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CONCEPT FREEDOM RANGE GETS A NEW ACCESSIBLE BATH FOR ALL AGES

IDEAL STANDARD ADDS TO CONCEPT FREEDOM RANGE WITH NEW ACCESSIBLE BATH FOR ALL AGES

  • Ideal Standard works with care industry experts to design new bath for those with mobility difficulties, that wish to keep the luxury of a bath rather than move to a shower
  • Developed in conjunction with healthcare specialists Red and Yellow Care and leading occupational therapist Anava Baruch.
  • Combines modern design with inclusive accessibility features
  • Design features suitable for the whole family, regardless of age, include: lowered height, seat to aid manoeuvrability, and luxury accessories  

Ideal Standard, the leading provider of innovative and design-driven bathroom solutions, has extended its successful ‘accessible bathroom range’, Concept Freedom, with the addition of a new, multi-functional, accessible bath designed with older generations in mind.

Concept Freedom’s new inclusive bath tub has been designed to make bathing anxiety free for users with mobility issues, while still delivering a beautifully designed aesthetic and a tranquil space in which to bathe.

And while it has been designed specifically with less-able users in mind it maintains the look and feel of a ‘regular’ bathtub, helping restoring dignity and a keeping a beautiful space to relax.

The bath also aims to offer an alternative to the somewhat stigmatised requirement to replace a bath with a shower - a common exchange as mobility declines.

The intelligent and versatile design of the bath is relevant for all generations of the family – with many of its features, such as the lowered height and bath seat also making bath time simpler for those bathing children and pets, for example.

Ideal Standard teamed up with experts in design and care, so that the needs of older people when bathing could be directly addressed.

The design team was led by Ideal Standard designer Robin Levien, who worked alongside Design Council member, Colum Lowe, from specialist healthcare organisation, Red and Yellow; along with well-respected occupational therapist, Anava Baruch, from Design for Independence.

Red and Yellow, who specialises in ‘later in life’ health and dementia care have impressive credentials in their field – improving quality of life as people age. Their collaboration played an active role in developing the usability of the bath for a number of audiences varying in mobility. This was achieved by ensuring the design of the bath was highly functional, whilst respecting people’s needs.

KEY FEATURES OF NEW CONCEPT FREEDOM BATH

Reinforced Bath Seat
The extra wide reinforced seat, provides stability and control when getting in and out of the bath,  it also doubles as a place for loved ones should assistance be required when bathing. The shape of the seat creates a ledge inside the bath to help easily manoeuvre around the bath and reach forward to the taps.

Lowered Height
The bath height is 460mm, which is 80mm lower than standard height bath.  This lower bath height gives users more control and makes it easier when getting in and out of the bath, as its closer to the floor – also great for leaning over to bathe children and pets.

Foot Ledge
Inside the tub is a ledge that is designed to support the posture into a sitting position to avoid slipping under the water, the ledge can also be used as a foot rest when lying back.

Gel Headrest
The polyurethane gel headrest has “shape memory”, which lets the material respond to the exact arc of the neck, returning to the initial shape. The headrest is designed to sit on the ledge of the bath in the ideal position to place your neck. The headrest curves around the bath so the neck is fully supported even when turning the head, working with the body for a comfortable yet firm support.

Support rails
The luxury chrome support rails help users to manoeuvre in and out of the bath adding stability and confidence, the minimalistic design complements the design of other “grab rails” within the Concept Freedom Range.

Robin Levien, Ideal Standard International Designer, said:  “The Concept Freedom bath is a great example of ‘inclusive’ design.

“We wanted to create a product that looked as great as it performs, which is why the bath is designed to appear as stylish as a standard bath, but with the multi-functional accessible features”

“We learnt from our work with industry experts that many people with mobility issues, old and young, worry about taking a bath. Common fears include anxiety that they won’t be able to get out, and a worry that they’ll slip when manoeuvring in and around the bath”

Speaking specifically on the benefits of the new Concept Freedom bath for an over-65 demographic, Robin added: “For older people ease of access is the key to enjoying bathing for longer.

“The unique bath seat provides a place to sit, maintain control, before swinging your legs over into the lowered bath. The luxury chrome support rails and ledge can be used to assist lowering yourself into the water. The seat can then become a place for a loved one to sit and chat, or help with bathing” .

“Getting out again can be tricky; the experts believe that the easiest method of getting out would be to turn over onto all fours before pulling yourself up and stepping out. This bath supports this manoeuvre, with a support rail on the wall to steadily get out”.

Anava Baruch, occupational therapist from Design for Independence, comments: “Getting in and out of the bath is often the first thing the people start to struggle with as they become older and less mobile as it requires the use and coordination of all muscle groups – with an increasing number of people calling the fire brigade to their home to help them get out of the bath”.

“If someone has problems with their hips or shoulders this will prevent them from getting in and out comfortably.  We wanted to design a bath that would make bathing both easier and more relaxing, enabling people to use their instincts when getting in and out”.

“The design of the bath also makes bath time a less fraught and dangerous experience.  People are less likely to trip and fall when getting in and out as the main rim of the bath is wide enough for people to sit on, so they are able to carefully swing their legs round and into the water.  Compare this with the usual action of perching dangerously on a narrow rim and slipping off.”

ABOUT THE CONCEPT FREEDOM RANGE
Developed with accessibility in mind, the Concept Freedom range of bathroom products by Ideal Standard aims to include those of limited mobility through a collection of ceramics, brassware and showers that are well-designed, elegant and functional to meet a range of access needs.

Bathrooms can be adapted to users changing needs, whilst still looking modern and stylish – ensuring that bathrooms can deal with the demands of modern households and the diversity of occupants, including the less abled and older generations.

Until recently many accessible bathrooms were designed for their functionality rather than their looks, leading consumers to believe that these bathrooms, whilst functional, lacked aesthetic design credentials.

The Concept Freedom collection allows additional support and comfort to be integrated into a bathroom layout, enabling users with mobility needs to remain comfortable.

The range includes raised height WCs for easier, more comfortable access, available as close coupled, back-to-wall or wall-mounted. There are accessible basins with wide side rims, as well as wetroom panels with extended brackets. Easy to use shower valves and kits complete the range.

Most of the products in the Concept Freedom range conform to Part M, meaning it is easy to meet building regulation compliance which requires businesses to take responsible measures so less able people have equal access to all aspects of their premises.