Delivering Dignity

Does your care home have the right equipment available to maximise the independence of your residents? Here, Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW, discusses why this is an important question to ask, particularly in the context of bathrooms.

According to Age UK, a key indicator of autonomy for both residents and their representatives is the level of balance that is achieved by the care home between independence and interdependence. One of the ways of measuring this is whether the facility has equipment available to maximise independence.

Although all care homes have appropriate grab rails and adapted bathrooms for those with mobility issues, two areas where inclusive bathroom design can have even more of an impact in promoting independence is in toileting and minimising fall risks in the space.

Putting toileting strategies in place helps those who struggle with going to the toilet independently and can help prevent hospital admissions and promote dignity and independence. However, going to the toilet is actually a complex activity and requires a range of physical as well as cognitive skills. These include fine and gross motor skills, balance and muscle control, alongside understanding the need to go to the toilet and how to use it once there, understanding the need for cleanliness, hand washing, and so on.

Bidets can play a key role in helping those with disabilities achieve toileting independence for longer and are ideal for

- 26 -

use in care settings. However, it is advised that the care home team seeks advice from an occupational therapist or appropriate healthcare professional to ensure a bidet will meet the resident’s ongoing needs.

Although bidets have been available for quite some time, they have evolved to offer more flexibility to care homes than ever before. Freestanding bidets have become less common and a less permanent solution is more appealing for care homes, to enable the provision of more flexibility in the transition between residents and to keep control of costs. Two modern options are built-in or two-in-one bidets and an over-toilet seat attachment.

The seat-like attachment bidet for existing toilets is very cost effective to buy and install, compared to other options. The cost and installation of a seat-like attachment bidet is typically less than £1,000. The solution is also transferable so, if there is a change of resident or the current occupier no longer needs the use of a bidet, it can be removed, sanitised and used elsewhere in the care home as required. Where space is at a premium, the seat-like attachment also overcomes the need for additional floor space in the bath, shower, wet or washroom.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48