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‘Visibly Better’ homes for older people help them maintain independence

12 June 2019

Sheltered Housing |

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Trivallis is the most awarded Welsh housing association for ‘Visibly Better’ standards in sheltered schemes for people aged 60 and over.

Visibly Better is a set of six standards developed by RNIB Cymru, focussing on different aspects of accessibility for people with sight loss. As housing associations progress through the standards, they receive Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of accreditation

20 of Trivallis’ sheltered schemes across RCT meet either Platinum or Gold Visibly Better standards, allowing people with sight loss to feel more confident in their homes.

Ron Hook lives in Trivallis’ Gwaunruperra Close sheltered scheme in Llantrisant and is a tenant assessor. This role involves working closely with the teams at RNIB and Trivallis to make sure sheltered schemes are up to Visibly Better standards for people with sight loss.

He said: “Before I got involved with this scheme I didn’t know anything about the RNIB but I’ve been on a number of courses now and have learnt so much about how it’s so important to be making homes accessible for people with sight loss.

“We’re all so proud of what we’ve achieved in our schemes and look forward to working with RNIB to support those who need it.”

Contrasting colours have been used throughout schemes to ensure door handles, sinks, showers and other objects stand out to those who are partially sighted. Additional features for platinum standards include improvement works in the garden and to the external areas of the schemes.

RNIB Cymru’s Director Ansley Workman said: “We’d like to congratulate Trivallis. These awards recognise organisations who are delivering positive changes for blind and partially sighted people by making their environments more accessible.

“Often the changes are very simple, from improving lighting to making sure people can move around more safely. But they are essential for reducing falls and accidents. As we get older this is more important than ever, as we know that one in five people aged 75 and over are living with sight loss, rising to one in every two people aged 90.

“Although our Visibly Better programme is aimed at improving accessibility for people with sight loss, the standards they set will benefit a wide range of tenants including people with dementia or mobility problems.

“We’re really looking forward to working with Trivallis in their continued efforts to break down the barriers for people with sight loss.”

Trivallis and the tenant assessors will now be working with RNIB to bring the remaining three sheltered schemes up to Visibly Better standards and will be providing feedback to further develop what the standards for ‘Visibly Better’ should be.

MP Owen Smith attended a special awards presentation where Trivallis’ tenant assessors were given plaques for each of the sheltered schemes that had achieved the standards. He said: “This work shows a real commitment from Trivallis in providing accessibility for customers, staff and older people, creating homes that help people to maintain their independence.”