1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    I have just sobbed my way through this programme on iplayer having been alerted it was about adaptations to a home for someone with MND – lots of parallels of course to adaptations in other circumstances and especially for wheelchair bound.

    Not suggesting everyone would want to watch it but what jumped out at me was the bathroom adaptations and what I can only describe as a ‘dignity toilet’ (seconds of coverage at 33.30/39.12 and 50.42)


    Found a similar product to the one shown in the programme at:

    Absolutely no association with the company – only saw their name through the BBC TV programme. If they are making these products, others must be too? Whilst I imagine for some dementia sufferers the experience of having a toilet double/triple as a bidet/air-dryer might NOT be a good experience ... for others it may be the perfect product?

    I know my mum was more than happy to help me mobilise her to and from a toilet and a bit of help with underwear adjustments ;) but desperately persevered to maintain her own intimate personal hygiene without my assistance. This would have been a perfect solution. (Not sure whether we might have needed a lottery win to fund it?:rolleyes:)

    Just thought I’d post in case it helped anyone else for whom it may be a solution and a starting point to look for this type of product becoming more available.

    Regards, Karen, x
  2. Margaret79

    Margaret79 Registered User

    Having recorded it I watched that yesterday too Karen and sobbed my heart out. It is so amazing to watch mankind helping each other. Just imagine if the whole world behaved like that :D:D

    Thought the loo was great but wonder if the cost would be prohibitive for Jo Blogs.
  3. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Brilliant article, nmintueo. Thanks for that.

    I have copied one comment following on from the link in full to post on TP, which illustrates this innovation is not just about dignity (as I blinkeredly saw it initially):
    o hairless
    o St. Louis, MO

    A bidet installed by a previous owner sat unused in our house for years, until my mother came to live with us. Her advanced age, frailty, poor balance, and dementia made showering a difficult and dangerous proposition. We were saved by the bidet! Every morning, she would sit on the bidet with the warm water bathing her netheregions. She loved it! She would sing and shout, "Divine!". I would place a basin on the floor to soak her feet, and then could sponge her upper body, rub lotion on her back, etc. I think she had a much more thorough cleansing than she would have otherwise, and incidentally, never experienced a UTI until she later became bedridden. One caution....she frequently relieved herself in the bidet, something it wasn't intended for. A combination toilet/bidet makes more sense.

    Why don't home care agencies recommend these, and why haven't nursing homes discovered them?

    I know not all ‘assistive technology’ suits everyone – and there may be issues for dementia sufferers living alone having to understand how to press a certain button etc ...... but this surely is a great innovation? The potential to avoid UTIs and infection control implications – especially for hospitals and care homes are mind-boggling. :)

    Let’s hope this is something becomes widely available and affordable to those who can benefit both physically and psychologically.

    Karen, x

    (PS: Margaret, thanks – glad I’m not the only one! I don’t know if I cry more at the heart-breaking or the heart-warming?!:eek:)
  5. ChristineR62

    ChristineR62 Registered User

    Oct 12, 2009
    NW England
    Karen, I watched the programme when it was broadcast, and I was in tears too.

  6. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    I think the dignity toilet is a great idea for some
    my mum however would have rocketed to the ceiling when the washing cycle started

    I too used to wash mum while she was on the loo

    I walked mum to the bathroom
    we had a a commode that could be wheeled over the loo, so when I was ready to wash underneath
    I wheeled mum away and kneeling on the floor, basin nearby ...
    then I either walked or wheeled mum back to bed, in late stages it acted as a transfer chair too :)
    this piece of kit made so much difference to me and mum though mum didnt know it
  7. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Cleaning after toiletting or to put it less delicately, bum wiping.

    I have had and am still having severe problems with this aspect of caring. Incidentally, so are the carers that I occasionally have in for Jean. She adamantly refuses to let anyone at all near her after toiletting. It causes her great distress and almost always ends in tears.

    I have had that area checked out by District Nurses to ensure that it is not an infection which is causing her pain and distress. I thought this was unlikely anway as it has gone on for so long and I have been unable to see anything for myself on the odd times when an inspection was possible.

    Our bathroom is too small to install a bidet and, in any case, they have the disadvantage of being too low (Jean is not very 'bendable') and drying would still have to be carried out after using a bidet.

    So, I have been to have a look at a Superloo. Warm seat, bidet and blow dry combined.

    They are everything they are supposed to be. Very stylish and very usable from my viewpoint. We had a look at two models, one complete toilet and one with just the seat attachment. I tried the different facilities and they are adjustable (water temperature and air temperature), the noise levels are very low and the idea of a heated seat is a definite plus.

    The seat attachment is obviously the cheaper option but (there is always a but) they fit on modern existing loos. Our loo is circa 1980 and he could give no details as to whether the seat option would fit on there without advice from the Fitting Department. For "Fitting Department" read jean,s and T shirted plumber, drinking enormous mug of tea with 7 sugars who was not available on Saturday afternoon.

