The experience of holidaying with a disabled member of the family was the inspiration of a dream to provide the ultimate in accessible vacationing. The dream has now turned into reality, enabling people with a disability to enjoy a ‘home from home’ break.

The Moat House Annan, a 19th century historic house in Scotland, has opened its doors after redevelopment into what owners, the Storer family, believe is the most accessible holiday destination of its kind. Key features inside include multiple ceiling track hoists, large doorways, a height adjustable changing/shower bench, two wet rooms, a lift between floors, and a Closomat Palma Vita shower (wash and dry) toilet.

It represents the culmination of three years work to convert the house, which stands on the moat bank of a 13th century Motte & Bailey castle, and its gardens into fully accessible accommodation that can sleep up to 14 people.

“The original idea came after a holiday with my brother and his family – whose son Jonny has muscular dystrophy” explained Martin Storer (owner with his brother Nick). “The property we stayed in advertised itself, like so many others do, as accessible, but we found it really wasn’t suitable, and that it had a clinical/institutional feel. We decided we wanted to create somewhere which was genuinely fully accessible with a homely luxury holiday feel.”

He added, “Certain things we decided were essential from the beginning, such as the lift so people could easily access all levels. The Closomat too was a ‘must have’: Jonny has one at home and we felt it right to extend the hygiene, dignity and independence it gives him to our guests.”

Even in the specification of the Closomat, the Storers have optimised accessibility: the toilet has a plinth to facilitate wheelchair transfer and a touch sensitive switch. Looking like, and capable of being used as a conventional WC, the Closomat has integrated douching and drying, triggered by remaining seated and pushing the flush mechanism, be it the standard pad on the cistern, or via the touch sensitive switch.

The Closomat shower toilet was the first of its kind to be introduced in the UK, and is now the established brand leader. The only shower toilet developed specifically for disabled people, the Palma Vita is also the only one manufactured in the UK, and which can be accessorised initially and retrospectively to accommodate user’s needs as they change with time.

Since the Closomat was first introduced over 55 years ago, more than 57,000 have been sold, many of which are still in daily use at least 30 years after being first installed.

Closomat is also unique in giving clients a complete in-house support package- design/ specification advice, supply, install, commissioning, and ongoing service & maintenance.