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Coasting to optimum housing accessibility

Wheelchair users in Wales can benefit from enhanced independence through a holistic approach by their local social housing provider.

Coastal Housing

Coastal Housing Group is in the process of completing a bespoke development in Treboeth, Swansea, specially designed to provide appropriate homes for people with diverse needs, including four bungalows specifically for wheelchair users and their families/ carers. The bungalows all feature elements aimed to optimize independence for the wheelchair users, including wider doors, level access, powered door openers, ceiling track hoists and Closomat Palma Vita 'wash and dry' toilets.

The Palma Vita- manufactured in the UK by Closomat- looks like a conventional WC but incorporates integral warm water douche and warm air drier. After toileting, simple pressure on the flush levers on the front of the toilet cistern or the 'one touch'™ operating pad triggers the douching and drying process, eliminating the need for the user to wipe- or be wiped- clean manually with toilet tissue. The Closomat is the biggest-selling unit of its type, and the only one developed specifically for disabled people, and to carry WRAS approval enabling legal connection to the mains water supply.

Jeanette Hill of Coastal Housing Group elaborates, "The degree of disability excludes our disabled clients from using standard WC's. We know ability to use the toilet with as little help as possible plays a huge part in people's dignity and psychological wellbeing, so tend to install Closomats where needed. We have installed five Closomats in the bungalows, one each in three units and two in one which is a shared supported wheelchair unit with two adapted shower rooms, which gives us optimum flexibility to meet our tenants' needs.

"Closomat was very helpful working with our Occupational Therapists to develop the most appropriate solutions for each occupant's specific needs: we have as a result included accessories on the Closomats such as light touch operating pads and arm supports, to further enhance occupants' independence. Reactions have been very positive."

The Treboeth development is just one of a string currently being undertaken by Coastal Housing Group, as part of its strategy to deliver 'homes people want to live in' across South West Wales, for people with differing needs and accommodation requirements. Closomat has a long-term relationship with the housing provider, to deliver personal hygiene solutions that optimize people's independence enabling them to stay in their homes for life.

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