Accessible Housing - Various Products

Gong Life Care Solutions - Accessible Mobility Products

Accessible Housing - Various Products

More on our accessible housing discussion…

Po!nt of D!fference! Some really get it!

Gong Life Care Solutions has written a couple of articles previously about the long road to achieving “universal accessible housing” in Australia. The Australian Building Codes Board  defines accessible housing as

            “…housing that includes features which enable use by people either with a disability or transitioning through their life stages.” 

We think it’s pretty simple – housing that’s good for everyone! And who doesn’t have family members, visitors, who have mobility difficulties or have prams, walkers, etc?

Accessible living features can cater for young families with children, people with injuries, as well as seniors and people living with disabilities. Logically, these design features really need to be incorporated at the design stage of a home, rather than having to face the cost and inconvenience of renovations later on, when needs change.

The basic design features for minimum universal design include features such as :

  • a level point of entry to the dwelling
  • step-free showers that allow for seated use
  • toilets in a ground floor bathroom with room to manoeuvre
  • wider doorways and corridor widths

And interest is on the rise!

Happily, interest in accessible design, if not universal design, is on the rise around the world. An ageing baby boomer population and an increasing acceptance of the needs of people with disabilities means that governments are slowly changing building codes, and other enterprises are actually seeing the point of difference – what’s in it for them!

For example, in the real estate field, at least one buyer’s agent in New South Wales has written a guide called “Australian Baby Boomers – a Guide for Property Investors” which includes ideas on what the post WW II generation  will be requiring when the time comes, including accessibility options, and noting that there will be a kind of rolling mass retirement in the coming years.

Building design companies are beginning to note their point of difference – for example this blurb from the About Us website of one company states:            

            “After years in the industry the staff of … Design have established a reputation as a practical yet creative building design firm, one with a strong grasp of the economics and finer points of building spaces accessible for all people.”

Some actual building companies are seeing the wisdom of universal design and making it a selling point. One Queensland builder describes him/her self as “A builder with a social conscience,  …  is committed to improving accessible living options through inclusive design and building.”

Local Councils are taking matters into their own hands, such as Brisbane Council, which offers a rebate for developers to make new houses and apartments universally accessible. Many others are still to follow suit.

Some other providers including not for profits are either already well and truly established, or are starting to appear. Accessible Housing Association Inc SA is an example of an independent not-for-profit organisation whose  mission is to provide affordable accessible housing and services for people, whether they have a disability or are disadvantaged by social circumstance.

The need  for accessible homes has been further highlighted as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) continues to try to meet the needs of eligible people. NDIS has recently developed a program called Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), and under this program the government has developed an SDA Design Standard. The SDA Design Standard will :

  • lead the way that architects, builders and the community view how housing for people with a disability should be built
  • ensure participants continue to have access to high-quality housing models
  • give providers the flexibility to respond to participant needs and preferences.

This is a big step forward under the NDIS umbrella, although still a long way off the concept of universal accessible housing, as such.

How can Gong Life Care Solutions help?

The team at Gong Life Care Solutions talks to many older people and people with disabilities in the course of our work. We supply unique equipment to assist people to manage in the course of their activities of daily living. Everyone prefers to remain in their own home for the whole of their life - that is, instead of moving into a nursing home or other type of care facility.  To remain at home, people in need of care and support (and their carers if this applies) need to increase the accessibility of their homes, and/or obtain equipment and aids that will enable them to remain independent or at home with help. 

Gong Life Care Solutions are mobility equipment suppliers providing modern, innovative  products to assist you in the home.  Such as the Relaxa Bathlift, a small home bathlift to enable bathing when renovations are out of the question, or the desire to “soak” is still on the bucket list!

We also sell the light foldable KMINA Indoor Rollator/wheely walker, and the Aquabuddy Home shower in bed system, an improvement on shower trolleys for the home situation.

See our website for video demonstrations of these and other innovative products to enhance and assist with elderly care in the home.

We are also a registered NDIS supplier. https://gonglcs.com.au

We’d be delighted to talk with you if you would like to enquire about the KMINA Indoor Rollator, the Relaxa Bathlift, Aquabuddy Home shower in bed system, or any other product on our website.

References

  1. The ABCB is a Council of Australian Government (COAG) standards writing body https://abcb.gov.au/ABCB/The-Board
  2. https://abcb.gov.au/Initiatives/All/Accessible-housing
  3. Dr Jane Bringolf, a director of the Centre for Universal Design Australia, cited in Willow Aliento – Oxygen Files | 18 April 2019 https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/innovation/residential-2/what-peter-dutton-and-the-building-industry-need-to-know-about-housing-for-all/
  4. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-08/disability-advocates-slam-lack-of-accessible-housing/11283494
  5. https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/housing-and-living-supports-and-services/housing/specialist-disability-accommodation/sda-design-standard

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