability to transfer the theory into practice on a national scale,” observes Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager.
“If someone does need help to go to the loo, shower, it costs a minimum £7.20/hour in wages alone for a care worker to visit: just wages, before any of the other staffing costs are taken into account! That’s every day, 365 days a year…That cost is covered in a year- or less- by providing a toilet lifter to help them get on and off the loo, or a wash & dry toilet, a shower seat, a body drier. And how do you pout a price on someone’s feeling of independence, their dignity?”
Clos-o-Mat’s argument is proven in practice: Rose Murphy needed an operation, and was being kept in hospital because of difficulty organising home care for her. She told staff she already had a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet, explained its benefits and as a result was released home weeks earlier than initially envisaged, releasing the bed.
“It’s not the answer in every case, where it is appropriate, surely it makes good sense?” asks Robin. “If care support is needed for personal hygiene for a year at least, let’s look to making wider use of adaptations to deliver a solution and ease some of the strain at least on budgets and workforce provision.”
Clos-o-Mat is the UK’s leading supplier of toileting technology for disabled and elderly people. It manufactures and supplies the brand-leading wash & dry toilet, the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita, and its height adjustable counterpart the Lima Lift, plus a selection of personal care ancillaries- toilet lifters, height adjustable washbasins, hoists, changing benches, shower seats, body driers.
Founded 55 years ago, and still family-owned, the company is unique in its provision, in-house, of design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance. Details of the Clos-o-Mat’s assistive toilet care offerings, plus further case studies from real-life users, can be found on Clos-o-Mat’s website www.clos-o-mat.com.