A Scottish social care charity is piloting a one-button washing machine, which aims to increase the independence of people with disabilities.
Laundry specialist JTM Service has created the ‘One Touch' machine for Cornerstone, which provides care and support services for adults, young people and children in Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health problems and other support needs.
The simplified machine does away with complex digital controls, washes on a standard 40 degree programme and has an automated detergent dosing system. The machine has been trialled successfully in the home of someone supported by Cornerstone who has dementia and learning disabilities in Coatbridge. Now the pilot machine has been installed in one of Cornerstone's services in Airdrie.
Shona Murray, Cornerstone’s operational manager, North Lanarkshire, said: “Our ethos is to enable the people we support to enjoy a valued life, and something as simple as being able to do your own washing is vital to help the people we support maintain their independence.
“We have had extremely positive feedback with our testers finding the push and go machine really easy to use and we want to trial it with people with a range of disabilities and support needs.”
John Middleton, managing director of JTM and inventor of the machine, added: “We developed the One Touch machine because mainstream products with complex digital controls seldom meet the needs of the disabled user.
“In partnership with Cornerstone we are now developing a two-button ‘push and go’ model that will feature a higher temperature wash alongside the standard programme. This will allow people who need to use incontinence products – for example if they have spinal injuries – to wash these on the hotter temperature needed to disinfectant certain laundry.”