It is estimated that falls cost the NHS more than £2bn a year and in an effort to reduce this financial strain, Closomat hopes its range of WCs and aids will reduce the number of WC-related injuries.
The adapted bathroom specialist claims that in some areas, falls account for almost 5% of the whole local adult social care budget.
It said that using the toilet is one of the most risky activities, especially among older people with approximately 20% of injuries/falls happening while using the WC.
“It’s not hard to make going to the toilet safer, and potentially more hygienic too,” said Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Closomat.
“And even at the top end of solutions, it is still cost comparable against just the hospital cost of treatment before the social care cost has been factored in.
“Something as simple as fitting a grab rail can help. Solutions that prevent the twisting, turning, and address balance have a more positive impact: they address the common physical factors of muscle weakness and poor balance.
“These include technology such as wash and dry toilets that save having to grab toilet tissue, wipe clean etc, height adjustable WCs that can be raised to assist someone with mobility, balance issues, or toilet lifters that are the WC equivalent of riser recliner chairs.”
Much of Closomat supportive technology can be accessorised retrospectively to address user needs as they change. For example, support arms can be added, the height can be adjusted, the operating mechanism changed.
“It all helps prevent a fall initially, and in the long term,” added Tuffley.
“And it gives the user the peace of mind that they can ‘go’ safely- how do you put a cost on that? There is much talk to encourage the use of technology to help reduce the burden on the NHS and social care. Solutions already exist, there just needs to be more use made of them.”