How do you quantify or qualify the cost of care?

Do you look at the £, the financial outlay to contract carers to help?

What about if it is a member of the family, a partner providing the care- what about the cost of their time, possibly their loss of income as they are looking after you rather than working for a company?

What about any specialist equipment you may buy? Is that just a purchase price, or is there work required to fit it, install it, adapt your home to accommodate it?

What about the hidden cost, the mental and psychological impact of losing your independence, of having to rely on someone to help? Of not being able to do certain things when you want, but having to wait until someone can assist. How do you begin to put a price on that?

That last is amplified for certain tasks. Imagine having to rely on someone to help you go to the toilet, to help you on, and off, to perhaps wipe you clean. It’s a process we take for granted when we are able.

Any limitation has a big impact on something so fundamental to daily life, something we do on average eight times a day!

In itself, that adds a raft of additional considerations on cost into the mix. Support needs to be provided safely- for you and the carer. Lack of appropriate support brings health considerations: you may fall, your carer may fall, your carer may strain themselves lifting you, bearing your weight. That has additional cost implications, in treatment, perhaps even hospitalisation, and additional care support required whilst you, your carer recovers.

It is hard to take the emotion out of such decisions. At the end of the day, what route one goes depends on each person, their own ability to function, what care support is needed.

Where appropriate, there may well be solutions that meet the need for assistance, and simultaneously go beyond, to address the holistic consideration such as dignity, wellbeing- physical and mental.

Let’s look at that basic function: going to the toilet.

Which scenario would you prefer: paying for a carer to help you on, off the WC, wipe your bottom, or to have a piece of equipment that does it for you?

Then look at the cost: what about if I told you the latter option would cost HALF or even better than the cost of paying for a person to do the same job for a year? Bear in mind the cost of equipment is a one-off cost; the cost of a person is an ongoing expenditure.

That is before you’ve started thinking about the performance quality. People have different perspectives of what is acceptable, they do tasks differently, and to different levels. A piece of equipment is factory-set to perform the function to the same, consistent level, for years.

And don’t forget, technology is advancing all the time. Even now, equipment is available that can be accessorised to suit individual tastes and needs- at the time of purchase and retrospectively.

So even if your condition deteriorates, and a little more help is required, it may well be that your independence, dignity and privacy can still be retained, your need for care intervention avoided, by changing a component or two.

The scenario above applies whether you are an individual living, and wanting to remain, in your own home, or whether you live- or run- a residential care establishment. It’s about overall best value for money, for all involved.

By Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager

Closomat is the UK’s leading provider of equipment that delivers independent and hygienic toilet solutions. It was the first to introduce shower/ wash dry toilets into the UK. Today it is the brand leader. It is also the only company in the sector to be based, and manufacture in the UK, and offer inhouse nationwide sales and after-sales support.

Its website www.clos-o-mat.com, is now the ‘go to’ resource for assistive toilet technology. A validated cost of care analysis is detailed thereon: https://www.closomat.co.uk/index.php/products/shower-toilets/cost-of-care.html

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