“I don’t want visitors to use my bathroom. It looks like it’s for a disabled person, and I don’t want to look disabled”.
That’s a quote from a respondent to a new report into the definition of good practice in delivery of home adaptations.
Our home is our home, whatever our limitations. There is no reason why, particularly with today’s advancing manufacturing techniques and materials, why a piece of equipment designed to help execution of activities of daily living (ADLs) cannot reflect contemporary design.
The report also highlights that many people are now funding an adaptation themselves, and they often delay making those vital changes because of the appearance of adaptations.
Perhaps the key is to make the equipment aspirational! It may be a perfect, practical solution to delivering independence but have the added cache of being a fixture people WANT to include in their home. It is an ethos we are increasingly finding with our shower toilets. Almost as a bidet was the fixture in the ‘70s, and wetrooms are growing in popularity, so shower toilets are becoming desirable.
It is logical that it is more effective to wash & dry one’s bottom rather than wipe it with a bit of paper. Indeed, in Japan it is the norm. In the UK, the concept is becoming more accepted. Manufacturers are reacting accordingly, and developing sleek, modern WCs that would not look out of place in the most luxurious bathroom or wetroom. Similarly, grab rails, washbasins, shower seats are all following suit.
After all, why should we have to compromise on aesthetics to accommodate functionality? If it is stylish, people may decide to make a change in a timely manner, to ‘future proof’ their home before they reach crisis point.
The report claims that nowadays, almost a quarter of people who think they may need to adapt will start their search for appropriate equipment online. A similar number will be funding any adaptation themselves. They are not relying on what the local council can advise/provide.
But just because someone wants style because they can afford it, why can that style not be available to all?