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Accessibility Bathrooms & Washrooms

Hygiene at the Helm!


Clos-o-mat: A progressive housing association which specializes in development and management of models of supported housing for people with special needs is applying that commitment through to tenants’ independence in personal hygiene.

Helm Housing has completed the creation of 14 purpose-built homes at Abbots Court, Newtownabbey, half of which feature Clos-o-Mat automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilets in the bathrooms. Recommended by the Northern Health & Social Care Trust’s Occupational Therapy team, to optimize independence for the specific tenants, the installation of the Clos-o-Mats also received the backing of Helm Housing.

The Clos-o-Mat looks like, and is no bigger than, a conventional WC, but additionally features integrated douching and drying facilities. After toileting, light pressure on the flush paddle with hand or body triggers the flushing process and simultaneous douching, followed by warm air drying. As a result, it enables anyone to toilet, without having to manually wipe clean, or be wiped clean.

Comments Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Total Hygiene, manufacturer of the Clos-o-Mat:
“The Government’s Better Outcomes Lower Costs report maintains for the same money as having a carer come in every day to lift a disabled person on and off a commode, that person could have an automatic toilet such as a Clos-o-Mat, which they can use whenever they please, and which gives them more autonomy and dignity. Not only is hygiene improved, but the person’s dignity and self-sufficiency enhanced, in a very personal process!”

A spokesperson from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust, added:
“The Clos-o-Mats are new to the tenants but they are very happy with them, and are proving popular with the staff who help with toileting!”

Helm Housing has retro-fitted Clos-o-Mats in other schemes, where they have been recommended by Occupational Therapists, to help tenants be as independent as possible.

The Clos-o-Mat is the only WC of its type manufactured in the UK, developed specifically for disabled people, and with WRAS approval, enabling legal connection to the UK mains water supply. It is also the only unit of its kind supported by full in-house design, installation, commissioning and service. To date, Total Hygiene has supplied over 40,000 Clos-o-Mats, some of which have been in regular use since they were first fitted 30 years ago! The company’s extensive range of options, from grab rails to height adjustable Clos-o-Mats enables a bathroom or washroom adaptation to be selected and installed, from one source.