Next week is Naidex when many people make their annual pilgrimage up to the NEC in Birmingham to display new and shiny products. So, what new and exciting toilet related products will be showcased …. we cruised the Naidex innovation section of their website to take a look.
These reviews are completely my own – I haven’t seen the products or used them….. these are my thoughts based on first impressions! What do you think?
First up is the Migloo. It resembles a caravan awning (tent) attached to the side of a mobility car with an overhead portable gantry hoist and plinth inside. It attaches to a roof rack frame you would fix to your car.
Hopping over to their website, they describe it as a portable changing suite and toilet space. It takes around ten minutes to set up and they say it fits most wheelchair accessible vehicles.
It weighs 26kg and the gantry hoist can lift people up to 200kg (65 lifts per hoist charge). It comes in a choice of three colours (red, blue and yellow).
I use a hoist with my Personal Assistant. Because there are so few accessible toilets with a hoist in throughout the entire country, the idea of having one to hand is interesting.
Now – that is the critical question – is it actually convenient enough to use? If I am going to the cinema, let’s say, am I really going to take up two parking places, get my PA to attach a tent to the side of my car, set up the hoist – and carry a commode around in my car so I can use the loo? I can definitely say that would be a ‘no’.
Now – would I go out for the day somewhere – say to the beach, a tourist attraction or just a visit to a distant town, and set this up in the car park to use the loo. I still don’t think I would – I can imagine the look on people’s faces and the guilt I would have taking up two spaces (not to mention sticking out like a sore thumb!). I really don’t think I could pee in a town car park, in a tent, without looking like I should be selling AA membership.
I might use it in a secluded area – like a forest car park, country park or somewhere with a bit of privacy.
I’d also have to consider the extra height this adds to the car – which is already pretty tight going under some car park height restrictions. A further factor would be the need to carry a suitably supportive commode around in my car and lose some of the independence of changing places toilets with bidets as I can’t wipe – but that’s just my preference.
All in all, personally, I wouldn’t find much regular use for it, but some people might so good luck to them with this idea.
The Hygeenie Sling
A new hygiene / toilet sling from Osprey Healthcare (pdf here). It has a velcro or clip chest band and an under arm design for comfort. It doesn’t look much different form similar slings for people with reasonable muscle tone (who don’t fold up into a foetal position when lifted up). A range of sizes and colours which are pretty funky.
A height adjustable sink and none slip flooring for wet rooms also feature – new styles and materials but nothing that says ‘wow’ that’s a new and interesting idea.
There are many types of toilet related products on display at Naidex this year – but will there be anything really innovative to improve hygiene and dignity for disabled people … time will tell.