    So to the cost - Seat only water jet and blow dry - £1200.00 + approx £200.00 fitting and wiring.

    Complete loo - £3000.00 + £700 fitted.

    They are a hell of a price to pay for a toilet and I have to talk myself into considering spending that amount.

    1) Major plus is not having to fight with Jean to clean her up. (priceless to me)
    2) Big plus is the liklihood of a reduction in the chances of a UTI through inefficient cleaning.
    3) Cleaning up after accidental evacuations would be much easier.
    4) Minor plus is reduction or cessation of toilet roll use.

    1) Cost
    2) Major problem getting Jean used to using it.

    I am going to do some more research to try and get the cost down and look at similar products from other manufacturers but I thought I would also canvas the opinions of friends on the AS site and see if anyone has experience of these toilets or, at least, any ideas on what I could do to make bum wiping less traumatic for us both.


    derek and Jean xxxxxxxxx
  8. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    hi grommit.i enquired about these loos,over 7 years ago..yes they have been around for a while , however i never got round to pricing them up as the assistant at the disabled living centre told me they were only ok , for runny bums ,,,,no doubt they might have improved since then ,must admit i would not mind one myself ,but it could be a very expensive mistake .......unless they would let you try before you buy,, haha.,but if they do what they are suppose to do then they are worth every penny,for anyone disabled ,
    ange x
  9. frazzled1

    frazzled1 Registered User

    Aug 25, 2011
    The "stable and able" website has some interesting mobility aids on there for bathrooms
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Grommit - have you considered an alternative like this http://www.amazon.com/Washmate-Portable-Bidet-Bottle-300/dp/B001BYV3J6 ? I have no idea how well it would work (my feeling is that it might be on the small size) but it might be worthwhile trying. In fact, come to think of it, a very clean squeeze bottle filled with warm water might be as effective.
  11. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Thank you all for the responses.

    Not quite sure what a runny bum consists of Angela and, to be honest, I don't think I want to investigate that aspect too closely.

    Thanks Frazzled1 I will look on that website a.s.a.p.

    Jennifer PA I appreciate your time and effort in trying to find a solution but the one on the site is impractical for a number of reasons. The main problem is that the area would have to be dried following evacuation and that simply is out of the question. Effectively I cannot get near the area at all with anything be it paper, cloths, towels, sponges or whatever, without causing acute distress.

    It's not only me, the professional carers and the daycentre staff have given up even trying.

    I will not elaborate on the present arrangement except to say that it is far from adequate and will eventually be the cause of some infection I am certain.

    Thank you all again.
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Yes, I can see why the hot air aspect would be attractive. I'd suggest a hair dryer but suspect that that itself would be distressing for her.
  13. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Dear Grommit

    Reading this thread was trying think of something that may help. You say your bathroom is small - I wondered? you can get commodes that will fit over a normal toilet with the seat up, so the toilet bowl can be used as normal but you could then place the commode bowl filled with warm water in to try and use as a bidet? Then have a towel to sit on? for drying.
    Just some thoughts and sorry if it's totally impractical, or not possible - just sorry to read of the difficulties you're having.

    Hope you manage to find a solution.
    Best wishes
  14. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    I think SueJ is on to something here, Grommit. We TPers don’t give up on inventiveness do we?:)

    I am starting to wonder if you can create an ‘ante-room’ (or just a space in the room next to the bathroom where ablutions can take place in a less clinical environment than most WCs?) – or if just for Jean to sit on a towel in a more comfy environment and/or to semi ‘air-dry’ (assuming you can get some water near her in the first place)? (Sue’s idea seems a really good one).

    I am reading your dilemma as needing a non-contact, low noise solution (which £3700 might buy you if you have that kind of money to take that kind of gamble!!!:eek:) But I am very mindful of lin1’s comment about someone being alarmed and ‘hitting the ceiling’ when the flush seems to come back at you as it would in the ‘wash cycle’ (sorry, had to smile at that)!!!!! And I recall hair-dryers have been a no-no for some time even for the purpose they are intended for!!!???? But maybe one of those low level fan heaters placed strategically in an ante-room would be different? :confused:

    When I was very briefly at the stage of ‘bum-wiping resistance’ with mum – she still had the capacity to communicate her needs/wants and for me to respond and know (most times) she would understand. You have the additional complication in that Jean has no communication, other than expressing her distress non-verbally?

    I’ve had a snoop at the local Disabled Living Centre (probably the one Angela was referring to) and they do offer ‘trials’ of a lot of equipment – that said – I am not sure trying out a new loo in an alien environment wouldn’t freak anyone!!!!! :eek: Not sure their services are only for local residents but will happily do some more homework and come back to you (and indeed the forum because I can’t believe there isn’t/hasn’t been/won’t be another TPer going through the same problem) ...

