In use widely across the NHS, extra-care, dementia care and for Changing Places shower facilities, we are pleased to reveal improvements in the pipeline for our Care Shower design. We're enhancing its inclusive design features to better support and encourage independence for its users.
Completely redesigned, the robust yet lightweight Riser Rail comprises a durable core of anodised aluminium, treated with a smooth and hard-wearing polyester powder-coat. The elbows and wall fixings, for it can also be used plain as a grab rail, are solid injection-mouldings with a smooth and tactile finish.
The riser grip/release mechanism, for adjusting the height of the shower handset, is the epitome of inclusive design and combines innovative fishing-reel technology for a finely controlled friction grip with a custom-designed spring and lever for its low-force release, even with a closed fist. The lever extension tab adds further ease of use; shorter or wheelchair users can easily lower a high-set shower head. A light downward pull on the tab releases the spring and carriage grip, allowing the shower head to be lowered to a more desirable height.
For blind, aged and dementia care settings, the riser and grab bars can be coloured an inclusive deep orange - offering optimum visibility and valuable support for the avoidance of falls. Changes to our eyes as we age reduces our visual acuity as well as our ability to perceive blue and green light. Light from the red end of the spectrum (red, orange and yellow), however, is perceived for relatively much longer.
So, why orange? We now need to think of the various moods and feelings that colours can initiate. Yellow is considered to be calming but, tonally, contrasts insufficiently with the pale wall backgrounds that are recommended (to allow more light to enter the patient's eye) for aged and dementia care settings. Although inherently darker, red is an aggressive colour often associated with heat and danger, so may cause distress or anxiety. Sharing the best of both, orange is highly visible but also dark enough to offer appropriate tonal contrast. It is also warm and earthy and reminiscent of the natural world.
The white riser rail (RAL 9010) will replace the existing (white) design and the orange riser rail (RAL 2011) will be incorporated into new shower models, for example, T1Y8A2L.