A person’s physical health or disabilities can dramatically impact their mental health. It’s a scenario that healthcare professionals come across almost daily.
They want to empower clients, who may not always find it easy to recognise or discuss their health or the help that they need, particularly when it comes to toileting and personal care. They may also be worried that some adaptions might make their home look and feel institutional.
We need to recognise that even little things can make a huge difference.
It is down to us, the manufacturers, to smooth the path, to listen, and develop assistive technology that enables people to still be able to do as much as possible, but with style. It eases the acceptance, and helps overcome that psychological barrier. Well-designed, perhaps even aspirational, equipment can have a significant, positive impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
If a piece of equipment, a fixture, looks stylish, it is instantly more appealing. If it is easy to use, that further encourages acceptance and use. Even minute details such as to how it feels matter. It helps reduce the resistance and any anguish of acknowledging we may not be as capable as we used to be or that our lives would benefit from some additional help.
A client of ours summed it up: she said her wash & dry toilet made her “smile with happiness”.
It improved her quality of life, as she no longer felt, “dirty” after going to the toilet as she now struggled to wipe herself. It fitted in with her home. It did not look like a living aid.
That smile matters, as much as someone’s physical health.