The strain that an ageing population continues to place on health and social care is a topic that regularly makes the headlines. With dementia identified as the one of the main causes of disability in later life and expected to double globally by 2030, the assisted living sector is one that will continue to grow and all those involved in the design, manufacture and supply of solutions will continue to have a part to play in easing the burden.
It isn’t just high-tech solutions that are working their way through and providing much needed help for this sector. Leading wiring accessories and lighting products supplier, Scolmore Group, is always looking at ways to improve some of the simplest products that have been around for years and seen little development. Switches which feature wide rockers and sockets that have wider gaps between rockers, as well as outboard rockers are all designed to facility the use of products for those with impaired vision.
Scolmore’s most recent innovation is the perfect example of looking at everyday activities and product uses and coming up with improvements. The new Mode Locating Plug Socket - developed with the assisted living sector in mind - is designed to assist people with impaired vision or poor hand to eye coordination to more easily insert a plug into a socket. The contoured shape of the front plate guides the earth pin into position, and it is this plug guide which gives the product a greater focus on usability and means its use can be extended to situations where a socket isn’t easily accessible. The product is available in one and two-gang options, with the two-gang version featuring outboard rockers to further assist with distinguishing between switches, making it less likely to switch the wrong one.
Launched last year, Scolmore has just introduced a new visually contrasting version to meet with Part M regulations. Also new to the Part M range of products are the Wide Rocker Switches which have ease of use as their main benefit, making them the ideal choice for assisted living installations and to aid with Part M compliance. There are three versions available – 1-gang, 2-gang and 3-gang – all offering concealed screws for improved aesthetics.
The new locating plug socket and wide rocker switches are part of Scolmore’s Mode wiring accessories range and benefit from the standard features inherent with the Mode range - anti-microbial properties and a 20 year guarantee.
Scolmore has been supplying products for installation in healthcare and social sector projects for many years. Its white moulded ranges and Part M wiring accessories ranges – developed to comply with the Part M Building Regulations governing products for disabled access - have been independently tested for their anti-microbial properties.
The results from the laboratory showed that the products tested achieved a bacterium kill rate of 99.99% when tested 24 hours after they had been exposed to MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella and Klebsiella Pneumoniae. These independent tests show that Scolmore’s products achieved a 99.99% kill off rate across all four types of the strains of bacteria causing concern in health environments.
All white moulded and Mode part M wiring accessories are manufactured using Urea Formaldehyde, which has similar inherent properties to antimicrobial additives that inhibit the growth of infectious diseases.
According to the Office for Budget Responsibility 26% of the population of England and Wales will be more than 65 years old by 2065, up from 18% in 2015. With the on-going strain that this will put on health and social care, manufacturers will continue to have a role to play in developing solutions that will meet the main overall objective - to help elderly people and those with chronic conditions to live active, independent and dignified lives with maximum personal control.