An entrepreneur specialising in adapting homes for people living with dementia and other age-related challenges has developed a new solution to prevent falls.
Steve Michael (pictured), the founder of Senior Home Solutions, has introduced GRAB A RAIL, a new adaptive rail designed to retrofit into kitchen units and minimise the risk of slips and falls.
Eighteen months in the making, the solution is now patented in the UK and Europe.
Steve said: “Because of the overwhelming standardisation of kitchens in homes in the UK, GRAB A RAIL can be quickly fabricated to suit an individual space. GRAB A RAIL could be installed in within days for example, to enable a patient to be discharged from hospital to an immensely safer home.”
Steve leads Senior Home Solutions with over 20 years of experience in the construction business. In 2016, he turned his attention to a very specific and underserved demographic – people living with dementia and other age-related challenges.
He believes his newest innovation, GRAB A RAIL can make a “huge, cost-effective and affordable difference” to the safety of older people living in their own homes.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, falls among the elderly population require around 250,000 emergency admissions annually.
Before embarking on this latest project, Steve attended a course on trips and falls, which looked at where falls occurred in the home and how.
“One area that stood out was the kitchen, with its obvious dangers. Over 16.4% of falls occur here,” he said.
“The kitchen comes with its own unique challenges – unlike the bathroom or stairs, where grab rails can be fitted to walls, so how you fit a grab rail so that it does not interfere with a working kitchen? I set myself a task to answer this question, with a brief to include information that I have acquired from courses in preventing falls, and with dementia, Parkinson’s and MS in mind.”
Made of recycled steel, Grab A Rail can be surface-texture coded and colour coded to benefit people with vision impairments.
It conforms to British Standard BS8300 as it pertains to interior and grab rails and meet the College of Occupational Therapists guideline to Minor Adaptions Without Delay.
The solution can also be removed and reused or recycled when no longer needed in the kitchen.