The UK has an ageing population. There are nearly 12 million people aged 65 and above living in the UK according to research carried out by Age UK.
And 80% of the homes we will be living in by 2050 are already built with more than 90% of older people living in mainstream housing. We need our homes to reflect our changing needs as we age, and the right home environment is crucial to maintaining and improving our physical and mental health.
Let’s take home adaptations – products that, research shows, can make the biggest difference for prolonging independence and reducing the need for residential care. A fantastic solution to support people’s health and mobility in and around their home, but the reality is that not enough people are getting them installed.
There is strong evidence to suggest that minor adaptations are an effective and cost-effective intervention for prolonging people’s independence, preventing falls and injuries, and supporting people to live in their homes for longer. Yet, many people would rather risk their health and delay installing adaptations until they reach crisis point, so as not to ‘medicalise’ their home - instead they choose to adapt their behaviour rather than adapting their home.
This presents people with a range of products that, although functional, are clinical, unattractive and stigmatising – a symbol of lost independence, disability, old age and vulnerability. Products that exclude customers and have so much negative stigma attached to them that people would rather make dangerous decisions that damage their health than get them installed.
The design of current equipment offered is practical rather than attractive and often leaves people feeling like they’re living in a hospital, rather than a home.
Evidence finds that delays in installing adaptations can reduce their effectiveness. Therefore, it is critical action is taken to move to a preventative model that provides more aesthetically pleasing, aspirational adaptations that people are proud to have in their homes, and consequently installed sooner
Invisible Creations® are attractive, dual-purpose and discreet adaptations, strategically placed around the home to help reduce decline in health and make daily living easier. The key driver is prevention; they will be installed in homes as early as possible to enable people to use them as their needs change.
By adopting this approach, Invisible Creations® aim to delay the need for formal care, reduce the financial burden on the NHS and help housing associations improve tenancy sustainment.
Invisible Creations® was born out of the idea to provide better, to give people what they want, to offer a choice and to design for dignity™.
The company’s now Director of Marketing, Laura Wood, Head of Product Design, Paul Pentelow and Channel Development Manager, Chelsea Fleming spearheaded a project team as part of the National Housing Federation’s ’Creating our Future’ programme that came up with Invisible Creations® - a business that is passionate about creating attractive and inclusive home solutions that are designed to remove the negative stigma currently associated with products for older people.
Now, thanks to the continued support of pioneering housing associations Johnnie Johnson Housing, Karbon Homes, Anchor Hanover and North Star who have collaborated over the past year, Invisible Creations® is now a reality.
Invisible Creations® is a business start-up founded in 2019, and formally incorporated in 2020, to design for dignity™, create inclusive and attractive home adaptations, and new ranges of innovative product solutions, to aid mobility and better support people as they age.
Invisible Creations® is currently working with housing associations across the UK to implement a more strategic approach to the way minor adaptations are delivered.