A whole series of sensitive adaptations to help people live independently in their own home while reducing stigma are being trialled by believe housing.
The modifications use products made by north east-based firm, Invisible Creations. Their ‘Design for Dignity’ approach aims to remove the negative stigma often associated with assistive and accessible products that are added to homes. They are intended to be attractive and homely, rather than clinical.
The first believe housing homes to feature the adaptations are a number of bungalows in the Peterlee area. Customers in the bungalows are being asked for their views on the new products and how they compare to traditional adaptations.
Karen Walker, Occupational Therapist Team Leader from believe housing said: “The idea behind these new products is simple, but brilliant. Why should essential home adaptations like grab rails be utilitarian and invasive? We’re going to be looking very closely at this trial to see if it’s something that can be extended to other homes.”
believe housing is one of the first housing associations in the region to trial the products by Invisible Creations.
Laura Wood from Invisible Creations said: “We believe homes should be a haven, not a hospital and products designed to help you remain independent should be attractive, not clinical. Our initial focus has been to design adaptations that provide all of the function of a grab rail but with style and dignity at the heart.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer accessible products that provide both support and style!”
The believe housing trial comes after positive responses to the new products elsewhere. One pair who have benefitted from the products are Russ Bradford, 48 and 53-year-old Charlotte Allen, a couple with Young Onset Parkinson’s. Russ said: “Most products on the market designed to support you to live independently look unattractive, and very clinical, they indicate that there’s a disabled and possibly vulnerable person living in the house.
“The products support your independence, and the longer you manage to do things for yourself increases your confidence and gives you a sense of purpose. You can enjoy more freedom having a better quality of life.”
Charlotte added: “I love the products. They’re very stylish and help you live a better life. I don’t have to worry about tripping or falling as the products reassure me and create independence. I truly believe the products will improve people’s lives.”