Mira Showers – the UK’s leading manufacturer of showering products and accessories – has created a new seminar showing how bathrooms can be adapted so that older people and those with disabilities can shower independently and safely. Accredited by RIBA, the seminar has been designed to contribute to ongoing Continued Professional Development (CPD) commitments.
Mira’s Safe Showering explains the issues designers should consider when designing a safe shower. For example motor problems, such as those caused by arthritis, call for shower controls that can be operated with limited grip; shower enclosures should be easy to open and close; longer slide bars and hoses allow flexibility for those who need to sit down to shower.
With an estimated 75% of falls among people aged over 65 taking place in the bathroom, slip-resistant surfaces, support rails at the right height and the appropriate shower seats are all important elements of safe shower design. Sensory and cognitive problems can also be an issue, requiring features such as intuitive controls, maximum temperature control and colour contrasting elements.
Safe Showering also introduces delegates to an industry first: an electric shower and digital waste pump which communicate wirelessly with one another.
A solution for wetrooms and bathrooms where gravity drainage is not possible, the Instant Match digital waste pump from Whale Pumps switches on when the Mira Advance Extra Flex shower does and adjusts its rate to suit the flow of the shower, removing the risk of flooding. The pump can be positioned up to 5m away from the shower. And with no trunking or conduits to accommodate in the design, the finish of the room can be neater.
The demand for inclusive showers is growing. Over three quarters of a million people aged over 65 need specially adapted accommodation due to a medical condition or disability, according to the DCLG, with 75% of the over-65s owning their own home. The drive to enable people to live longer at home means that there are new demands on the design of showers and related products.
“People don’t want their bathrooms to look institutional,” explains Roger Crabb, Mira’s Marketing Manager. “They want stylish designs and showers that can be used by any member of the family and which add to the value of their houses”.
In conclusion, Safe Showering means thoughtful design, careful selection and location of products and the adoption of new technologies such as the wireless shower and pump combination. This should lead to wetrooms and bathrooms which are safer to use and good to look at too.