For 27 years-old Heather Scott, it’s the toilet. That may not be the obvious answer, but for anyone, being able to ‘go’ without having someone help makes a huge difference to their mental wellbeing and feeling of independence.
Heather has a rare genetic disorder which means she is reliant on a wheelchair, has little movement in her arms and hands, and is blind. “My parents split up when I was a teenager and still living at home. My Dad had to look after me. Imagine how you feel as a 16 years old girl having your Dad do everything for you?” she explained.
Following three years at residential college Heather moved into her own flat in East Sussex, where she has 24 hour care. Under Disabled Facilities Grant funding, she has had the bathroom adapted to accommodate her needs, including a ceiling track hoist, level access shower and, most recently, a Closomat Palma Vita wash and dry toilet with a soft touch operating pad to address her limited mobility and strength.
“A friend of mine had a Closomat. When we were talking I thought it was something that would be really useful. Now I have it, it’s more than that. It is amazing, I love it! It is the best thing I ever had. It’s made such a difference to my dignity and independence: going to the toilet is now one thing I can do that my carers don’t have to do for me,” says Heather.
She adds, “It was quite funny when I first used it, as I hadn’t realised how powerful the spray could be. I hadn’t sat right as I am only little [4ft tall, 6st], and the douche hit the ceiling. My carer and I laughed so much. It shows how effective the spray can be, to get you properly clean.”