News & Views

Social distancing in the bathroom

Social distancing has quickly become the latest buzzphrase. It’s hard enough for most of us to fully implement. How to balance if you receive or provide care? 

Solutions that enable distance care are therefore coming to the fore. The obvious solutions are telecare-based, using voice technology. But what about the toilet? 

Where appropriate, we already have suitable solutions- wash dry/ smart toilets.  

A wash dry toilet is a win: win solution for social distancing in the bathroom – and beyond 

  •  It delivers a safe, social distance between user and carer: the washing and drying processes autonomously deliver the cleaning 
  • It improves hygiene, for the recipient and their carer 
  • It eliminates the need for toilet paper 
  • It empowers recipients to stay in their own home, and be as independent as possible- ever an over-arching aim of preventative measures 
  • It improves safety for recipient and carer 
  • It frees staff for other duties, where the human input cannot be replaced. 
  • It offers best value for money 
  • It addresses certain religious and cultural practices 

Assistive technology (AT) is generally presumed to mean electronic support, interactive speakers, telecare. Its definition is actually any equipment that assists someone to live independently. 

A wash dry toilet brings consistent, high levels of cleanliness and hygiene, whether or not care intervention is involved.  

Add a toilet lifter- the WC equivalent of a riser recliner chair- and the care recipient can safely transfer unaided, further avoiding personal contact. 

Use of such “tech” also means that resources that were under pressure before COVID-19 and the lockdown started can reach that little bit further. A care worker who was scheduled to call to help with toileting is thus available to visit someone whose needs cannot be addressed by the equipment. 

Necessity is the mother of invention, the saying goes. Use of assistive technology in place of the human touch is, out of necessity, increasingly essential.  

If it empowers people to live better, independently and with dignity, and more hygienically and cleanly, surely we cannot dismiss it without exercising due diligence? 

Life will never be the same after the pandemic. We will develop new ways of living. Is there an opportunity for us to live better, more hygienically too? 

There are additional resources to research here: 

This guest blog was written by Robin Tuffley, Marketing Manager at Closomat

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