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Learn more about how we’re supporting the fight against Covid-19

With the fast-changing COVID-19 situation, we understand what challenging times these are for everyone: for you, your business and your family. As a family business ourselves, our priority is taking care of our colleagues, our customers, partners and suppliers.

We have introduced extra measures across our sites to look after our colleagues and all those who still need to come to our premises in person, including delivery staff: we are promoting social distancing at work; encouraging those who can work from home to do so, including both office and field teams; postponing any non-essential visits and events; implementing more vigorous cleaning regimes; and employing video technology to conduct meetings and customer visits wherever possible.

With this in mind, I wanted to get in touch with you personally to explain what steps we are taking at Altro to continue supporting you with your business.

The Global Altro Leadership Team is meeting daily to consider the latest government guidance in those markets in which we operate. As a global business with local presence, we can respond swiftly to regional customer needs and are structured in such a way that we are able to maintain stock levels and global supplies. I want to reassure you that we are very much open for business as usual and will do everything we can to respond to your individual circumstances.

In the coming days and weeks, we will keep you updated on how we are responding to the evolving situation. You will shortly hear from us about all the different ways you can stay in touch with us, so that we can carry on working together. Should you have any queries whatsoever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your regular, local Altro contact.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and colleagues good health and assure you that we are doing everything we can to maintain the excellent level of customer service that you have come to expect from Altro.

With kind regards

Richard Kahn
CEO Floors and Managing Director, Altro Group

Smart Design: home adaptations helping us live longer at home

People today are living much longer than ever before, and as they get older they face the unenviable choice to either stay at home or move into care.

Still, before they reach this point they commonly take advantage of generous local government funding and have their home adapted so they can stay there longer - according to recent research by the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies, this funding can help delay a move to a care home by four years.

So what exactly are the adaptations they choose to help them live longer and happier lives at home?

Living Longer

According to recent government statistics, the number of over 65’s and older in the UK has passed 10 million. However, very few houses are ready for the challenges that old age brings.

Today in the UK only 5% of homes are fully accessible and a quarter have no accessibility features; this is despite the fact that 44% of households with a resident older than 55 include a person suffering from mobility issues or cognitive and mobility disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Funding life at home

Currently the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) provides up to £30,000 per application in England (£36,000 in Wales and £25,000 in Northern Ireland) for a range of home improvements including widening doors, installing ramps, improving access to rooms and facilities, and installing new heating systems.

What people receive is based on where they live and how much they earn or have saved, and the scheme is managed by local councils.

To help cope with the rising need the government is increasing investment in the DFG from £220m in 2015-16 to over £500m in 2019-20.

Clever adaptations and home improvements

As well as those already mentioned, there are some clever adaptations that this fund can be used for which really make a difference for older people.

The sad fact is that as people age they are more likely to experience trips and falls. One way around this is to lay specialist flooring. Interestingly, it’s not just grip that's improved: For people with cognitive disorders and mobility disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, specialist flooring can also help navigation between rooms.

Typically this flooring should be uniform throughout, with elements of contrast used to identify steps, doors and objects. Matt flooring is also preferred to complex patterns which can cause confusion.

Memory loss is an unfortunate reality of old age, but there are clever adaptations that can be made to increase familiarity within the home: As well as adding labels and textures, glass fronted cupboards can be installed so people can easily see what's inside.

Specially adapted lighting is also a helpful modification; not only does it help people with reduced vision, it can also regulate sleep patterns for Alzheimer’s sufferers and improve general happiness.

There are also many small improvements that can help reduce potential judgement errors including fitting isolation valves on cookers, or adaptations such as easy-pull handles and adapted taps. And to help people cook for themselves, it's common to adapt kitchen worktops so they adjust in height for wheelchair users.

Sources: 

http://21stcenturychallenges.org/britains-greying-population/
http://www.efds.co.uk/how-we-help/fact-and-statistics​
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/human-rights-home-guidance-social-housing-providers
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=2107
http://www.lumie.com/blogs/news/14229297-top-tips-lighting-and-dementia-care
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9424/138592.pdf
http://www.papworthtrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/Facts%20and%20Figures%202013%20web.pdf​
http://dementia.stir.ac.uk/design/virtual-environments/importance-colour-and-contrast
http://www.localgov.co.uk/Taking-a-more-balanced-approach/40616
http://www.foundations.uk.com/
 
Posted: 20/10/2016 09:52:05 by Chris Edwards-Thorne | with 0 comments