Faced with a rapidly aging population, Australia’s care facilities are experiencing overwhelming demand for their services.
With increased demand comes the inevitable push to expand, upgrade or re-furbish facilities: critical to ensuring the ongoing health, wellbeing and autonomy of residents.
Accessibility and ease-of-mobility remain key focus points in the design and construction of today’s aged care facilities. After all, a misplaced step or sharp gradient fall could put frail residents at risk of a serious fall injury – the leading cause of death from injury for those aged 65 and over.
Of course, while ageing doesn’t necessarily infer debility, various age-related impairments (such as diminished sight, hearing, ambulatory movement, stamina and balance) can have serious implications for residents’ mobility, personal safety, and independence. As such, it is imperative that residents’ physical and sensory constraints are factored in throughout the design and construction process.
The onus is therefore borne by architects and builders to not only meet mandated Building Code (BCA Class 9a and 9c) and strict Department of Health regulations, but to provision for the capacities of all residents: removing access impediments (e.g. stairs and stepdowns), limiting potential ‘trip and slip’ hazards (e.g. slippery floor surfaces), and providing suitable mobility aids (e.g. handrails and wheelchair accessible paths).
Frequently overlooked, traditional drainage solutions present one of the most insidious and prohibitive barriers to universal access within the aged care setting. Step-downs, uneven floor surfaces, and high gradient falls are among the most dangerous and pervasive hazards for vulnerable residents; yet with the right design solution, these hazards can be mitigated or eliminated entirely.
The Straighter Edge – Why Lineal Drainage is the Safer Alternative
Specifically designed to eliminate the access hazards of conventional ‘step-down’ barrier drainage, lineal drainage is a cutting-edge ‘zero stepdown’ drainage solution for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Unlike conventional drainage, this level-plane (i.e. flush with the ground surface) drainage solution requires no hob and only a single gradient fall, providing seamless access possibilities for residents and staff.
Lineal designs conform to the strict accessibility requirements of AS1428 (Access and Mobility), while ensuring superior water conveyance and egression.
So what key benefits can a lineal drainage solution offer over traditional centralised systems for the modern aged care facility?
- Linear drains are specially designed for universal access requirements across indoor and outdoor settings; the level plane design eliminates the need for shower hobs and cumbersome stepdown thresholds.
- Built to support a single gradient fall towards the drain, lineal systems allow seamless movement in and around the drainage area, as well as fuss-free installation.
- By significantly expanding the area of drainage, linear drainage promotes consistent water flow and egress, reducing the incidence of ponding (undrained water pools) – a major ‘trip and slip’ hazard.
- Eliminating traditional barriers, linear drainage is perfect accompaniment for open plan designs. With less need for a carer to assist entry and movement, residents are offered more personal access into shower spaces or drainage areas. For staff, open plan drainage areas provide greater access for carers and easy cleaning.
- Designed as a modular system, linear drainage can be tailored for any ground surface shape and unique environment, significantly reducing construction time and costs.
- Lineal designs are a striking visual statement: a chic and ultra-modern look that enhances the visual appeal of any drainage area.
As Australia’s leading drainage manufacturer and supplier, Stormtech is committed to delivering expert drainage solutions for most exacting specifications.
As creator and proud pioneer of the linear drainage system, Stormtech is recognised globally as an industry leader in the design and manufacture of this ingenious and highly practical drainage solution.
Click here to download the free whitepaper about quality lineal drainage solutions for the aged care industry.