The use of assistive technology in housing is receiving additional relevance with the publication of new research and strategies.
According to Housing LIN, housing developers and providers can deliver enhanced benefits for residents by constructing more housing with care type properties(*). Toilet assistive technology manufacturer Closomat is urging that helpful fixtures are utilised to simultaneously deliver that independent living with care and reduce demand on healthcare services.
Victoria Galligan spoke to Habinteg housing association’s Chief Executive Sheron Carter about the history of accessible housing in the UK, the latest standards in housebuilding and how more needs to be done to future-proof homes so they can be used for life…
Habinteg is a housing association with a difference – its properties are all built using an accessible design model which means people with disabilities can get around easily, and residents are housed within mixed housing so they are not isolated from the rest of society but integrated within it.
As the Government is urged to make accessible, adaptable housing mandatory within Local Plans, public and private sector housing developers are being offered a simple way to achieve it.
Leading social provider Habinteg is lobbying the Government to ensure more new homes meet the Building Regulations Approved Document M4(2) baseline. It points out that currently only 7% of homes in England meet the basic ‘visitable’ criteria, yet there are almost 14million disabled people in the UK.
AKW, one of the UK’s leading providers of accessibility solutions, has launched a new range of coloured tiles, backer boards and mosaic border tiles, for the ultimate in inclusive bathroom installations.
AKW’s new coloured, glazed ceramic tiles are a stylish addition to the company’s existing range of tiles and accessories. The 400 x 250mm x 8mm sized tiles are digitally printed with a stone-effect and can be used as bathroom wall or splashback tiles. They are available in four colourways ranging from a matt finish grey to gloss finished cream, light grey and white. In addition, a range of mosaic border tiles has been launched to complement the existing tile range and allow for the creation of more decorative finishes in white tiled bathrooms. Available in marble, blue and grey colourways, AKW’s mosaic border tiles provide a glossy, elegant finish.
One Manchester welcomed Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to its latest development, to unveil 27 new affordable homes in the heart of Openshaw, including 15 bungalows designed specifically for those living with cognitive conditions.
Andy Burnham praised the social housing and community services provider for bringing the future of housing to Openshaw through the introduction of the development, called South Gate, which brings together a mix of different tenures for the area.
In the UK, bathroom falls account for a quarter of all hospital admissions . Unsurprisingly the 80+ age range is most at risk from hospital admission due to bathroom falls, with 8% admitted per year . In addition, the number of people aged 65+ entering hospital as a result of a fall is predicted to increase by almost 50% - to almost half a million - by 2035 . The bathroom is a high risk fall area, particularly for those with sight loss, mobility issues or dementia. Here, Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW, discusses how to overcome two of the most common causes of bathroom falls in this space: poor lighting and trip and slip hazards.
If you have long term disabled tenants who need changes to the property to enable them to retain their independence, Government funding is available to cover the costs, says Closomat.
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is claimed to be one of the best kept secrets of the welfare system. It can provide up to £30,000 towards the cost of undertaking changes to a property that are “necessary and appropriate”, are “reasonable and can be done” to help someone live independently. The Government pot has almost doubled in five years: in the current financial year, £500m is available for DFGs via local authorities.