How an inclusive bathroom design helped an assisted living facility in Cheltenham

The bathroom is a challenging place for someone with mobility issues or dementia and here Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW, shows how inclusive bathroom design has helped both carers and residents at Lypiatt Lodge in Cheltenham. He also discusses how these principles can be replicated in any home.

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igh surveillance is needed in the bathroom, and there is a range of accessible bathroom solutions available that are stylish, robust and promote independence. An installation that shows the potential of inclusively designed bathrooms is at the Grade II Listed nursing home, Lypiatt Lodge, Cheltenham.

AKW enabled the renovation of 31 luxury en-suite bathrooms and Beltaine Designs, an independent spatial and interior design consultancy service, worked in partnership with AKW. All bathrooms within the nursing home were designed to be both dementia- and mobility-friendly, to meet the wide range of needs of its residents.

AKW oversaw the full lifecycle of the bathroom renovations, from initial consultation and design to delivery. A full range of AKW products was used in the renovation. These included TMV3-approved thermostatic mixer taps with extended levers for easy operation, bathroom wall panels and wall boards, bathroom lights and extractor fans. The company also provided electric Low Surface Temperature (LST) radiators, to eliminate burning accidents, and a range of its specialist showering facilities, including low-level access, walk-in showers and wetrooms.

The new bathrooms meet the needs of both staff and residents. They feature a contemporary and attractive aesthetic that matches the style Beltaine Designs introduced throughout the rest of the property and provide residents with a safer, more functional environment that allows for easy, comfortable and risk-free use of the bathroom.

Making the most of technology to promote safety

Technology is beginning to play a key role in the creation of safe and inclusive washing spaces. Indeed, leading accessible bathroom and adapted living solutions manufacturers are introducing a new generation of smart electric showers that have been developed specifically to meet these requirements.

AKW’s launch of the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled smart electric shower has enhanced the experience of both ambulant users and those with reduced mobility. The BEAB Care and RNIB-certified AKW SmartCare Plus wireless and Bluetooth smart electric shower has proved very popular with end-users and carers in homes across the UK. This is because settings can be personalised, saved and programmed to turn the shower on at specific times. The unit has been designed for easy use by those who are visually impaired. There is also a delayed mode that has also been incorporated to enable carers to transfer special needs users out of the shower before it can be reactivated.

Thanks to companies such as AKW, it is now possible to ensure maximum safety and comfort for users, promoting a superior quality of life and dignity.

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