Housing providers are being offered a new solution to help accommodate the needs of the growing number of older private and social renters- a market sector that has more than doubled in a decade.
Closomat, Britain’s leading manufacturer and supplier of toilet technology for elderly and disabled people, is developing a range of stylish fixtures to future-proof homes to accommodate tenants’ needs as they change with age.
Central to the package are Closomat’s wash & dry (automatic shower) toilets. The units look like- and can be used as- conventional WCs, but have integrated douching and drying, which can be selected as each user wants or requires. The douching and drying processes save the user having to wipe clean- or be wiped clean- with toilet tissue, of benefit for example with the onset of mobility, dexterity impairing conditions.
Closomat is the only wash & dry toilet supplier in the UK to manufacture in Britain. Its range covers contemporary wall-hung WCs to floor-standing automatic height adjustable variants. Uniquely in its sector, it is the only company that also has an in-house service & maintenance team, ensuring timely facilities management of the kit.
“The bathroom is the most common room to be altered under a housing adaptation, and changes to the toilet one of the most common alterations therein,” explains Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “Installing a Closomat at the outset can save that disruption and cost. Uniquely too, our brand leading Palma Vita can be retrospectively accessorised to accommodate changing needs, so further future-proofs the capital investment.
“Provision of such fixtures also means the tenant isn’t being forced to live in unsuitable accommodation, or have care, during the often lengthy process of organising the adaptation. In private housing, wash & dry toilets are becoming more widely known about, and viewed as an aspirational fixture that enhances the user’s wellbeing and intimate hygiene. In this sector, the concept can be used as a marketing tool, enhancing the appeal, rentability and rent level of the property.”
The Centre for Ageing Better is already lobbying for housing providers to change their approach, and provide longer-term tenancies, and more accommodation for older people. Many potential tenants do not want the financial burden of selling their existing and buying a new, more appropriate home. Many can’t access social housing but can’t afford to buy. Research shows older tenants tend to be more satisfied with renting too.
Adds Robin Tuffley, “Research suggests(*) that up to a third of 60 year olds will be renting by 2040, so it’s a market that is going to expand, and is therefore worth accommodating- even in such detail as bathroom fixtures.”
Closomat’s website www.clos-o-mat.com covers all technical details in terms of selection and purchase, and includes details of ‘try before you buy’ centres, specification clauses, and ‘how it works’ videos.
(*) University of York Centre for Housing Policy