For almost 80 years, the name Caroma has been synonymous with innovative bathroom design. With a number of firsts to their name (including the first plastic cistern and the first dual flush mechanism), Caroma’s designs have always been future-focused, bringing to life a vision of creating sustainable luxury, while never compromising on sleek aesthetics.

Their Opal range brings this two-tiered design and future focus to independent living bathrooms, providing an easy-to-operate set of fixtures specifically designed to enhance the wellbeing of those requiring a little extra assistance, while creating a sleek aesthetic that can work just as well in a commercial bathroom as in a home.

“Designing for the dignity of someone using a toilet is important.” says Dr. Steve Cummings, Director of innovation at Caroma. “If you can provide them with the dignity of not needing assistance when using the toilet, that's one of our aims. We’re constantly working to make our products better for people that use these sorts of products and try to move away from being institutional to looking like normal products. There are a lot of areas for innovation in this space to make lives better. And that's what we're trying to do.”

Caroma’s Smart Command system is the beginning of the company’s forays into the world of analytics-led bathrooms. “I see Smart Command having a big impact on bathroom usage for access. We’re able to provide touch-free control of the toilet, the tap is touch free, we've got a shower system that is quite unique. It's all electronic - that can make their lives better.” Smart Command is able to submit data about facility usage back to a central hub, allowing building managers - or carers - to track usage. But Dr Cummings is already looking towards the next development, “We're looking at AI that gets to know the person using it, and can make decisions for that person - this is a great help, particularly for care.”

While maintaining a powerful drive towards creating innovative products that support the lives of our ageing and ability-restricted populations, Caroma has never lost sight of its imperative to improve product sustainability at every turn. “We’re saving 70% of the water we would use to flush back in back in the 80s,” says Dr Cummings. “  That’s 70 percent saving without any impact on the actual performance of the products. But the future is in hybrid technologies that we use to get better savings in water usage - from bathroom products particularly.

“Water reuse is a big thing. We’ve developed a system that diverts water away from the shower while it's warming up. So you can set your temperature, and it'll divert that water away into a tank, rather than just going down into the drainage. And that's fresh water by the time it gets into the tank. So that can save around 6 litres of water per shower.”

The Opal collection is a stunning and versatile collection of independent living products which provide considered discrete design features such as raised height toilet pans and integrated shelf space on basins to reduce challenges and promote independence in the home for longer. The newest addition to the Opal collection is the Opal Support rail range which also includes rail shower options and a folding shower seat, all designed to provide extra support and balance assistance. Available in a variety of lengths and angles, these contemporary rails look beautiful, while providing the trusted luxury experience during everyday routines that the Opal collection is renowned for.

Caroma continues to refine the Opal collection - as well as its other accessible and aged care ranges - and push towards the greater integration of technology, functionality, and design to benefit our ageing population.

Click here to listen.