Ironmonger makes dementia care unit safe as houses

Leading architectural ironmonger BJ Waller has provided specialist hardware to meet the needs of the new dementia care unit at Margaret House, a residential care home in Barley, Hertfordshire.

The new 24-bed unit, designed by architect Portess and Richardson, is located in a purpose-built environment adjacent to the main house, a former rectory which has been converted and extended.

“The key requirement was to balance the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act in terms of accessibility, with the need for effective access control for the safety of residents and staff,” said Paul Ingle of Portess and Richardson.

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Portess and Richardson has worked closely with BJ Waller since it was founded in 1982 and commissioned the company to provide the ironmongery for the 74 doors in the dementia care unit.

For security doors, BJ Waller provided an electronic access system requiring keypad operation.

For bedroom doors, high-quality stainless steel lever handles have been used for simple one-handed operation.  This is complemented by electronic swing free door closers, allowing people to safely enter without risk of the door slamming shut, as well as panic release locks for ease of opening in emergency situations.

“We have extensive experience supplying architectural ironmongery to care homes.  While there are legal requirements to consider, ultimately it comes down to making sure that residents can comfortably and conveniently open doors – and that often means providing a degree of electronic assistance,” said Luke Piper, managing director of BJ Waller.

“Choosing hardware that looks as good as it performs also reinforces the high level of care and attention to detail that Margaret House offers and that residents expect from the home, so we work closely with architects to select ironmongery that suits the style of the building.”

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