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Demographic Demand

Grohe talks about the accessible design and notion of the multi-generational bathroom.

Grohe Multi Generational Bathroom

Considering the UK’s ‘ageing population, Grohe talks to PBM (Professional Builders Merchants) about the accessible design and the notion of the multi-generational bathroom.

Accessible design in the bathroom can make simple tasks that are usually taken for granted by many much easier for the country’s ageing population. Accordingly, greater thought must be given to ensuring the nation’s homes can cope with both the needs to today’s older generations and also ‘futureproofing’ them to ensure individuals can remain in them for longer as they age.

Concepts such as ‘multi-generational’ living come into play when one considers the wider context – for example, the recent government report ‘Future of an Ageing Population’ detailed how the demographics of the UK are shifting and projected that nearly one in seven people will be over 75 years old by 2040.

The report highlights the growing significance and importance of the home in later life, revealing, “Suitable housing can significantly improve life in older age, while unsuitable housing can be the source of multiple problems and costs. Poor quality housing costs the NHS an estimated £2.5 billion per year. Homes will be increasingly used as places of work and care.

“Appropriately designed housing, that can adapt to people’s changing needs as they age, has a number of benefits. These benefits include reducing demand on health and care services, and enabling individuals to work more flexibly in later life.”

Extensive R&D and investment from Grohe has allowed the manufacturer to look at ways in which bathroom design can improve quality of life. Raj Mistry, UK marketing director for Grohe, said: “Many people planning a bathroom today want to take their future needs and requirements into account without compromising on contemporary design.

“The bathroom is particularly vital to old age, as it is the room where people perhaps most want to be self-sufficient to preserve dignity and save themselves from the feeling of embarrassment. At the same time, it is an essential room in the home in order to maintain high self-hygiene levels (and) there are a number of ways that bathroom design can be structured to cope with the demands of ageing.”

Grohe Bathrooms

"The recent government report 'Future of an Ageing Population' detailed how the demographics of the UK are shifting and projected that nearly one in seven people will be over 75 years old by 2040."

Having conducted “extensive research”, Grohe’s findings suggest that making “smart use of space” is critical. The firm says that a sensible room layout is instrumental in maximising the user-friendliness of the bathroom and should “avoid narrow access ways, provide sufficient turning space for wheelchairs and walkers, while placing basins and WCs in easily accessible spots – for example, a lower wall hung basin to allow access for wheelchair users,”

It adds that cleverly placed grab bars in the toilet and shower area, plus a seat in the bath or shower, can help to give people confidence to use the bathroom independently.

Indeed, an important contribution to the multi-generational bathroom are specifically designed and engineered products that combine elevated levels of comfort, ergonomics, user safety and longevity. Products-wise, safety features such as thermostatic shower controls to balance fluctuations in water temperature and pressure as well as technology – for example, Grohe CoolTouch which prevents the fitting’s body and other objects such as hand showers becoming excessively hot on the surface – should be a key consideration.

Product control us also an important factor to consider, and technology has an increasing part to play. Grohe says that infra-red touchless taps provide a great solution, as the water flow simply starts and stops when the sensor detects hand movement, whilst they also often come with a timer which automatically stops the flow of water after a desired length of time to reduce wastage.

This comes into sharper focus when we consider the EC. Steadily growing in popularity in the UK, shower toilets use advanced technologies to minimise maintenance and cleaning, offering a combination of thorough body care, ultimate hygiene and personalised comfort. A shower toilet such as the Grohe Sensia Arena provides a solution of the multi-generational bathroom with its natural, water-only cleansing process and its wide array of customisable functions.

An automatic shower toilet combines toilet, bidet and warm air drying in one unit which means no strenuous movement is required for those with reduced mobility. In return, this makes going to the toilet a discrete hygienic and hassle-free pursuit.

Planning a bathroom to meet future needs no longer means compromising on style and design. And as the population ages, it is more important than ever to provide solutions that meet the needs of older clients. Through the variety of products available, merchants can provide their customers with a wide choice to best suit their lifestyle and needs to help them plan for the future – creating a stylish yet functional home suitable for all ages.

For more information on Grohe’s range of products, visit one of Grant and Stone’s Bathroom Showrooms.

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