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Occupational therapy: Putting people at the heart of design

Many occupational therapists have specialist expertise to advise on the design of products and services to support people to live happier, healthier, and independent lives. Inclusive Design Occupational Therapist, Lucy Rogers is one of those people and we’re proud to have Lucy on board, working closely with our Design Team.

Lucy recently joined Invisible Creations® and is inputting into our product development and design process. Her specialist experience allows her to advise in the early stages of our product design which is crucial to ensuring we create accessible, inclusive, and attractive products. With more than 20 years’ experience working as an occupational therapist, Lucy is very passionate about bridging the gap between social care, health, and housing.


Occupational therapists and their role in housing

Occupational therapists are experts at analysing the relationship between a person and their home environment and are perfectly placed to provide solutions to potential problems the home presents. Over 90 per cent of older people live in mainstream homes and 80 per cent of the homes we will be living in by 2050 are already built. Sadly, many of our homes don’t consider the needs of older people and most of our homes are not designed to support some of our basic needs, now and in the future. This presents us with inaccessible housing, which can lead to falls and accidents and put an overwhelming strain on the NHS.


According to the Centre for Ageing Better, falls account for over 4 million hospital bed days each year in England and the healthcare cost associated with fragility fractures is estimated at £2 billion a year. One-third of people over 65 and half of people over 80 fall at least once a year, leading to around 70,000 fractures. This impacts not only a person’s independence but their self-confidence and is a contributing factor to social isolation, with around 1 in 10 older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again.


At Invisible Creations® we are committed to creating products that support people’s mobility and dignity, that empower people to move confidently around their homes, and that give people greater freedom. We know from the in-depth research we conducted that many people choose to adapt their behaviour, rather than adapt their home, to prevent falls. No one should have to live like this in their own home.


Lucy has witnessed first-hand the impact of poor housing on people’s health and wellbeing. “For me as an allied health care professional working on the frontline I lived and breathed the inequalities and the effects of poor and inappropriate housing on clients on a delayed basis. I saw how not being able to access the toilet quick enough or being able to confidently be able to get on and off or in and out of the bath affects people’s physical, mental, and emotional health.


“When we are physically well and have no ailments, we can take our daily routines for granted – getting washed and dressed, making a meal, going up and down the stairs, shopping, cooking, watching TV, or hanging the washing up. But when simple tasks become more difficult or impossible to complete, life can become frustrating and upsetting. This, in turn, affects our confidence, our sense of self, and our quality of life.”


Putting people at the heart of product design


Invisible Creations® isn’t just about providing products; it was born out of a desire to do more… to improve lives, to prolong independence, to design for dignity™, and to combat the stigma associated with ageing. At its core, Invisible Creations® is about people, collaboration, and creativity.  People have been at the centre of our product design and business creation, to ensure that we create adaptations that support mobility and dignity and we’re proud to have Lucy on board supporting us to fulfil our person-centred approach to design. 


Watch the video to hear more from Lucy speaking at this year’s Housing 2020 virtual festival. 



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