Johnnie Johnson Housing, Karbon Homes, and Anchor Hanover have joined forces to do away with ‘clinical’ home adaptions and support people to live at home for longer.
The companies have partnered with Invisible Creations, a new start-up business founded in 2018 to create inclusive and attractive home adaptations and new ranges of innovative product solutions to aid mobility.
Its aim is to disrupt a market that fosters “negative stereotypes” and “makes people feel vulnerable”.
Yvonne Castle, chief executive of Johnnie Johnson Housing and chair of the new company, said: “We all have a desire to create adaptations that aren’t the ugly looking ones that are in the marketplace at the moment.
“We should all be able to age in our own homes and be proud of how they look. That’s the aim of our joint new company Invisible Creations. It’s an exciting time for innovation in housing.”
Invisible Creations provides dual-purpose and discreet home adaptations, and is developing extended product solutions, which can be placed around the home to help reduce the decline in health and make daily living easier.
One example is the ‘shower shelf’, a product that incorporates the support of a grab rail with the style and functionality of a bathroom shelf.
Research from the Centre for Ageing Better shows many people delay securing home adaptations because of their clinical appearance and negative associations with vulnerability and loss of independence.
The design of current equipment offered is practical rather than attractive, and practitioners spoke of clients feeling that adaptations ‘echo hospitals’ or that they ‘spoil the décor’.
A separate study from the organisation found that only 7% of housing in England is accessible, and 20% of homes occupied by older people in England fail the government’s basic standard of decency.
By adopting the approach of early installation, Invisible Creations aims to delay the need for formal care, reduce the financial burden on the NHS, and help the housing sector improve tenancy sustainment.
Anchor Hanover chief financial officer and Invisible Creations board member Sarah Jones said: “As England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for older people, we understand the importance of attractive adaptations in the home which can enable people to live independently for longer.
“We are proud to be supporting Invisible Creations in developing new products that provide more choice in how these adaptions are made, so more people can have a home where they love living in later life.”
Caption: Invisible Creations founders Laura Wood and Paul Pentelow pictured with their client Sheila.