A new showhome which displays the latest in home adaptations for older or disabled people has been opened by paralympian rifle shooter Karen Butler and Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb.
The Celestine Home Adaptations Centre in Yate, is a joint initiative between Merlin Housing Society, whose property the new centre is in, and West of England Care & Repair, with funding provided by South Gloucestershire Council. It features a wet room, adapted kitchen and stair lift, all within a normal three-bedroomed home.
Karen Butler said: “I know that many people want to be able to stay living in their own home, and the right adaptations can make all the difference. I hope that this new centre will give people the help and support they need to maintain their independence.”
The Celestine Centre is designed to allow older visitors, and disabled people of all ages, to try out and choose bathroom, kitchen and sleeping equipment which meets their individual needs. The garden also includes a children’s play area with anti-climb fencing, safe play rubber chippings and raised flower beds – both house and garden are fully wheelchair accessible.
Darryl Smith, Independent Service Manager at Merlin, said: “We’re committed to helping residents remain independent in their home and by adapting one of our properties we hope to demonstrate how you can make your own home easier and safer to live in. The Celestine Centre provides residents with more information about what adaptations might benefit them in their home.”
Craig Wilson, WE Care & Repair’s Chief Executive explained: “The centre features a number of tried and tested and innovative products including a Pollock wheelchair accessible through-floor lift, a working Clos-o-mat automatic toilet, a Stannah straight flight stair lift and a fully wheelchair accessible kitchen with a powered rise and fall sink unit.”
Installations illustrating a number of bathing and showering solutions are also on display some, such as the wet room wheelchair accessible bathroom are fully functional. Other displays feature some of the best products available from leading suppliers in accessible bathing equipment such as AKW Medicare, Impey Showers, Phlexicare and Mira and will help to illustrate alternative and attractive bathing and toileting solutions.
There is plenty of state of the art gadgetry to see including a motorised remote controlled window sash opener and curtain and roller blind operators. The front entrance door is fitted with a ‘SmartBell’ door bell which allows the occupant to communicate with callers using their mobile phone and can be opened using a remote control or a key pad.
A wireless alarm control system has also been installed and provides protection against burglary, fire and tampering. In addition it can be used to control lights and electrical appliances within the house and to monitor the activity of disabled or elderly people left at home. Information is presented visually or verbally and voice prompts can help the user to take the correct actions. Wireless add-ons include cameras, emergency pendant alarms, smoke detectors, temperature detectors, motion detectors, flood and gas detectors and more. All this is accessible via the internet to a laptop or smart phone.
The centre is open by appointment only via Merlin’s aids and adaptations team, WE Care & Repair or from local occupational therapists.