Design flaws in retirement developments

This is another observation in the lack of thought that is applied at the planning and design stages of some retirement developments.

I will personally offer my services as an age friendly adviser to them which will save them money and the elderly owners a struggle.

I recently shared with my newsletter readers my annoyance at McCarthy and Stone having such high washing machines.

a row of washing machines raised on a plinth in a communal laundry and a red plastic stool.

They are so high even I struggle to reach the dispenser draw and elderly residents are using a stool in one development to reach! I emailed the company and in their defence a spokesman said they were at this height to prevent the user bending too far to load them which I have to admit makes sense.

A simple solution though surely would be to have a row of secured tables for the laundry baskets and then have the machines at a lower height. This then solved both issues.

Another design fault in the same development ( where I do have a client living) is the boiler that supplies the hot water to the flats.

I have to say the company Gledhill have now realised their error and are offering to rectify it at a cost for the residents. The boilers are huge tanks that are located in a walk in cupboard. These are also on a raised plinth and the resident is asked to check the water levels on a regular basis. This involved again a climb ! The average age of the residents is usually in the mid to late 70’s and they don’t get younger as they live there!

Gledhill have now designed tanks with a low fill up tap and a sight glass. The old boilers can have these fitted but not for free but at the cost of £150.




Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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