For the elderly or disabled, being able to live in their own home becomes a real issue if they no longer have access to washing and toilet facilities but a unique, new ‘pod’ that can be erected inside or outside, may keep this the reality. WashPod units can be installed in as little as a day to provide a fully accessible washroom for those who have become disabled suddenly or through old age.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of over 65s is set to grow by 65% over the next couple of decades, while currently SCOPE estimates that there are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and 45% of pension age adults and nearly 10% of children are disabled.
If access to the bathroom is now impossible, WashPod is the perfect shorter-term solution saving the option of prolonged hospital care or an early move to an expensive care home.
“The WashPod provides a temporary, accessible wet room in a ‘self-contained fully accessible plumbed in box’, says Lewis Gopsill, General Manager of manufacturer Dignity Access Ltd. “WashPods are either positioned externally in the garden or erected within an existing, reception or dining room that can be made available for the purpose”.
“The applications are numerous from Housing Associations and Local Authorities who may wish to buy them and lease them out to residents as needed, or hospitals during building works, commercial enterprises wishing to provide accessible washrooms and private individuals who simply wish to stay at home” says Lewis.
The WashPod is fully fitted to comply with part M of the building regulations and has been designed by architects who specialise in the designing for disability and endorsed by occupational therapists and case managers.
Typical facilities include accessible shower facility, basin and WC. External units include underfloor heating. Hoisting for transfer purposes can also be provided where needed.
Both internal and external options give a less able person dignity until more suitable arrangements can be made, without significant disruption and stress to the family home.
External Washpods are usually erected within 2 to 3 days and can include a covered link to an external patio or back door. Internal Washpods only take a day to install. The units are constructed off site and re-assembled in the home by an expert team.
Both units are `plug and play’ A purpose-made pump and water heater unit means that the units are connected into existing cold water supplies only and 2 domestic sockets. Access to a drain point somewhere within the house or garden is used to pump the waste through a flexible 2” pipe.
· Out of hospital faster (thus releasing a hospital bed)
· Immediate return to (or ability to remain in) family/familiar surrounding
· No permanent alteration to the property
· Pod can be removed easily and the property reinstated very quickly
· Short period from order to installation
· Total independence for user
· No reduction in house value
· Minimum disruption
· Fraction of the cost compared to care home provision.
WashPod is being manufactured and marketed by Dignity Access which is a sister company to Cowan Architects, specialists in disability adaptations and inclusive living design.