Guest Blog. It meant I could have a drink.

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This month we are focusing on the needs of people who need help or equipment to stand up from the toilet.

Find out more about our topic and people who might experience difficulties in this post.

Our first guest blogger shares their enlightening story …

(Guest blogger has chosen to remain anonymous, South UK)

I live with a muscle wasting disease. It is progressive and over the years I have had to adjust to my declining physical state. I have come to terms with the loss of dignity and independence and I am accustomed to family, friends, carers and strangers assisting with the most intimate of tasks. The times I got stuck on toilets and had to be helped up by strangers of either sex was no fault of mine. This disease progresses as it will it seems; one day I could get off a regular water closet with a great struggle, the next I could not get off even with the knowledge that I was about to invite a stranger to rescue me from the most embarrassing of positions.

You would think that a hospital would have the facilities and knowledge to ensure that all people who use it could use the toilet. It is the most basic of needs! I have had surgeries when I would not be allowed to leave until I had used the toilet. Now, even with the help of carers, there is hardly any toilet in my local hospital that is accessible to me. I have had to resort to even more creative solutions when enduring any of my frequent hospital visits. There is no point wearing a diaper as there appears to be no toilet that has a hoist or a changing table. I try not to drink before most hospital visits but sometimes the appointment is for a scan and the instructions are to drink 2 litres of water before the procedure. 

For now, I can just about manage to pass urine into a bottle. I cannot sit on the toilets as even if I wanted to attempt a side transfer my carer could not fit into most toilets with me and my bulky wheelchair. Even when we do fit in a toilet the toilet is too low for a transfer and there isn’t enough space to park parallel to the toilet. So, whenever I need to go to hospital I use Imodium and Desmomelt when I want to avoid the toilet. Yes, it is drug abuse, but I consider it a pre-emptive strike so I do not have the indignity of needing the toilet and not being able to use it. 

More space to transfer helps. If there could be height adjustable toilets that would be great. 

I remember my excitement when I visited the Essex Coalition for Disabled People and saw a raised toilet seat in the toilet. It meant I could have a drink.

[Thank you to ‘anonymous’ for sharing this story for our project)

Novamed’s unique bed hygiene / toilet system

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Novamed_Europe_-_Better_SolutionsNovamed Europe are our guest bloggers this week with their innovative hygiene / toilet solution – Solaticare .

For full information and a brochure visit: http://novamedeurope.com/products

or you can chat with them, about their product directly or over on our Toilet Talk   Face Book group.

Solaticare

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Solaticare is an exciting new solution for those who are unable to access toileting facilities independently, once in bed.

It promotes dignity by allowing the user an independent solution to the need to eliminate, although a carer may also assist in the process.

There are two options – an automatic version located in the workings of an electric bed, and a community version, which uses a specially adapted mattress placed on a standard bed, with the help of a carer.

How you use it

To use the hospital bed model, the user needs to be lying supine, without pants, sheets may remain in situ. Using the remote control, the process is initiated with the press of one button. The mattress infill moves down and away, the Solaticare suction head then rises through the mattress to its working position, in very close contact with the body. When the user urinates and/or defecates into the suction head, the sensors within the suction head will remove the waste into a hermetically sealed unit next to the bed, once this has finished, rinsing with warm water follows, and the process finishes with warm air to dry the skin. The in-built catalytic deodorizer neutralizes any unpleasant odours. Then the suction head returns to its original location, and the mattress infill returns to give a comfortable feel to the bed.

The community model requires the help of a carer to positon the suction head with its hoses in a specially designed mattress cut-out, prior to use, and then it needs removing at the end of the process. There are infill pieces to restore the mattress integrity.

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Hospital bed model

The extraction unit is located by the bed stores the clean water and waste, emptying/refilling is needed usually just once a day. The process can also be controlled from the control panel on the extraction unit. This also includes controls to personalise settings, as times and temperature can be altered to suit personal preference. There is also a voice prompt option which tells which process is in function. It also comes with an optional shower hose which helps patient shower whilst in bed.

What do you think?