Although legislation has gone a long way to promoting accessibility, disabled people still find themselves all too often facing barriers. Here James Dadd, Marketing Director at AKW shows how housing associations can create cost-effective, inclusive bathrooms to minimise the risk of exclusion.
Cost-effective wet rooms - Traditional shower cubicles are not an option for wheelchair users and present a high risk of trip accidents because of the raised threshold for less mobile residents. A safer alternative is a level-access wet room that users can wheel in and out of with ease. These also make the best use of the space available in even the smallest of bathrooms, and give the room a contemporary and stylish appearance. As well as being easy to install, with the use of high quality wet room formers, this solution can be designed to withstand heavy-duty use and high loads, so that wheelchairs can safely be used in them without fear of damage.
To maximise cost-efficiencies and minimise installation times, AKW offers a system that features a built in wet room former and adapter to make it possible to rapidly – usually in less than half a day – and simply transform a bathroom with a conventional bathtub to a wet room. This concept of a flexible room means the bath can be removed or put back in place whenever needed, according to the requirements of each tenant that enters the home.
Inclusive planning – The aim is to make manoeuvring around the bathroom straightforward and safe for those in wheelchairs, or who use mobility aids. Thought needs to be given to the placement of toilets, soil pipes and the basin and in some instances this might mean the use of compact or wall-mounted basins or raised height toilets. AKW has a range of solutions on offer to meet a variety of installations needs.
Bathrooms that help promote independence and improve safety needn’t cost the earth. Thanks to AKW, there are now inclusive bathroom fixtures and fittings to suit all budgets.
Wet rooms are ideal for those with mobility issues and are straightforward to install in retrofit or new build installations.
and AKW’s Tuff Form (60 stone maximum load) and TriForm wet room formers are so strong that they can accommodate both a user with a wheelchair and a carer if required. They also bring a contemporary look and feel with a touch of luxury to any bathroom.
Safety and style are continued with AKW’s iCare Bluetooth® enabled smart electric shower, which allows for ultimate water and temperature control and enhances the experience of both ambulant users and those with reduced mobility. AKW also advises on the right products to aid both residents and carers: from what full or half height shower screen to install, to which grab rail or shower seat to use and where to put it. In addition, all AKW products are available in a wide range of sizes and finishes.