Arthritis is now the biggest cause of disability in Britain. More than 9.25million people are affected. The figure reinforces how few people with limitations are born with their affliction- it could be you!

Arthritis Research UK has published guidance on dealing with daily life, particularly the bathroom. After all, its one of the most often used rooms: just going to the loo is something we do on average eight times a day.

Yet too often, the impact of being able to do that one function is overlooked. It is common for furniture such as riser recliners to be employed to help people get up from their chair- often a problem for arthritis sufferers. But what about being able to get on and off the WC? That is rarely addressed.

Believe it or not, there are toilet equivalents, called toilet lifters. Just simply lean against the seat, triggerthe mechanism, and the unit gently lowers you onto the loo, then, when triggered, raises you to standing again. Most versions have a tilting action to the seat, to position you ‘automatically’ in a standing position: the action is more suited to users with strength and control over their legs and knees. There are vertical lift options available, better for people with a degree of strength in their arms. Some users say they feel safer too with the vertical option, that, with the tilting action, they feel insecure…

Arthritis UK’s guidance recommends replacement of the conventional WC with an automatic shower/ bidet toilet. The fixture looks like, and can still be used as a conventional WC by other members of the household; its integrated douching, and (in selected models) drying means, that if you do have limitations, you don’t have to struggle to wipe clean afterwards: the toilet does it for you. There’s no need to try and tear off toilet tissue, no need to struggle to wipe.

We would use the analogy: do you feel cleaner if you’ve showered before dressing, or just maybe wiped with a flannel and got dressed?

It is worth investigating, if you go this route, how easily you can operate it, as various mechanisms exist which require varying degrees of manual dexterity to trigger. NB Closomat’s Palma Vita is the only one that has a variety of options, that can not only be incorporated initially, but also added should your condition deteriorate.

Or you could go for a height adjustable wash and dry toilet, which in effect combines all the functions above, in a more contemporary, stylish solution. The unit can be raised to the most convenient height for you, then lowered to a comfortable height for you to sit and toilet. When you have finished toileting, the WC will flush, douche and dry you.

Whichever option is chosen, solutions therefore exist that enable you to still be able to go to the loo, and be very clean, and dry, afterwards. Your dignity and privacy is not compromised by having to rely on care support to help you on, off, clean you.

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This blog was prepared by Clos-O-Mat.

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