Older persons’ apartments in Abernant win award for being ‘Visibly Better’

Post date: 
Thursday, 20 October 2016
Category: 
Wales
Visibly Better

Tenants at Alltwen, a housing scheme for people aged 55 years and above, can now live independently for longer thanks to major design changes to support sight loss.

Following innovative modifications inside and outside the development in Abernant near Aberdare, Newydd Housing Association have received the RNIB Cymru’s Visibly Better Platinum Award for the work carried out at Alltwen to help people with sight loss remain in their homes for longer.

Major changes such as a wide level access path around the building, a scooter store and wide gates have ensured that tenants with sight loss can navigate their way and enjoy spending time in the gardens without worrying about access and safety.

Inside the building each floor at Alltwen boasts a different colour scheme to enable tenants with sight loss to identify where they are, and communal areas also have better lighting and contrasting colours on the walls and around key features to allow tenants to distinguish items in the room. The changes also benefit tenants with memory loss and mobility problems.

Trained Newydd tenants have critically assessed the work, carried out by contractors R&M Williams, with support from Cathryn Hughes from RNIB Cymru. Throughout the process they ensured the work was up to standard and suitable for fellow tenants.

Sandra Rehmen, a Newydd tenant and RNIB Cymru Scheme Assessor said, “Newydd are always ahead of the game when caring for tenants. These changes make such a massive difference to those who have difficulty getting around Alltwen, it now looks wonderful. Having experienced poor vision myself I wanted to try and make a difference. I feel strongly that we should do as much as we can to make life more visible for the visually impaired.”

The RNIB Cymru Platinum Award was presented to Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Newydd by Cath Hughes, Visibly Better Officer at RNIB Cymru on 18th of October at a celebration afternoon tea at Alltwen.

Ceri Jackson, Director RNIB Cymru, said: “Our Visibly Better Scheme makes a huge difference to the lives of tenants. Often the changes are very simple but lead to a reduction in falls and accidents.  Although the standards are aimed at improving accessibility for people with sight loss, they will benefit a wide range of tenants including people with dementia or mobility problems.

“We know that one in five people aged 75 and over are living with sight loss, and that sight loss is set to double in the next 25 years. I congratulate Alltwen for achieving the highest level, a platinum award, helping to make every day better for people with sight loss.”