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 former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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