Optimising independent living in social housing

A new social housing project will meet residents’ needs now and in the future through forward-thinking specification.

Each of Leazes Homes’ nine bungalows on its development at Roeburn Way, Newcastle has been purpose-designed specifically to enable people with physical disabilities to live as independently as possible. Thus, each features a raft of assistive fixtures and fittings, including level access throughout, wheelchair-wide doors, an adjustable kitchen, and a fully-accessible wetroom in place of bathrooms- each of which is equipped with a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower wash and dry toilet.

The toilet looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC, but with its integral douching and drying means the user can toilet without manually cleaning, or being wiped clean, afterwards, as the toilet washes and dries them, to a consistent, high standard. Thus the user has greater control, dignity and independence. Further, the Clos-o-Mat is purpose designed to enable easy retro-fitting of accessories, to tailor the toilet to individual needs as requirements change over time.

Clos-o-Mat service engineer Nevil Houlis worked closely with contractor Galliford Try, undertaking site surveys, then commissioning each Clos-o-Mat, to ensure that, from moving-in day, residents could toilet with optimum independence, control and dignity.

Sharon Freed, Leazes Homes’ Investment Delivery Manager explained

“Our key ethos is to provide high quality affordable homes and services- including support services- for people in need; Roeburn Way has been specifically designed to allow people with physical disabilities to benefit from independent living, with the support of site staff if needed, in line with our strategy of focusing on development for people with special needs.”

“Installing Clos-o-Mats in the bungalows ensures that tenants can be independent from the outset, and over time, even as their requirements change. The Clos-o-Mats give flexibility of use now, and can be easily adapted, with accessories, with much less disruption than installing a conventional WC which may later have to be replaced with such assistive technology as a shower toilet.”

Clos-o-Mat (www.clos-o-mat.com) is now Britain’s biggest supplier of toilet solutions to maximise people’s independence and dignity, be it at home or ‘away’. Since the company was founded over 50 years ago, in excess of 40,000 of its wash and dry toilets have been installed in the UK, many of which are still in regular use 30+ years after first being fitted. The Palma Vita is the only WC of its kind designed specifically for disabled and elderly people.

Clos-o-Mat is the only company in its sector that offers, in-house, full sales and technical advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance.