“We have worked with Steeper for a long time, and have developed a good working relationship. The engineers are always clean and tidy, courteous to the residents and ensure that everything runs smoothly” - Jill Talbot, Building Manager at Rita Hunt Court
“After a successful installation it is nice to see how many people benefit from the simple work we do. Seeing the reaction when it works for the first time is always the best part of the job – especially when you know you have made it happen” - Jason, Steeper Installation Engineer at Rita Hunt Court
Rita Hunt Court in Beverley is a purpose-built extra care housing scheme, offering varying levels of care and support to its residents. Recently built in 2015, it consists of 40 two-bedroom self-contained apartments available to rent from East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The apartments include modern wet rooms, well-equipped kitchens and comfortable living/dining rooms and all have a small balcony or terrace giving residents easy access to the outside.
Rita Hunt Court specifically helps to ensure and encourage all the residents. Enabling them to live independently in their own homes, safe in the knowledge that assistance and support are there when they need it. All residents at Rita Hunt Court have varying conditions and mobility restrictions, with two of the residents requiring wheelchair assistance. The building was initially built to accommodate wheelchairs, with wider doorways and two lifts for easy access and as such, modifications have not been necessary. However, with the new wheelchair users, it became apparent that the doors were heavy for them to open independently and therefore they rarely used the communal areas. To give them the freedom to use the facilities as they wish, Steeper’s assistive technology team installed automatic doors to return independence back to the residents.
With over 30 years’ experience in assistive technology, our team of engineers and product specialists is the largest in the industry. As a result, we have built long term working relationships with our clients, the NHS and the local authorities. Trusted within the industry, we are regularly called on to provide the expertise needed for commercial installations.
With all commercial installations, the ability to work collaboratively with different companies is essential. At Rita Hunt Court, Steeper completed the assessment, JC Services completed the remedial and preparation works and close communication was necessary with the access control company, Tunstall. Ensuring that timescales and specifications are met is the result of our dedicated team of product specialists who are there to ensure the project runs smoothly, meeting budgets and deadlines. In order to provide the least amount of disruption to the residents, the whole installation was completed within one week. The installation included the fitting of four corridor doors fitted with Gilgen automatic swing door systems, one with Steeper push pads. An upgrade to one resident’s Yale lock system was also included, as was a full lock system installation to another resident’s apartment.
The turning point
Steeper understands the importance of providing automated solutions, as the smallest of things in life are often the most worthwhile. Simplifying processes is important to help the residents at Rita Hunt Court retain their sense of independence.
The successful swing door installation has also made for easier access for the residents’ families and carers, as they can now be buzzed in from the resident’s apartment, eliminating the need for keys. Similarly, helping the residents move through the communal areas is much more convenient with the assistance of the automatic doors. On a more personal level, the residents that previously avoided the communal areas as they struggled with the doors now have the freedom to meet their friends and other residents in the communal lounge and activity rooms. Already, this has provided an improved sense of community and encouraged companionship amongst residents, something that is vital to their wellbeing. Providing easy access for the residents to use the communal areas means they are no longer restricted to their own apartment and instead have the choice on where they want to be. Enabling the residents to take back their independence is important to making them feel at home, safe in the understanding that support is there if they need it.
To request an assessment from the Steeper Assistive Technology team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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