Sheila is one of the main inspirations behind Invisible Creations®. She was a very classy, trendy, proud lady and she was refusing to have adaptations fitted, even though she really needed them, and she was hiding her pendant alarm, even though she really needed it, because in her words,
‘They’re hideous, they make me feel old, they’re embarrassing, and they don’t go with my home or my outfits…’
She especially did not want the external grab rail, she was worried people would target her house because they knew someone ‘vulnerable’ lived there.
Sheila, and from the research we conducted many others do this too, also reduced her food and drink intake to limit her trips to the bathroom, as that’s one of the most likely places to fall. The reality is people would rather put their health at risk than get the current adaptations installed.
Unfortunately, Sheila’s house ended up filled with the very things she fought so hard to prevent.
Sheila ended up in hospital for a long period of time and one of the conditions of her coming home was to get grab rails installed, and she had no choice in what she was given.
She came home to find the plastic, ugly grab rails outside her front door and in her bathroom, and as much as she was pleased to be home she was devastated that she had to compromise her standards and her dignity to do it.
She struggled a lot more to move around after her hospital visit, to go out as much as she would like, so spent a lot of time in her home and she wanted it to feel like a home, not a hospital. She had spent enough time in hospital, she wanted her home to be her haven.
She wanted a better option, and she deserved it.
This isn’t unique to Sheila. Millions of people across the country are making dangerous decisions that damage their health, rather than using the current products available to them.
So, we thought the solution was simple, design better, give Sheila and the rapidly ageing population products they actually want, not just ones they need.
Laura Wood, Co-Founder of Invisible Creations®: “Invisible Creations® was inspired by real people experiencing real issues. Real people like my Gran, Sheila. I witnessed her daily challenges and struggles, but I also saw what gave her joy, pride and dignity. I wanted to make sure she had better options available to her as she aged and her needs changed, and I wanted to create something that could benefit everyone in the same situation as her. My proudest moment was being able to give her our Design for Dignity™ products, they brought her great joy, made her once again proud of her home and gave her the confidence and stability to navigate her home without fear of falling.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make the biggest difference, and with simple stylish design we’re making huge improvements to people’s health and wellbeing. We’ve all got a Sheila, and they all deserve dignity, joy, pride, support and choice."
Why is it important to housing associations?
There are millions of people just like Sheila living in our properties, and they don’t want the stigmatised, clinical adaptations we are putting in their homes either. We have a responsibility as landlords not only to keep our tenants safe, but to provide them with excellent customer service, to support their health and wellbeing, and to ultimately give them a great place to live! We’re asking you to ditch the depressing plastic grab rails and invest in designs that give your tenants their dignity back!
By providing more attractive, dual-purpose adaptations, that are desirable rather than off-putting, we aim to get these installed in homes earlier, therefore preventing falls sooner and supporting people to live independently for longer. This has the potential to help sustain tenancies and succeed in keeping people out of residential care.