Creating accessible homes can alleviate pressure on health and social care, ease the 1.2million days lost through delayed discharge (bed-blocking).
So says leading social housing provider Habinteg, in its latest Accessible Housing Policy Update. And with the portfolio from Closomat, key features in the bathroom are simple to achieve, maintain- and easy to evolve as the occupant’s needs change.
“Accessible toileting is proven to make a huge difference in the demands on health and social care services,” says Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “The bathroom is the most commonly adapted space. Our equipment is proven to enable people to be discharged from hospital without the need to provide as much, or any, care support. And research shows people who are enabled to live independently, remain in their own homes, require less social care support, and have better health and wellbeing, reducing pressure on health services.”
Habinteg’s figures claim some 1.8million people need accessible housing. Yet only 7% of homes in England offer even minimum accessibility features. The provider is calling for the Government to make accessible and adaptable homes(*) the default standard for new build.
In the bathroom, the called-for criteria are a WC with a flush away from the adjacent wall, walls strong enough to support addition of grab rails, and ceilings strong enough to support a hoist.
Closomat’s brand-leading Palma Vita wash & dry (bidet) toilet has flush pads on either side of the cistern as standard, instantly accommodating the core requirement. With its integrated douching and drying, it inherently offers improved hygiene for the user, and longevity, even as the occupant needs change. Yet if preferred it can still be used as a conventional WC.
As part of its accessible bathroom package, Closomat further offers either separate grab and support rails, or versions which can be clip-fixed to a support track, and a range of ceiling track hoists that can be configured to enable moving of the user from one room to another, and/or any point within a room.
To help housing providers, Closomat has published a white paper- Design Guidance & Considerations for an Accessible Toilet/Wetroom- which can be downloaded free of charge here.
(*) Building Regulations Approved Document M (4) Cat 2, specifically the dwelling must be sufficient to meet the occupants’ differing needs and allow the adaptation of the dwelling to meet the changing needs of occupants over time.