Hospice turns to toileting tech to deliver dignity and independence for its patients
Specialist palliative care at the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham, Wales, is being given an “extra dimension” with the employment of assistive technology.
The Hospice’s approach involved the installation of a Closomat Palma Vita shower toilet with a touch sensitive switch and height adjustable washbasin in its day unit bathroom. The move is the result of a desire to help patients, physchologically and emotionally, alongside the core physical therapy.
The Palma Vita ‘smart toilet’ looks like, and can be used as, a conventional toilet; its integrated douching and drying features cleanse the user without the need to wipe or be wiped.
Kay Ryan, Outpatient Services Co-ordinator at the Hospice, explained: “It is our mission to provide specialist, multi-disciplinary care. Having the Closomat allows our patients with complex palliative care needs to maintain a degree of independence, and retain their dignity. It means they are not dependent on their carer or family for intimate help.
“That makes a huge difference to them, to help enable them to live as well as possible. Many of our patients have one at home, and have told us about the benefits it brings to them, particularly as they lose the ability to stand, or use their hands.”
Whilst the Hospice installed the Closomat primarily for its 15 patient day-care unit, the bathroom in which it is located is adjacent to the 12 bed inpatient ward, so it can be used by those too if required.
Lauren Tilston, Head of Fundraising at the Hospice, added: “The toilet will give an extra dimension to the support we can bring to all our patients, particularly those with limited mobility.”
Closomat says that its Palma Vita is the only unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled people to enable them to undertake their intimate care with independence, dignity and consistent levels of hygiene.
The Palma Vita is also unique in shower toilets in that it can be ‘accessorised’ initially and retrospectively to accommodate for changing needs; the touch sensitive switch chosen by the Hospice is one example, enabling people with limited or little strength to still be able to operate the toilet on their own.