    One interesting point on their website is the mention of buying equipment second hand. Now, confess at first I baulked at the idea of buying a second hand loo-seat or bathroom contraption or anything similar .... then thought – well ... my loo was second – third – perhaps even fourth hand - when I bought this house and I don’t expect to be the first user of every public loo I have ever needed to use????? :rolleyes:

    So, so sorry you are both going through this distress ..... let’s hope collectively we can help find some solution.

    Love, Karen, x

    (PS: And thanks to Angela – the phrase ‘runny bum’ is now forever stuck!!!!:p)
  15. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Again many thanks Tender Face and SueJ.

    Actually the warm water/towel suggestion is very very close to the present procedure except substitute bowl of warm water for warm wet wipes (wet wipes which have spent 2 mins in the microwave).

    There are some difficulties with this however. Transition from one room to another means that trousers and undewear have to be completely removed and any residue is sometimes transferred to the toilet seat or onto the floor. This also goes with standing up far enough to slip a bowl fo water between the seat and the toilet.

    I have today put a call in to the OT people and to the Community Mental Health people, neither of which, as usual, are available at this time.

    Tender Face, there is a Company called Closomat which has it's headquarters in Sale, Cheshire which might be able to help. However, I have spoken to someone who has had one installed and the downside, from their viewpoint, it that it is difficult to keep clean due to a soft spongy arrangement between seat and porcelain.

    Will look into that one a bit more closely.

    There are two more things I need to check before proceeding:-

    1) Do these toilets flush before the cleaning processes start or does it take place after the cleaning process and,

    2) Can the facility be used as a normal toilet without the cleaning process? If this is the case and the cleaning process is abandoned as far as Jean is concerned, it will be back to square one but I shall finish up with a toilet I can use to the full.

    I am a bit wary of buying second hand on the basis of one of my Father's old sayings, "If it was any good, why would they be selling it?" My dealings on E bay and the like have been less than successful.

    The Lazy Boy chair I bought for Jean has a refrigerator in it that has never worked and within 3 weeks of buying a bath with a door and and a raising/lowering seat, the batteries packed in working and had to be replaced. Both were second hand and bought off E bay.

    I must admit to leaning towards the cheaper add on unit (providing it can be fitted to the existing loo) and to that end, will soon be found in the Market Place in Doncaster, unshaven, mucky clothes, hang dog expression and cap on floor to raise the necessary costs.

    Thank you again.
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi there Grommit!:)

    I don't know what your bathroom arrangements are, but if you have a walk-in shower there is an alternative.

    I was given a shower stool by OT, and it was brilliant. John could sit on it for face and hair-washing, and for bum-washing he turned round, bent over and leant on the handles. Then a warm wash with the shower, and a warm towel to sit on.. Hands free, no hassle.

    Don't know if that would work for Jean, but it's worth a try.

  17. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Thanks Skye.

    Have thought of that one but Jean is terrified of showers to the extent where she goes rigid and screams blue murder. Distressing for me and distressing for her.

    There is another downside to showering as well in that I would have to get in there with her as she has no concept of using soap, sponges, flannels or anything at all really.

    Really appreciate the suggestion though. Thanks again.
  18. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    I have been in contact with 2 sets of professionals today.

    One is the Disability Living organisation known as SYCIL (South Yorkshire Council for Independent Living). Yes they are aware of dignity toilets, no they do not have any on display but the retailers of the ones I have looked at are to do a presentation on the premises on 20th June. No, they are not able to give any advice.

    Two was the Community Mental Health team. In answer to the question, "Have you had any experience of dignity toilets?", the first response was, "Are you fed up of toiletting Jean and do you want respite or longer care"? The second response was that they have had several patients with the toilets fitted and the patiients think they are very good indeed.

    However, they went onto say that Jean was a particulary difficult case and the daycentre staff are unable to cope with the toiletting aspect.

    After a considerable time putting my viewpoint over the upshot of all this was "Go for it. If it works, all well and good. If it doesn't, back to square one".

    So much for their help but I do resent the implication that because they can't manage, I can't either.
  19. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Ahem! After deleting several responses :rolleyes: ... if the CMHT admit the daycentre staff cannot cope with toileting Jean – how do they think that would give you ANY confidence in respite or longer term care? :eek: Just how do they foresee carers maintaining Jean’s dignity and hygiene needs without causing her terrible distress? I would be demanding their reassurance! And if they think some carers in respite would have the ‘knack’ – then please could they share it with you?!;)

    Why researching a product which has the potential to give both you and Jean enhanced quality of life and minimise distress, potential infections etc means you can’t cope, I don’t know????? I share your indignation! I was under the impression the ‘drive’ these days was to maintain people in their own homes for as long as possible? And at the risk of sounding like ‘You’re doing very well, dear’, your warm wet wipe solution sounds about as good as it can get given the complexity of Jean’s needs.

    I am quite surprised no-one on TP (be they carer or professional) has come along with some personal experience of these loos either at home or in a care establishment, given angela.robinson knows they have been around over 7 years?:confused:

    Don’t give up, chuck ...... if only here to help with ‘homework’/research – just shout!

    Love, Karen, x
  20. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.