Dignity and personal hygiene for all is being effectively achieved in one Lanarkshire household, through the use of assistive technology.

Pensioner Rose Thom suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, “from head to feet”, to the extent that she can no longer grip with her hands. That meant, among other daily activity, she couldn’t grip toilet tissue. But state-of-the-art assistive technology means she can now go to the toilet without carer assistance.

On the recommendation of her Occupational Therapy team, she has had a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet with optional touch sensitive hand switch installed in her Wishaw home.

Looking like – and capable of being used as a conventional WC – the Palma Vita also has built-in washing and drying, so there is no need to manually clean oneself with toilet tissue. The Closomat was the first wash & dry toilet of its kind in the UK, and the Palma Vita is the only one developed specifically for disabled people.

“I’m very pleased with it,” she says. “I can go to the toilet without anyone having to help me; it’s no effort to use the touch switch with my thumb. My husband uses the Closomat too, though as a conventional toilet, so it works for both of us.”

Adds Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, “On average we go to the loo eight times a day. It therefore actually has quite an impact on daily life, and your privacy and dignity, if it becomes something you need help with.”

Manufactured in Britain, the standard Palma Vita is easily operated simply by remaining seated when the user presses the flush pads: simultaneous flushing and douching is followed by warm air drying to ensure the user is cleaned effectively, consistently and hygienically with no hand:body contact. Appreciating everyone is different, Closomat has a raft of accessories, including the touch sensitive operating switch, to enable the toilet to be personalized to individual needs, when initially installed and over time as requirements change.

Since Closomats were first introduced 55 years ago, almost 50,000 have been sold, and fitted in locations from people’s homes through to shopping centres and tourist attractions: there are even several on tall ships! The company is unique in its provision, in-house, of design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance.

Click for more details of the Palma Vita, Closomat’s additional assistive toilet technologies, plus further case studies from real-life users.