Housing with care: Think outside the box to design in cost & health benefits

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.

Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, explains: “Provision of equipment such as toilet lifters and/or wash & dry (smart) toilets, reduces reliance on care intervention, enabling people to undertake intimate tasks with little- or no-help. It improves hygiene and thus health. It reduces risk of falls. All are factors that would otherwise require healthcare intervention.

“Such equipment also mirrors the definition of housing with care: The combination of ‘independent living, a home with security of tenure, along with care services arranged according to need…housing with modern developments to cater to the needs and individual wishes of people’. The Housing LIN study quantifies that for each person living in housing with care, the financial benefit to the NHS was approximately £2000 per person per annum, in reduced GP visits, hospital admissions, etc. That saving is further amplified when the cost of care intervention versus the cost of assistive technology is factored in**. It all combines to ease the strain on our already stretched health and social care services, whilst improving a person’s independence, health & wellbeing.”

Closomat wash & dry toilets feature integrated douching and drying triggered by user preference. When the user remains seated and triggers the flush mechanism, the Closomat flushes and simultaneously washes the user’s bottom, followed by warm air-drying. The toilet eliminates the need to wipe clean, and all its associated considerations of dexterity, balance, hand: body contact, potential urinal or faecal cross-contamination of hands, body or clothing or skin irritation caused by abrasive toilet tissue or residual dampness from wet wipes.

Closomat’s Aerolet toilet lifter is the WC equivalent of a riser recliner chair. At the push of a button, it replicates the natural motion of sitting down and standing up, supporting and balancing the user whilst gently, automatically lowering and raising them over the WC.

Closomat is already one of the main providers for accessible toilet provision in housing environments. The expertise within the company represents the combined wealth of knowledge amassed from almost 60 years’ helping providers to meet the needs of disabled people by optimising their dignity and independence in the bathroom, at home and away.

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