Helping Increase Dignity And Independence After Amputation

Latest statistics show 100 people a week have a limb amputated from diabetes alone. The loss of a limb has a huge impact on the level of independence and dignity in day-to-day life for them and their family/carer- an impact that can be offset through thinking ‘outside the box’.

Installation of a Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ toilet, and/or Aerolet toilet lift, restores the ability to go the toilet- something we all do on average eight times a day!- without assistance. The Clos-o-Mat, manufactured by Total Hygiene, looks like a conventional WC but includes integral douche and drier, all operated by simple body pressure on the flush paddle. As a result, it eliminates the need to maneouvre and manually cleanse with toilet tissue. The Aerolet, also supplied by Total Hygiene, replicates the natural motion of standing up and sitting down, gently raising and lowering the user to position them accurately over the toilet as required whilst enabling their feet to remain in contact with the floor and maintaining the centre of gravity above the feet for balance.

Ulem Grant is just one amputee who is appreciating the benefits of a Clos-o-Mat. The Northamptonshire pensioner lost a leg through diabetes in 2010 and can no longer use his fingers. He had his Clos-o-Mat installed under a Disabled Facilities Grant on the advice of his Occupational Therapist, as he was dependant on his wife helping him on and off his conventional WC and was getting frustrated at his inability to flush the toilet on his own.

“It is fantastic, I am over the moon. It was so difficult to go the toilet, but not any more! I can go whenever I want, without my wife having to help me,” he enthused. Added his wife Dawn, “I use it too! We were using so much toilet paper trying to get my husband clean, and he hated me having to help him all the time.”

Former physiotherapist Neil McCarthy similarly had a leg amputated as a result of diabetes, and has a Clos-o-Mat with optional arm supports. He says, “It has given me back my independence. However much you love someone, it’s not nice having to take them to the toilet and clean them afterwards. Before, if I had tried to ‘go’ on my own, I would have fallen off the toilet when I tried to clean myself. The Clos-o-Mat cleans me, and the arms mean I have additional support if I need it.”

The Clos-o-Mat is the only unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled people, and is also the only one which carries WRAS approval for legal connection to the mains water supply. A range of accessories, including integral fold-down arm supports, soft arm sleeves, a touch sensitive switch and passive technology proxy switch, enable the Clos-o-Mat to be precisely tailored to individual and changing needs.

A choice of supply options, from purchase to short-term rental, is backed up by a comprehensive nationwide service and maintenance package, meaning a Clos-o-Mat will deliver up to 30 years’ reliable service for as little as 20p/day (refers to the initial purchase price of an Aerolet or Clos-o-Mat if used for 30 years). Total Hygiene has been manufacturing and supplying Clos-o-Mats from its Manchester base for 50 years, and today has over 40,000 installed in locations from individual’s homes through leisure facilities and public buildings, and even on a tall ship.

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