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WASHROOMS & BATHROOMS


The care home balancing act


Tork manufacturer Essity looks at ways of configuring the care home washroom to ensure that residents can use it comfortably, confidently, safely and with dignity.


Washrooms can be a bewildering, confusing – even a dangerous environment for elderly people.


The hard porcelain fittings and the bright, shiny floors are potentially hazardous while the glaring white surfaces can be hard on the eye. And many bathrooms typically feature noisy extractor fans plus too-hot water in the taps.


As a result, toilets are a minefield for the vulnerable who could all too easily slip and fall, scald themselves or become disorientated by the noise and glare.


So, care home washrooms need to be different. They should be designed to be as safe and welcoming as possible for the elderly residents who use them. And they should preferably be comfortable environments that serve as a welcome reminder of home.


Products such as conventional toilet rolls and soap bars along with homely accessories such as fluffy bath mats and soſt textile


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towels will potentially help to provide a comforting and familiar ambiance. But of course, safety and comfort are not the only criteria to be considered when equipping a care home washroom.


Elderly residents are prone to falls which could lead to life- changing injuries in the frail. They are also vulnerable to viruses and infections, and any outbreak in a care home could quickly spread and potentially become life-threatening. And the ever- present threat of COVID-19 means that the issues of health and hygiene have become more important now than ever.


All floors should therefore be non-slip to avoid the danger of falls, and all surfaces should be regularly cleaned and sanitised to prevent the risk of cross-contamination. Suddenly those easy-clean surfaces and hard, shiny floors seem infinitely preferable to the soſt cotton towels that could harbour germs; the trip hazard posed by the fluffy bath mat, and the loose toilet rolls that could easily become contaminated before use.


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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