Social care funding can be four times more effective, where appropriate, by employing living aids in place of support workers.

Independent research has highlighted that the capital cost of a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry WC, that enables someone to go to the toilet without care support/ intervention, is just a quarter of the cost of providing care workers to perform the same function for a year(1).

The living aid is a ‘one off’ cost, that delivers independence for years. The financial analysis does not include the hidden cost benefits in the recipient’s improved mental health & wellbeing at being empowered to undertake a very private task unaided, and at being able to remain in their own home.

“The ability to go to the toilet is one of the five key ADLs in assessing a person’s need for care intervention, particularly under the Person Environment Occupation (PEO) Model,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “Surely it makes good financial sense to make best use of available funds by providing relevant equipment where appropriate, to release care staff where they are most needed, where equipment is not the solution? If you do the maths, this approach can potentially help four times as many people to retain their dignity and independence, to remain in their own homes.” Beyond the financial implications, the provision of enabling equipment further enhances the recipient’s mental health and wellbeing, thus having a positive impact in PROM(2) and HRQoL(3) terms. It can improve hygiene, reducing incidence of skin complaints. It eliminates manual handling, with all the associated positive benefits for the care recipient, and care staff.

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(1) OT-TA:Care package to provide support 2 hours/day, x 7 days/week @ £15/hour= £10,950 (Money Advice Service 2018); cost of Closomat Palma Vita £2660, plus Aerolet £3075= £5735
(2) PROM patient report outcome measurement
(3) HRWQoL health related quality of life